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The last temptation of Christ

Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

As Jesus (Willem Dafoe) is crucified, the devil offers him one final temptation.

Also starring Harvey Keitel as Judas, Verna Bloom as Mary, Barbara Hershey as Mary Magdalene, Barry Miller as Jerobeam, Gary Basaraba as Andrew, Irvin Kershner as Zebedee, Victor Argo as Peter, Michael Been as John, Paul Herman as Phillip, John Lurie as James, Leo Burmester as Nathaniel and Andre Gregory as John the Baptist. Written by Paul Schrader from the novel by Nikos Kazantzakis, directed by Martin Scorsese.

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Drama Jesus biography Lucifer devil Satan crucifixion tempt Mary relationship love family

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Well, it's been a while since I saw The last temptation of Christ but from what I can remember, it's a bit of a mind flip. There was a lot of right wing religious righteousness when it came out at the movies because the religious right wanted the film banned. You know, as if they weren't living in a democracy where the freedom to say and think what you want is permitted. They were specifically unhappy in that Nikos Kazantzakis presented a Jesus with a dilemma: to forgo the pain which someone else is putting him through or to accept the pain and suffer for someone else's goals. Happiness? Suffering? Happiness? Suffering? Hmmm...

The part that really got up their noses is that someone would dare to portray Jesus enjoying himself. Spirituality is about suffering, hard work, obeisance, submission to higher authority, decorum, politeness, prayer, quiet reflection and being a good little Christian. Heaven forfend anyone should actually enjoy oneself.

Whether you worship or even believe in any kind of supreme being is irrelevant because The last temptation of Christ is not about proselytising, but about "What if?" As a brain teaser, it goes down pretty well; your mind is guaranteed to be stirred up, even if the film is really long. And Jesus isn't even blond.

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Audio: 5.1 (English), surround (French, German, Italian, Spanish)
  • Disc type: Single sided, dual layer
  • Picture: Widescreen (16:9 enhanced)
  • Languages: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Turkish, Swedish, Finnish, Dutch, Norwegian, Portuguese, Danish, Bulgarian
  • Movie trailer

Security censorship classification

M (Medium level violence, medium level sex scenes)

Surveillance time

157 minutes (2:37 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

DVD rental: 11 April 2001

Cinema surveillance images

The last temptation of Christ image

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