You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Agony and the Ecstasy

Against a backdrop of political-religious upheaval during the Italian Renaissance, The Agony and the Ecstasy focuses on the personal conflict between sculptor-painter Michelangelo and his patron, Pope Julius II.

Cast:
Charlton Heston Rex Harrison Diane Cilento Harry Andrews Alberto Lupo Adolfo Celi

Against a backdrop of political-religious upheaval during the Italian Renaissance, The Agony and the Ecstasy focuses on the personal conflict between sculptor-painter Michelangelo and his patron, Pope Julius II.

Scripter Philip Dunne has zeroed in on a four-year span during which the painter labored on the ceiling frescoes for the Sistine Chapel. The potent seeds in Dunne’s excellent treatment [of the novel by Irving Stone] are the artistic arrogance of Michelangelo and equally stubborn mind of the soldier Pontiff Julius.

Rex Harrison is outstanding as the Pope, from the moment of his striking entrance as a hooded soldier leading the suppression of a pocket of revolt, to his later scenes as an urbane, yet sensitive, pragmatic ruler of a worldly kingdom.

Charlton Heston’s Michelangelo is, in its own way, also outstanding. Combination of austere garb, thinned face, short hair and beard, plus underplaying in early scenes, effectively submerge the Heston image fostered by his earlier epix.

Assisting Harrison’s verbal whiplashes are the grandiose engineering plans of the architect Bramante, then engaged in building the new basilica of St Peter. Harry Andrews excels in the role, while his protege, the painter Raphael, played by Tomas Milian, projects very well as Heston’s possible replacement.

[Prior to roadshow presentations of the pic, a 12 1/2-min. documentary Prologue was included, featuring the sculpture of Michelangelo and scored by Jerry Goldsmith.]

1965: Nominations: Best Color Cinematography, Color Costume Design, Color Art Direction, Original Music Score, Sound

The Agony and the Ecstasy

Production: International Classics/20th Century-Fox. Director Carol Reed; Producer Carol Reed; Writer Philip Dunne; Camera Leon Shamroy Editor Samuel E. Beetley; Music Alex North, Franco Potenza Art John DeCuir

Crew: (Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1965. Running time: 136 MIN.

With: Charlton Heston Rex Harrison Diane Cilento Harry Andrews Alberto Lupo Adolfo Celi

More Film

  • Bill Pullman

    Bill Pullman Doubles His Treasure at the Woodstock Film Festival

    Against a backdrop of political-religious upheaval during the Italian Renaissance, The Agony and the Ecstasy focuses on the personal conflict between sculptor-painter Michelangelo and his patron, Pope Julius II. Scripter Philip Dunne has zeroed in on a four-year span during which the painter labored on the ceiling frescoes for the Sistine Chapel. The potent seeds […]

  • Harvey Weinstein Bob Weinstein

    Bob Weinstein Harassment Claim: The Scandal Spreads (Analysis)

    Against a backdrop of political-religious upheaval during the Italian Renaissance, The Agony and the Ecstasy focuses on the personal conflict between sculptor-painter Michelangelo and his patron, Pope Julius II. Scripter Philip Dunne has zeroed in on a four-year span during which the painter labored on the ceiling frescoes for the Sistine Chapel. The potent seeds […]

  • Harvey Weinstein

    Film Academy Won't Be 'Inquisitorial Court,' Oscars President Says

    Against a backdrop of political-religious upheaval during the Italian Renaissance, The Agony and the Ecstasy focuses on the personal conflict between sculptor-painter Michelangelo and his patron, Pope Julius II. Scripter Philip Dunne has zeroed in on a four-year span during which the painter labored on the ceiling frescoes for the Sistine Chapel. The potent seeds […]

  • Vanessa Hudgens

    Vanessa Hudgens Joins Jennifer Lopez in Romantic Comedy 'Second Act'

    Against a backdrop of political-religious upheaval during the Italian Renaissance, The Agony and the Ecstasy focuses on the personal conflict between sculptor-painter Michelangelo and his patron, Pope Julius II. Scripter Philip Dunne has zeroed in on a four-year span during which the painter labored on the ceiling frescoes for the Sistine Chapel. The potent seeds […]

  • 'Boo 2! A Madea Halloween' film

    Tyler Perry Hopes 'Boo 2!' Can Help Bring Laughter to Nation's 'Darkness'

    Against a backdrop of political-religious upheaval during the Italian Renaissance, The Agony and the Ecstasy focuses on the personal conflict between sculptor-painter Michelangelo and his patron, Pope Julius II. Scripter Philip Dunne has zeroed in on a four-year span during which the painter labored on the ceiling frescoes for the Sistine Chapel. The potent seeds […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content