This 1997 word-for-word depiction from the New International Version Bible of The Book of Acts is a wonderful addition to any Christian film library; directed by Regardt Van Den Bergh, it uses historically accurate costuming, and has the feel of what it must have been like in the time of the apostles, in their journeys throughout the Mediterranean countries.
It makes a great Bible study tool, and can be used either just to watch, or if you have a NIV Bible, to read along as the chapters unfold; also useful are the chapter and verse numbers on the lower right hand corner of the screen when each verse changes.
The acting overall is very good, but special mention must be made of some:
As narrator and protagonist, Dean Jones as Luke is absolutely superb; he is not just acting, but living the words. It is a remarkable, unforgettable performance.
Henry O. Arnold as Paul is excellent, with a physical energy and passion that is very believable.
Francesco Quinn (who looks so much like his father Anthony in his younger years) is a convincing Stephen, in a performance that touches the heart.
Tape I: Chapters 1:1-8:3. Jesus ascending to heaven, Pentecost, Peter heals the crippled man and is brought before Annas and Caiphas, the miracles of Stephen, his discourse to the Sanhedrin, and his brutal murder, which is a wrenching scene, and very moving. Running time 46 minutes.
Tape II: Chapters 8:4-13:52. Philip's journeys, Saul/Paul's conversion, the receiving of the Holy Spirit among the gentiles, and the travels of Barnabas and Paul. Running time 42 minutes.
Tape III: 14:1-20:38. Paul, Barnabas, Silas and Timothy; their travels, teachings, persecutions. Running time 50 minutes.
Tape IV: 21:1-28:31. Paul's arrest in Jerusalem, presenting his defense to King Agrippa, his perilous journey to Rome and shipwreck in Malta, and then his two peaceful years in Rome.
There is a short epilogue that joins Luke and Paul that makes a lovely ending to this marvelous biblical book that gives the early history of Paul and the apostles as they "plant the seeds of change at the heart of the civilized worlds". Running time 53 minutes.
Luke: Dean Jones
Paul: Henry O. Arnold
Stephen: Francesco Quinn
Barnabas: Wilson Dunster
Philip: David Clatworthy
Paul: James Brolin
Jesus: Bruce Marchiano
Lydia: Jennifer O'Neill
Music by David Mines
Cinematography by Tobie Swanepoel