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      The Gospel According to St. Matthew

      Released Sep 4, 1964 2 hr. 16 min. History Drama Biography List
      92% 37 Reviews Tomatometer 86% 2,500+ Ratings Audience Score Pier Paolo Pasolini's Biblical drama follows the life of Jesus Christ (Enrique Irazoqui) as depicted in the Gospel of Matthew from the New Testament. Much of the dialogue in the Italian film hews closely to the text, which focuses on the teachings of Jesus, including his parables, and on their revolutionary nature. As Jesus travels along the coast of the Sea of Galilee, he gradually gathers more followers, leading him into direct conflict with the authorities. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Premiered Sep 01 Buy Now

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      The Gospel According to St. Matthew

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      Critics Consensus

      The Gospel According to St. Matthew forgoes the pageantry of biblical epics in favor of a naturalistic retelling of the Christ story, achieving a respectful if not reverent interpretation with political verve.

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      Audience Reviews

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      Hilary L Terrible movie. The acting is bad, the depiction of Jesus Christ is by far the worst I've seen in my life. Rated 1 out of 5 stars 04/03/24 Full Review Nawt W How ironic that one of the most faithful depictions of Jesus' life is put on film by a gay, Marxist atheist. Showing Matthew 1–28 in the most unostentatious, raw way possible. Everything is under the rule of realism, starting with the unkempt unibrow of first-time actor Enrique Irazoqui, who plays the most intimidating Jesus yet. His deadpan expression of determination and his sudden splashes of temper really paint a vivid picture of a preacher. As is customary with neorealism, non-professional actors are used, and this Bible story is no exception. The muddy outskirts of Judea clash with anachronistic Roman armor that is clearly not from this age or maybe the Roman era at all. The movie has one Odetta song play on repeat, and since this is an Italian movie, the mandatory dub is mostly out of sync. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/16/23 Full Review William L Are the massive hats worn by the priests considered historically accurate? That's got to be a weight on the neck. Hope Jerusalem had a solid chiropractor. Bringing together neorealist aesthetic and production quality with dialogue that pulls only from translations of Biblical accounts from Jesus' life, The Gospel According to Matthew was a radical political statement in its day but has aged into one of he better takes on its subject matter in film. Gone are blinding lights and distracting depictions of some form of holy 'power' (and not just because the budget was too low to allow them). Pasolini was focused on depicting Christ as the revolutionary and the antagonist of convention, focusing on the rebellion against corrupt interpretations of doctrine and combating his adversaries with logic and conviction rather than outright divinity (the director apparently had misgivings about including as many of the miracles as he did). The film shows a particular appreciation for Christian doctrine, allowing the poetic nature of the text and timeless qualities to the canon descriptions of Jesus' life to carry the story; these aspects are often underappreciated due to just how well-known the content is, if nothing else. Surprisingly diverse soundtrack, as well. I still never quite got over the story of the Woman with the Ointment, a parable that is in three of the four Gospels and one that has implications for many of the problems that some have had with the Church in the past two millennia - the extravagance of worship, and the problem of money in faith when the less fortunate still exist. A woman anoints Jesus with valuable oil, which Jesus justifies by clarifying that his death is forthcoming; the disciples then (in accordance with Jesus' teachings of good works) ask why the oil was not sold for the benefit of the poor; Jesus than says that "the poor will always be with you." But so will Jesus, in the form of the Spirit, and isn't admitting that the poor will always exist an acceptance of the ultimate insufficiency of charity in the mortal world? To me, it felt implied that the worship of Christ and the pursuit of good works were supposed to be totally intertwined, but this lone story has always seemed to contradict it. (3.5/5) Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 06/27/21 Full Review S R 1001 movies to see before you die. I didn't feel this added to my understanding of the Gospels. Although it was simple and straightforward, it wasn't something that impacted me. YouTube is saw it. Vatican 100 list. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 08/30/23 Full Review Audience Member The Gospel According to St. Matthew is a direct presentation of the first book of the New Testament. The entire script is directly quoting the scripture and I did not see any embellishments. As a Christian, I am quite familiar with this Gospel, as I have read and studied many of these scriptures countless times. As a result, I didn’t have any issues with the content of the film. If I’m being perfectly honest, the movie kind of felt like one of those tapes they would throw in the VCR at church on a slow Sunday night when the pastor was out of town. There’s an educational or informative feel to it that is a tad sterile and flat instead of dramatic. I did get emotional towards the end, but for me it is difficult to avoid feeling that way when I see even a simple re-enactment of the death and resurrection of Jesus. It’s an important topic for me, and even an Italian Jesus with a unibrow can make me emotional when hanging on a cross. I would never in a million years suggest there is something wrong with the Bible, so it’s difficult talking about the flaws in The Gospel According to St. Matthew, because it is so loyal to the text. But here’s the thing, Matthew’s book (while inspired) isn’t a script. There are things that people do when adapting a book to film in order to make it more watchable, and give it a proper cinematic flow. I understand the mindset of the filmmaker not wanting to tamper with the words in scripture, but that leads to a disjointed and awkward film. The film is almost entirely vignettes, because the book of Matthew reads like a scrapbook of key moments in Jesus’ life. It doesn’t make for a good narrative until they reach the final act, and even then there are moments that feel like odd inclusions in a film (even though I understand their purpose in scripture.) The Gospel According to St. Matthew isn’t incompetent, it’s merely an odd idea in the first place. I commend them for trying, and remaining so faithful to the text, even if the end product was a little flawed. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 10/01/19 Full Review andrey k Austerity and seriousness of this movie is remarkable, it's probably the best movie about Jesus Christ. Depiction of him here is not of a gentle and soft man, but as a full of righteous anger man, willing to fight the status quo of the world at the time. The movie itself is very poetic and consists of a flow of successive shots of incredible beauty, right from the first scene, which is a masterpiece. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

      Critics Reviews

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      Derek Malcolm London Evening Standard Superb in every way, and possibly the film-maker's best. Rated: 5/5 Mar 1, 2013 Full Review Peter Bradshaw Guardian A fierce magnesium flame of a movie. Rated: 5/5 Feb 28, 2013 Full Review David Jenkins Little White Lies Definitely one for multiple viewings, and arguably up there with Pasolini's best. Rated: 5/5 Mar 8, 2012 Full Review Scott Nye Battleship Pretension Pasolini frequently uses those who push themselves to the margins of society to expose our collective and individual weaknesses, and our determination to maintain the image of order. Jun 29, 2023 Full Review Robin Holabird Robin Holabird Pasolini pay[s] attention to contrasts of light, and also focuses on faces and reactions to cruel deeds. Aug 11, 2021 Full Review Dwight MacDonald Esquire Magazine "Heightened realism," I had thought at first, and so it was, but as the film wore on the realism began to disappear and only the heightening remained. Aug 13, 2019 Full Review Read all reviews

      Movie Info

      Synopsis Pier Paolo Pasolini's Biblical drama follows the life of Jesus Christ (Enrique Irazoqui) as depicted in the Gospel of Matthew from the New Testament. Much of the dialogue in the Italian film hews closely to the text, which focuses on the teachings of Jesus, including his parables, and on their revolutionary nature. As Jesus travels along the coast of the Sea of Galilee, he gradually gathers more followers, leading him into direct conflict with the authorities.
      Pier Paolo Pasolini
      Pier Paolo Pasolini
      Water Bearer Films, Continental Distributing Inc.
      Production Co
      Arco Films
      History, Drama, Biography
      Original Language
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Sep 4, 1964, Original
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Sep 1, 2012
      Sound Mix
      Most Popular at Home Now