The Gospel According to St. Matthew


2h 22m 1966

Brief Synopsis

Along a rocky, barren coastline, Jesus begins teaching, primarily using parables. He attracts disciples; he's stern, brusque, and demanding. He comes to bring a sword, not peace, he says. He's in a hurry, moving from place to place near the Sea of Galilee, sometimes attracting a multitude, sometimes being driven away. His parables often take on the powers that be, so he and his teachings come to the attention of the Pharisees, the chief priests, and elders. They conspire to have him arrested, beaten, tried, and crucified, just as he prophesied to his followers. After he dies, he appears to his disciples and gives them final instructions.

Film Details

Also Known As
Il Vangelo secondo Matteo, evangile selon saint matthieu
Genre
Adaptation
Biography
Drama
Foreign
Historical
Religion
Release Date
Jan 1966
Premiere Information
New York opening: 17 Feb 1966
Production Company
Arco Film; C. C. F. Lux
Distribution Company
Continental Distributing, Inc.
Country
France
Location
Puglia, Italy; Lucania, Italy; Calabria, Italy

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 22m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1

Synopsis

In semi-documentary style, the film traces the life of Jesus Christ as told in the Gospel of St. Matthew. Highlights include: the Annunciation, the birth of Jesus in a Bethlehem stable; Herod's decree that all new-born males in Bethlehem be slaughtered; the Holy Family's flight into Egypt; Jesus' youth in Nazareth; His baptism by John the Baptist; His 40-day fast in the desert; His entry into Jerusalem; the execution of John the Baptist; the Last Supper; the betrayal by Judas; the Crucifixion; and the Resurrection.

Film Details

Also Known As
Il Vangelo secondo Matteo, evangile selon saint matthieu
Genre
Adaptation
Biography
Drama
Foreign
Historical
Religion
Release Date
Jan 1966
Premiere Information
New York opening: 17 Feb 1966
Production Company
Arco Film; C. C. F. Lux
Distribution Company
Continental Distributing, Inc.
Country
France
Location
Puglia, Italy; Lucania, Italy; Calabria, Italy

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 22m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1

Award Nominations

Set Decoration

1967

Best Costume Design

1967

Best Score

1967

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Filmed in southern Italy (Calabria, Lucania, and Puglia). Released in Italy in 1964 as Il vangelo secondo Matteo; running time: 142 min; opened in Paris in March 1965 as L'évangile selon saint-Matthieu; running time: 130 min. The word "saint" was introduced into the English title against the director's wish. The film is dedicated to the memory of Pope John XXIII. Musical selections include the Congolese Missa Luba, Prokofiev's "Cantata" from Alexander Nevsky, and Bach's St. Matthew Passion.

Miscellaneous Notes

Voted One of the Year's Five Best Foreign Language Films by the 1966 National Board of Review.

Voted One of the Year's Ten Best Films by the 1966 New York Times Film Critics.

Winner of the Special Jury Prize and the Catholic FIlm Office Award at the 1964 Venice Film Festival.

Released in United States 1990

Released in United States 1991

Released in United States August 20, 1990

Released in United States July 2000

Released in United States Winter February 17, 1966

Shown at "Pier Paolo Pasolini: The Eyes of a Poet" at Museum of Modern Art in New York City April 27-May 29, 1990.

Shown at "Pier Paolo Pasolini: The Eyes of a Poet" at UCLA Film and Television Archive September 27 - December 20, 1991.

Shown at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival July 5-15, 2000.

Shown at Lincoln Center, New York City in the series "A Roman Holiday" August 20, 1990.

The word "Saint" was inserted into the English title against Pasolini's wishes. The dedication to Pope John XXIII was also shortened in English.

Re-released in Paris April 4, 1990.

Released in United States 1990 (Shown at "Pier Paolo Pasolini: The Eyes of a Poet" at Museum of Modern Art in New York City April 27-May 29, 1990.)

Released in United States Winter February 17, 1966

Released in United States July 2000 (Shown at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival July 5-15, 2000.)

Released in United States August 20, 1990 (Shown at Lincoln Center, New York City in the series "A Roman Holiday" August 20, 1990.)

Released in United States 1991 (Shown at "Pier Paolo Pasolini: The Eyes of a Poet" at UCLA Film and Television Archive September 27 - December 20, 1991.)