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Catholic Classics for Lent: ‘The Greatest Story Ever Told’

The Catholic Index

The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965) by George Stevens

I knew nothing about The Greatest Story Ever Told before I watched it, other than that it is three and a half hours long – and the first cut was an hour longer! I was a little worried for the first thirty minutes or so that it would seem the longest story ever told, but I settled into it. In the end, though it never moved me, I didn’t feel the time passing. There was beauty in it, of technical kind, but also kitsch power and I enjoyed it.

It’s an odd film in many ways. It is an all-American affair and has the feel of American grandeur. George Stevens, the director, wanted to make an epic and he went all out. One of the key decisions he made was not to shoot on location in the Middle East. Instead, he…

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