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The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965)

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The biographical story of Michelangelo's troubles while painting the Sistine Chapel at the urging of Pope Julius II.

Director:

Carol Reed

Writers:

Irving Stone (based on the novel: "The Agony and the Ecstasy" by), Philip Dunne (screen story and screenplay)
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Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Charlton Heston ... Michelangelo
Rex Harrison ... Pope Julius II
Diane Cilento ... Contessina de'Medici
Harry Andrews ... Bramante
Alberto Lupo Alberto Lupo ... Francesco Maria della Rovere, duke of Urbino
Adolfo Celi ... Cardinal Giovanni de' Medici (pope Leo X)
Venantino Venantini ... Paris De Grassis
John Stacy John Stacy ... Sangallo
Fausto Tozzi ... Foreman
Maxine Audley ... Woman
Tomas Milian ... Raphael
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Storyline

Pope Julius II (Sir Rex Harrison) is eager to leave behind works by which he will be remembered. To this end he cajoles Michelangelo (Charlton Heston) into painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. When not on the battlefield uniting Italy, the Pope nags Michelangelo to speed up his painful work on the frescoes. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From the age of magnificence comes a new magnificence in motion pictures See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Italy

Language:

English | Latin

Release Date:

16 September 1965 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The Agony and the Ecstasy See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

International Classics See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (Westrex Recording System) (70 mm prints)| Mono (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alex North and Jerry Goldsmith co-wrote the score, but only North received screen credit and only North was subsequently Oscar-nominated for Best Score. Goldsmith wrote the music for the twelve and a half minute documentary about Michelangelo Buonarotti's artwork that opens the movie. The documentary was not included in the original roadshow presentation of this movie. See more »

Goofs

On the eastern wall of the Sistine Chapel, we can see two frescoes that have been painted by Arrigo Paludano in 1571 and Matteo da Lecce, thirty years after Michelangelo completed the Last Judgement (1541). They replaced the first paintings by Signorelli and Ghirlandaio destroyed by a partial collapsing of the wall. Obviously, they couldn't be shown if the action takes place between 1508 and 1512. See more »

Quotes

Pope Julius II: What do you think we should do here? Bramante wants to pull it down. He likes pulling things down! No, I want to do something less destructive.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cleopatra: The Film That Changed Hollywood (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"When will you end it??"
28 August 2005 | by SpuzzlightyearSee all my reviews

'Agony and the Ecstasy' is one heck of an attempt to be a big of a movie as possible. It's details the story of Pope Julius's commissioning of a reluctant Michelangelo to paint the roof of the Sistine chapel fer heaven's sakes!! It also two of the stars That Mattered In The 60's, Rex Harrison playing the Pope and Charlton Heston as Michelangelo! AND it runs for 2 and a half hours! I mean, this movie must mean something if they have a mini-biography of Michelangelo for the first 15 minutes, right? OK, despite it's too long running length, the movie is a fun sit through actually. It's not exactly a pompous costumed historical drama as it looks, sure there's a lot material covered here, but Heston and Harrison keep the story going quite well with their great portrayals here. I had seen this several years ago, and while Heston is good, it's Harrison who got my attention this time out, as his total control freak Pope character is quite entertaining to watch.

So again, a bit lengthy, but still entertaining.


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