Religion: Franco Zeffirelli's Classical Christ for Prime Time

When Cecil B. DeMille undertook to portray Jesus in his 1927 film King of Kings, he established a style of reverential spectacle that endured for decades in such religious pageants as Ben-Hur, The Robe, the remake of King of Kings, and The Greatest Story Ever Told. In recent years the interpretations have become broader. Jesus was a fierce champion of the oppressed in The Gospel According to St. Matthew, a crucified clown in Godspell, a befuddled mystic in Jesus Christ Superstar, a well-intentioned charlatan in The Passover Plot. A Danish producer is even...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!