King of Kings (1961)

The legendary director Cecil B. DeMille is known for such classics like “The Greatest Show on Earth” (1952) and his two versions of “The Ten Commandments” (1923 & 1956). But one movie of his that has been avoided of public interest is a 1927 silent film entitled “The King of Kings”. Not many people are aware of this movie, so in 1961, Hollywood decided to remake Mr. DeMille’s movie and release it as “King of Kings”. This version is a very good, and an epic drama that, for those who have time, is well worth the watch.

The plot of the movie is pretty basic. It showcases the life of Jesus Christ (Jeffery Hunter) and what He did up until his Crucifixion. But there’s also a bigger backstory that’s going on. For the Romans have made an accusation that Jesus will bring down the Roman Empire. This has been rumored because there have been groups of Jews revolting against the Romans. So, the Roman government can’t decide whom to put the blame on that’s been causing an unbalance in the country: Jesus or the rebels.

“King of Kings” is a very epic movie. The cast is near perfect as the actors and actresses do a fine job portraying their roles well. Although there is a case of miscasting as there are not only American actors, but Spanish and other foreign actors as well. The direction from Nicholas Ray is great, and even the musical score by Miklos Rozsa is one of the best orchestrations ever heard on film. But where “King of Kings” really shines is in its production value. The scenery is remarkable and the locations are perfect for the movie’s surroundings. This is because the movie was shot in Spain where the country has some gorgeous scenery. This is a contender for one of the best visual movies ever to be put on screen.

The only criticism that this movie contains is that it moves at a very slow pace. At nearly three hours, the film could’ve been cut by at least 10 minutes. But as the movie stands, it is great.

In conclusion, the 1961 remake of “The King of Kings” is a suitable successor to the Cecil B. DeMille film. It’s definitely worth watching if you have the time.

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