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No "Jesus of Nazareth" in US this Easter


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#1 of 56 Guest__*

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Posted January 19 2013 - 08:45 AM

I contacted Lionsgate about a US blu-ray release this year. They said there are no plans. I don't want to import because two imporant scenes are missing from the International blu-rays. This is one instance where Criterion should look into getting the rights. It's an international production, very artistic, and has a huge following.



#2 of 56 philip*eric

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Posted January 19 2013 - 09:34 AM

I would love a restoration on BR - where is this being released on BR overseas ?

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Posted January 19 2013 - 01:16 PM

It was released in German and Mexico last year. It includes all of the teasers and "next on" previews, as well as full opening and ending credits for all four episodes. Unfortunately, it is missing two scenes: Judas talking to Zerah about turning over Jesus, and the complete Last Supper. These scenes are on the US dvd, and I am hoping that when it does come to the US that these two scenes are included. They were missing from the last UK dvd release as well. I'm not sure why this keeps happening lately.



#4 of 56 David_B_K

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Posted January 19 2013 - 05:04 PM

I have that Mexican Blu-ray. It is an improvement over the execrable DVD, but it isn't stellar. The missing scenes are really a deal breaker. However, the scenes are one chunk of the film. It's like one piece is missing. When I watched the Blu-ray, I had the DVD queued up to the missing point and paused the Blu-ray and switched to my other player with the Dvd to watch the missing chunk; then returned to the Blu-ray to finish the film. We really need the whole film, even if the missing section is of lesser quality. It's too It’s important to leave out.

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Posted January 19 2013 - 06:49 PM

I really wish they would let someone else release this. Criterion would be perfect for this type of production. I would love:


1. The 1979 extended re-broadcast (which is what the dvd is)

2. Original teasers and "next-on" previews

3. Original credits for all 4 parts

4. Any deleted scenes that may still exist

5. A Making-Of Documentary with interviews (with Franco, Robert, Michael York, Olivia, and others)

6. Trailers and promos

7. Featurettes featuring biblical scholars


...Complete and Restored. I know it is a dream, but that would be lovely.



#6 of 56 philip*eric

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Posted January 20 2013 - 04:03 PM

Eric , I would second your recommendation for a special edition of JESUS OF NAZARETH. But since it was shown only on TV in the US, would Criterion even consider doing it? Although they have done some televison shows in the past I remember, it is rare of late . And on a related film, I also wish someone who loved THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD as much as I do would restore it for a SP Ed Blu-Ray -- there is reportedly an uncut four hourversion in the Library of Congress that needs saving -- why has George Stevens Jr. been so uninterested in his father last major film , one he took great pride in making?? It deserves much better than the subpar BR released last year.

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Posted January 20 2013 - 10:34 PM

It was shown theatrically in several countries in Europe. There is also a theatrical trailer on youtube. It may have even been shot in a 1.66:1 ratio. I think they should do it for the following reasons:


1. The director is one of the most artistically talented in history. Franco came from an art background.

2. The score was composed by Maurice Jarre, a legend in film scoring.

2. The cast is made up of internationally known stars. Between the cast, crew, extras, and locations there were several countries represented.

3. The film has a pretty big following. It is an artistic and popular success.


It just seems to "fit" with Criterion's product.



#8 of 56 Sky Captain

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Posted January 20 2013 - 11:31 PM

I really wish they would let someone else release this. Criterion would be perfect for this type of production. I would love: 1. The 1979 extended re-broadcast (which is what the dvd is) 2. Original teasers and "next-on" previews 3. Original credits for all 4 parts 4. Any deleted scenes that may still exist 5. A Making-Of Documentary with interviews (with Franco, Robert, Michael York, Olivia, and others) 6. Trailers and promos 7. Featurettes featuring biblical scholars ...Complete and Restored. I know it is a dream, but that would be lovely.

Criterion has a very selective list of what they will put on DVD, and I don't think that Jesus of Nazareth might qualify for them.

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Posted January 21 2013 - 12:41 AM

Well, I don't know why not? The film is a masterpiece, a classic, and is considered by many to be the best biblical film ever. It is much better than The King of Kings, which Criterion released.



#10 of 56 Sky Captain

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Posted January 21 2013 - 02:16 AM

Yes, but King of Kings was a movie released in a theater, while Jesus of Nazareth was a movie shown on TV, and the company dosen't put out DVD's of TV movies (they may also believe that Jesus of Nazareth is not that great a movie.) As I said, the people who determine what's released by Criterion have a very selective list of movies.

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Posted January 21 2013 - 03:34 AM

Yes, and a some of the movies they have released are not exactly masterpieces.  However, why would you think that Criterion thinks it's not a good movie? If they are knowledgeable of film, it would be doubtful that they think the film is not good. Have you seen the movie?



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Posted January 21 2013 - 03:35 AM

Jesus of Nazareth is better than a lot of the movies they have released. And that's not just my opinion. Do you have inside knowledge of Criterion's release criteria? This being said, I don't want to derail my own thread by focusing on Criterion. The point is that Lionsgate owns the rights in the US and they aren't releasing it this Easter...to the disappointment of a lot of fans. International audiences have already gotten HD versions, but the film needs more work. Here's to hoping for later in the year or next Easter.



#13 of 56 philip*eric

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Posted January 21 2013 - 09:15 AM

Unfortunately , the quality of a film does not always mean a company like Criterion will release it . I certainly think that it is a worthy production for a special, restored edition - but if Lionsgate is not interested , we might have to look beyond Critrerion for a restored reissue.

#14 of 56 Walsh61

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Posted January 21 2013 - 09:42 AM

I wish SOMEONE would release this COMPLETE and on blu-ray. I saw this film when it aired in 79 and never forgot it. I've only seen parts of it since then, but it has stayed with me over the years. In his autobiography Ernest Borgnine talked about making this film and how much he enjoyed working with Franco Zeffirelli. He also recounts the profound effect making this film had on him personally. One scene in particular he did he called the most surreal experience he'd ever had of his entire career. Pretty amazing coming from an actor whose career spanned more than six decades. Yea, this film deserves a high quality release.

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Posted January 21 2013 - 12:26 PM

What a powerhouse of a cast! Borgnine, Olivier, Quinn, Ustinov, Plummer, Mason, Steiger, James Earl Jones, Anne Bancroft, Michael York, Olivia Hussey, Robert Powell, James Farentino, Donald Pleasance, Fernando Rey, Stacy Keach, Ian Holm, and  Ian MacShane..Wow! A screenplay by "Clockwork Orange" author Anthony Burgess, score by Maurice Jarre, and directed by Franco Zeffirelli....Seen by some 80 million Americans during its initial 1977 broadcast. It is now considered the ultimate Easter classic. Some little tv production, huh?



#16 of 56 Ron1973

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Posted January 21 2013 - 01:20 PM

What a powerhouse of a cast! Borgnine, Olivier, Quinn, Ustinov, Plummer, Mason, Steiger, James Earl Jones, Anne Bancroft, Michael York, Olivia Hussey, Robert Powell, James Farentino, Donald Pleasance, Fernando Rey, Stacy Keach, Ian Holm, and  Ian MacShane..Wow! A screenplay by "Clockwork Orange" author Anthony Burgess, score by Maurice Jarre, and directed by Franco Zeffirelli....Seen by some 80 million Americans during its initial 1977 broadcast. It is now considered the ultimate Easter classic. Some little tv production, huh?

I don't think I've ever saw it! :confused: I've always saw The Ten Commandments on Easter but I don't honestly remember this one. It does sound like a movie I need to check out, though!

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Posted January 21 2013 - 01:23 PM

Please check it out! I usually watch the last three hours on Good Friday....those last three hours can stand up against just about anything ever filmed...powerful.



#18 of 56 Ron1973

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Posted January 21 2013 - 02:25 PM

I'm reading reviews on Amazon and I can't believe I've ever saw it! We finally watched The Passion of the Christ the other evening and I just didn't care for it. Sure, it was probably realistic in what Jesus endured as far as the beating and crucifixion, but it's simply not something I would put on my list of favorites. The Greatest Story Ever Told, well, I never could get into it either. I think I will get this ordered on DVD from Amazon and give it a shot!

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Posted January 21 2013 - 03:57 PM

Once you see "Jesus of Nazareth," all other films about the life of Christ will pale in comparison. It's so complete, that the Nativity doesn't take place until an hour into the film...but it's never boring. Powell is the best screen Jesus ever.



#20 of 56 Jack P

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Posted January 21 2013 - 04:13 PM

I rate Jesus Of Nazareth among the best, but I would just say in fairness that overall as a work of cinema, I still give the edge to "Passion Of The Christ" for its greater realism regarding the Crucifixion and also the more historically accurate depiction of Pilate (Steiger's performance and the way the part was written was all off IMO). "The Greatest Story Ever Told" I think also works from a cinematic standpoint. Not so the 1961 "King Of KIngs" with its overly fictional narrative (but glorious Miklos Rozsa score) and the less said about Scorcese or the dreadful 1999 TV-movie the better. To me the telling of the story is important enough to sustain several good versions overall and Jesus Of Nazareth along with the two best cinematic versions I think in the end collectively do justice to the meaning of the story in key ways. The lesser films are the ones that fail to deliver on those points.




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