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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
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 »
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 »
'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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