King of Kings is an epic worthy of praise. Happy Easter everyone! After The Ten Commandments, MGM searched for their next Biblical epic. The story of Jesus Christ will forever be the greatest story ever told. And I’m not just saying that as a Christian. There have been so many portrayals of Jesus, but they weren’t as common in major Hollywood productions. Save for a few silent films, Jesus was mostly kept off camera à la Ben-Hur. King of Kings put Jesus front and center with future Star Trek actor Jeffrey Hunter in the role. My parents often referred to him as the “pretty” Jesus, because of his piercing blue eyes and long flowing hair.
Nevertheless, Hunter is strongly dedicated to playing the messiah in the most respectful way possible. King of Kings begins with the end of the Old Testament, but mostly covers the first four books of the Holy Bible. We witness the birth of Christ, Jesus preaching the Gospel, performing miracles, the Sermon on the Mount, gathering his disciples, the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension to Heaven. Although King of Kings is nearly 3 hours long, it helps that I know the story by heart. Even the script is an almost word for word translation of the King James Bible. I was mostly curious to see an older interpretation of Biblical events. All told with a glorious large scale and a prominent cast that I wasn’t too familiar with.
With the exception of Orson Welles as the narrator or a young Rip Torn as Judas. Jesus is the main character, but all other important figures are given just as much attention. Including Mary, Joseph, John the Baptist, Mary Magdalene, Peter, and Barabbas. As well as Romans like King Herod, Pontius Pilate, Lucius of Cyrene, and Salome. I knew even a tame version of the crucifixion would make me emotional, but I didn’t officially weep until Jesus forgave the thief on the cross. Mary Magdalene finding my risen savior made me cry as well. King of Kings was a blessing to watch.