Jesus of Nazareth



Jesus of Nazareth is a six-hour, sixteen-minute British television miniseries of the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus based on the accounts given in the Christian gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

The movie was produced by Lew Grade through his ITC Entertainment company, directed by Franco Zeffirelli, and written by Zeffirelli, Anthony Burgess and Suso Cecchi d'Amico, after Zeffirelli was approached by Pope Paul VI to make a film about Christ.

Jesus of Nazareth premiered on Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday in 1977 and continues to be broadcast every Easter and Christmas in the US (shown on the History Channel).

For its fifth airing on US television at Easter 1987, TV Guide called it "the best miniseries of all time" and "unparalleled television.".

Newsweek writer Harry F. Waters remarked that:

"Rarely have the humanity and divinity of Christ been evoked with as much passion, sensitivity, and ecumenical deference as Zeffirelli has brought to the story."

Rev. Patrick Sullivan of the U.S. Catholic Conference ("New Look at Jesus," April 4, 1977) was quoted as saying:

"Zeffirelli has succeeded admirably in making Christ's story understandable to a modern secular audience".

A review in Variety read:

"Passion, beauty, and brilliant storytelling are all on display in this six-hour-plus epic from Italian director Franco Zeffirelli. Robert Powell is superb in the title role, and with the overwhelming success of this TV movie throughout the world, has perhaps become what Jesus looks like in many people's minds. The story begins with the arrangements of the wedding between Joseph and Mary, and chronicles the nativity, the encounter with John the Baptist (a ferocious Michael York) and everything up to the crucifixion and resurrection. This film is beautifully shot on actual locations, with haunting music by Maurice Jarre and an all-star cast, including Anne Bancroft, Laurence Olivier, Ian Holm, Ernest Borgnine, Peter Ustinov, James Mason, Anthony Quinn, Rod Steiger and Christopher Plummer. Zeffirelli has created a thorough, but never dull or dogmatic, retelling of the story, and the result is a uniquely transcendental film that holds the power to inspire no matter what the viewer's beliefs or background."


* Robert Powell as Jesus; Powell never blinks during eye contact with others throughout the entire film, as did H.B. Warner in 1927's The King of Kings, and Max von Sydow in 1965's The Greatest Story Ever Told, giving his character a somewhat unearthly and transcendental air.

Guest Stars

* Anne Bancroft as Mary Magdalene
* Ernest Borgnine as the Roman centurion
* Claudia Cardinale as the Adulteress
* Valentina Cortese as Herodias
* James Farentino as Peter
* James Earl Jones as Balthazar
* Stacy Keach as Barabbas
* Tony Lo Bianco as Quintillius
* James Mason as Joseph of Arimathea
* Ian McShane as Judas Iscariot
* Laurence Olivier as Nicodemus
* Donald Pleasence as Melchior
* Christopher Plummer as Herod Antipas
* Anthony Quinn as Caiaphas
* Fernando Rey as Gaspar
* Ralph Richardson as Simeon
* Rod Steiger as Pontius Pilate
* Peter Ustinov as Herod the Great
* Michael York as John the Baptist


* Olivia Hussey as Mary, the mother of Jesus

Also Starring

* Cyril Cusack as Yehuda
* Ian Holm as Zerah
* Yorgo Voyagis as Saint Joseph


* Ian Bannen as Amos
* Marina Berti as Elizabeth
* Regina Bianchi as Saint Anne
* Maria Carta as Martha
* Renato Rascel as The Blind Man
* Oliver Tobias as Joel


* Norman Bowler as Saturninus
* Robert Beatty as Proculus
* John Phillips as Naso
* Ken Jones as Jotham
* Nancy Nevinson as Abigail
* Renato Terra as Abel
* Roy Holder as Enoch
* Jonathan Adams as Adam
* Lorenzo Monet as Jesus as 12yrs old
* Robert Davey as Daniel
* Oliver Smith as Saul
* George Camiller as Hosias
* Murray Salem as Simon the Zealot
* Tony Vogel as Saint Andrew
* Michael Cronin as Eliphaz
* Steve Gardner as Philip the Apostle
* Derek Godfrey as Elihu
* Renato Montalbano as Jairus
* John Duttine as John the Apostle
* Michael Haughey as Nahum
* Keith Skinner as Obsessed Boy
* Cyril Shaps as Obsessed Boy's Father
* Jonathan Muller as James, son of Zebedee
* John Tordoff as Malachi
* Bruce Lidington as Thomas
* Keith Washington as Matthew the Evangelist
* Mimmo Crao as Saint Jude Thaddeus
* John Eastham as Bartholomew
* Sergio Nicolai as James, son of Alphaeus
* Francis De Wolff as Simon the Pharisee
* Antonello Campodifiori as Ircanus
* Paul Curran as Samuel
* Tim Pearce as Rufus
* Mark Eden as Quartus
* Bruno Barnabe as Ezra
* Simon MacCorkindale as Lucius
* Forbes Collins as Jonas
* Lionel Guyett as Haggai
* Martin Benson as Pharisee
* Peter Harlowe as Valerius
* Carl Forgione as Plotinus
* Donald Sumpter as Aram
* Pino Colizzi as Jobab
* Harold Bennett as Elder
* Immad Cohen as Jesus as Toddler
* Andrew Manson as Zealot
* Isabel Mestres as Salome
* Christopher Reich as Circumcision-Priest


* Argentina - 13
* Australia - G - (Cut Version) M - (Original Uncut Version)
* West Germany - 12
* Singapore - PG
* USA - PG-13
* UK - PGPermission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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