A disappointing film based on Hugh J. Schonfield’s tampering-with-orthodoxy revisionist 1960s book on the life of Jesus Christ, The Passover Plot. The physically handsome production drains the vitality out of the Christ story through verbiage and overacting.
Schonfield’s retelling of the New Testament depicts Jesus (or ‘Yeshua’, the Hebraic name used in the book and film) as a political revolutionary who contrives his own crucifixion as a plot against the Roman establishment.
Zalman King’s Yeshua is an angry young man with little of the warmth and folk humor the character displays in the Bible texts. Far from seeming disrespectful, the film in fact errs on the side of excessive respect.
1976: Nomination: Best Costume Design