The Last Temptation of Christ

August 12th, 1988


The Last Temptation of Christ

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The life of Jesus Christ, his journey through life as he faces the temptations that all humans face during their lives, and his final temptation upon the cross.

Release Year: 1988

Rating: 7.6/10 (24,551 voted)

Critic's Score: 80/100

Director: Martin Scorsese

Stars: Willem Dafoe, Harvey Keitel, Barbara Hershey

The carpenter Jesus of Nazareth, tormented by the temptations of demons, the guilt of making crosses for the Romans, pity for men and the world, and the constant call of God, sets out to find what God wills for him. But as his mission nears fulfillment, he must face the greatest temptation: the normal life of a good man. Based, not on the Gospels, but on Nikos Kazantzakis' novel of the same name.

Writers: Nikos Kazantzakis, Paul Schrader

Willem Dafoe - Jesus
Harvey Keitel - Judas
Paul Greco - Zealot
Steve Shill - Centurian (as Steven Shill)
Verna Bloom - Mary, Mother of Jesus
Barbara Hershey - Mary Magdalene
Roberts Blossom - Aged Master
Barry Miller - Jeroboam
Gary Basaraba - Andrew, Apostle
Irvin Kershner - Zebedee
Victor Argo - Peter, Apostle
Michael Been - John, Apostle
Paul Herman - Phillip, Apostle
John Lurie - James, Apostle
Leo Burmester - Nathaniel, Apostle

Release Date: 12 August 1988

Filming Locations: Ait Benhaddou, Ouarzazate, Morocco

Box Office Details

Budget: $7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $401,211 (USA) (14 August 1988) (9 Screens)

Gross: $8,373,585 (USA)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

In the scene where Jesus is in the temple and Roman soldiers are coming after him in what appears to be all directions, it is the same five soldiers that are used in each shot. This was to save money as the film had a small budget.

Continuity: The state of Mary Magdalene's robe when confronted by Jesus at the beginning.

Girl Angel/Satan: There is only one woman in the world. One woman, with many faces.

User Review

This film is superb.

Rating: 10/10

Most cinematic depictions of Christ show a perfect being, a one-dimensional person who is overly self confident and almost egotistical. I can never relate to those films, so they aren't believable. The Last Temptation of Christ is totally different. It was banned by intolerant Christians who didn't even see it because they have conflicting viewpoints, which is one hell of a paradox. I use to say that Christ was described as a demi-god in the Bible because He is half-man and half-god, but I was told that He is really all-man and all-god. If the latter thesis is correct, than he most have all the perfections of god as well as all the faults of man. In the movie, Jesus is not perfect. He sins, or at least, He confesses sins. He is haunted by visions and sounds almost to where He goes on the brink of insanity. He is tempted by Satan over and over again into thinking that he is just a man. When He cures a person of blindness, He does not smile, he frowns in pain because for every man he cures, he knows it brings him closer to the cross. The characterization in this movie is excellent. This script is Schrader's best, although it was rewritten. The music is the best I've ever heard in any films. Scorsese's direction was absolutely superb. Willem Dafoe and Harvey Keitel were excellent as well. And the movie leads you to the most haunting portayal of the crucifixion in cinematic history.

It is a must for any person to see, especially if you were outraged by the fact that Jesus is displayed as imperfect. You cannot do the film justice if you don't watch the whole film. You may be offended throughout the entire film, but it all comes together in the end and all is well. Seriously, I give the film five stars.


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