Top positive review
TRULY, THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD....
on July 30, 2017
Truly the Greatest Story, (as well as the Greatest True story), and told so magnificently in this half century old movie, which is just as impressive today as when first released. It is not to be compared with other portrayals and accountings of the Life of Christ on film, as it is a very different version. Just as most individuals imagine Christ differenlty, as to how He might have been in personality, gesture and appearance, every movie on the Life of Christ does just the same.
The vastness of the landscapes, as well as the starkness of the wilderness certainly can be interpreted in many ways, but the portrayal of Christ in this setting truly reveals His Grandness, as well as His Humility in service to humanity and His Obedience to God.
Max Von Sydow manages to bring about a calm and mystic quality to his portrayal of Christ. His voice, accent, and delivery all lend to an unfamiliar sounding of Christ. Christ is given a very gentle approach, and yet the dialogue which lays out the scriptures and Christ's own words, spreads out calmly yet directly. The Scriptures glide in and out, along with the changes of images and scenes, while many of Christ's Truths are delivered in such a way that they can be understood in both a poetic interpretation, as well as an effective contemporary understanding. Most certainly, this manner of delivering the Gospel of Christ was new, and perhaps more effective than the monologue style or lecture recitations that have been given to Words of Christ before, and afterwards in other portrayals on film.
The shadows which often keep the characters half in the light, and half camouflaged, certainly show a certain duality of those specific characters involved in the earthly life of Christ, and it is quite effective as well as engaging. The devil being portrayed as an inconspicuous "one of the crowd" character, who slides his temptations with such an effectiveness that it reminds the viewer of what being tempted without knowing, is all about, and how most temptations come with a smile, rather than a scowl.
All in all, this movie seems ahead of its time, when considering the year it was made, over 50 years ago. There's an invitation to approach and listen to the words on screen, as just as surely a similar invitation would have been found in Christ's Presence on earth, nearly 2000 years ago.
Again, this movie should not be compared with other movies, because it was not intended to BE like other movies. As for films which followed, each give a different view on the Mystery and Glory of Christ. Like a diamond being viewed from different angles, the colours may not always appear the same on that particular moment, depending from what point of view the viewer is situated.
It is unfortunate that an apparently much longer version existing was never released. Still, this version of "THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD" most certainly remains to be seen, and with each viewing, something new is discovered, and felt....perhaps a blessing.