Wednesday, April 27, 2011

King of Kings vs The Greatest Story Ever Told

TCM ran both films one after the other and I watched both of them while mingling with my family/friends on Easter Sunday. Here's a quick rundown of how they compared:




King of Kings


- Jeffrey Hunter brilliant as Jesus

- Robert Ryan totally miscast as John the Baptist

- Siobhan McKenna wasn't convincing as Mary

- Narration was obtrusive

- Intro was super long. 20+ minutes to get story going

- Because of narration and quick rundown of story, the film felt like bible studies

- Location didn't look like Israel/Middle East. It looked like, well, Spain where it was shot.

- Fantastic score by Miklós Rózsa

- Ending at the beach fell flat

- Studio-bound and looks fake-ish from time to time

- Some beautiful sets and production design

- A bit of a heavy-handedness to it





The Greatest Story Ever Told


- Max Von Sydow totally miscast as Jesus; his voice alone doesn't work

- Claude Rains totally miscast as Herod the Great

- Charlton Heston sounds better than Robert Ryan as John the Baptist but looks ridiculous in fake looking wig and beard

- Almost entire cast is miscast: Telly Savalas as Pontius Pilate?

- Constant use of cameos are terrible; with John Wayne's being the worst

- Narration wasn't obtrusive

- Stunning production design

- Stunning cinematography

- Beautiful, realistic locations

- Direction more fluid and organic

- More realistic looking

- Music score is good but film employs classical music which was beautifully incorporated with story

- Relies on classical music and Michelangelo's paintings to set up scene so a bit of laziness in direction here

- Ending has more impact than King of Kings but still sorta flat

All in all, it's a virtual tie with The Greatest Story Ever Told edging out King of Kings because of stunning production design/cinematography, etc. Now if they combined the best qualities from both films then there would be the perfect film: King of the Greatest Story Ever Told! Posted at the Special Features page.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

KING OF KINGS!!! by a mile!

Richie D said...

KING OF KINGS BLOWS THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD AWAY!

Brenda Elliott said...

I agree, King of Kings is the better of the two movies.