Big-screen extravaganzas have long been part of the allure of movies, but when those big budgets are spent to produce tales from the bible, the films become larger than life. Check out this list of must-see biblical epics.
‘The Ten Commandments’ (1956)
In what is considered to be Hollywood’s greatest religious epic, Charlton Heston plays Moses, the adopted Egyptian Prince who, due to the discovery of his Hebrew heritage, returns to his people and sets out to deliver them from slavery.
‘The Robe’ (1953)
In the first film to ever be presented in CinemaScope, Richard Burton plays a Roman assigned the task of overseeing Christ’s crucifixion. While playing dice he wins Jesus’ robe, and it soon begins to cause him to change his illicit ways.
‘The Prince of Egypt’ (1998)
By bringing the tale of Moses to the big screen as an animated feature, DreamWorks breathed new life into this inspirational story, while making it fun and accessible for a younger audience. Good times for the entire family.
‘The Passion of The Christ’ (2004)
Focusing on the last hours of Christ’s existence, director Mel Gibson brings the horrific pain Christ endured to life with graphic detail (so graphic, in fact, that at times some viewers may turn their heads.) A truly memorable – and remarkable -- film.
‘The Greatest Story Ever Told’ (1965)
Coming in at a mindboggling 225 minutes, director George Stevens’ masterpiece presents the life of Jesus of Nazareth in all of its big-screen glory. Starring some of the biggest names in show business, this film is about as epic as the come.
‘The Last Temptation of Christ’ (2008)
Based on the novel by Nikos Kazantzakis, this controversial Martin Scorsese film follows the life and struggles of Jesus, a carpenter from Nazareth. As a normal man steps away from his regular life in order to do as God wills, he is forced to confront the greatest temptation of them all.
‘Ben-Hur’ stands as one of the greatest motion picture epics ever made. In it Charlton Heston plays a Jewish prince forced into slavery by a friend’s false accusations. Vowing revenge, he triumphantly returns with a vengeance. The chariot races alone were groundbreaking for its time, and help make it a timeless classic.
Director Darren Aronofsky brings the story of the biblical ark builder to life with all the benefits of modern technology. Starring Russell Crowe as Noah, the film takes a closer look at the man handpicked by God to save the world… and its animals.
‘King of Kings’ (1961)
The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is presented on an epic scale in this widescreen Hollywood extravaganza. Made at a time when price was no object, the film features a stellar cast, amazing set design, and narration supplied by Orson Welles.
Monty Python’s ‘Life of Brian’ (1979)
After watching all of the amazing religious epics on this list, it might be time to enjoy a few laughs. Only the guys at Monty Python would be brave enough to tell the tale of Brian, a normal man who is constantly mistaken for the messiah. This film is guaranteed to make you, well… “Always look on the bright side of life.”
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