The Gospel According To Saint Matthew


(out of 5)

Original title:  Il Vangelo Secondo Matteo

Hands down the best Jesus movie ever made; Pier Paolo Pasolini’s testament to the wonder of Christ’s tale is a startlingly beautiful work. The gorgeous cinematography captures the entire story from the book of Matthew, starting with Jesus’s birth in a Bethlehem stable, through to his days as the wandering prophet of Galilee until his crucifixion and resurrection. Using non-professional actors, all of whom have compelling natural qualities, Pasolini shows us the socialist nature of Christ’s teachings and the direct opposition his dogma has to the way that contemporary religion (and society in general) is run. He also doesn’t add anything to the Biblical tale, instead using the good book’s dialogue and situations without the need for amendment or even poetically licensed interpretation. Who better to make a movie about Jesus Christ than a controversial Marxist filmmaker who has a publicly known penchant for male prostitutes? This is an incredibly powerful, unforgettable experience.

Arco Film, Lux Compagnie Cinématographique de France

Italy/France, 1964

Directed by

Screenplay by Pier Paolo Pasolini

Cinematography by

Produced by

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Academy Awards 1964

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