The Jesus Film (1979) Poster

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Great film, good for everyone
Beyfenn14 March 2006
A somewhat expurgated version of the gospel of Luke, Brian deacons version of Jesus is appealing, if somewhat un-animated. I have a great love for this film ( mainly due to the fact that it was the first film about Jesus I can remember seeing from my childhood.) Not as epic as Zeffirelli's film, nor as graphic as Gibson's, a faithful representation with only a few omissions ( I'm sure either due to budget or time constraints). the acting is at times somewhat melodramatic, but that is part of the charm of this film. the cinematography is not ground breaking but certainly serves its purpose and doesn't overshadow the story, and really thats one of the best things about this film, nothing in it overshadows the story as a whole.
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Jesus came to all of us
denis88810 July 2006
To write about such a delicate film as about Christ Himself in this age of an extreme political correctness is a tough task. This work appeals immensely to all the believers and works out fine to convert all the newcomers. To the non-believers, this work will seem dull and boring, but then, let's be straight - this is the most accurate, the most precise and elegant retelling of the Gospel According to Luke. Since I am a Protestant Christian myself, I must say that this film really did help me to understand who Jesus is and what He was doing among us the people on Earth. The play of Mr. Deacon is very good, he does an extremely difficult work and he does it well. I remember my eyes were wet with tears during the Crucifix scene, and then my heart leaped violently with joy during the final scenes. The film is very well done, by seeing the sandy dusty plains and hills of Israel, you feel the smell of age, you do believe in the truth of the plot and you do follow the film scene by scene. A very serious and thoughtful work.
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The Christ Jesus Filled with Truth and Peace
Enrique-Sanchez-5611 February 2006
I bought this for myself several weeks ago among other DVDs. I watched all the others immediately. But I waited until I was in the right frame of mind. Oh, what I missed all those days!

There are those who will say this version is dry. But I say this version is full of truth and peace.

The mood which pervades this wonderful film is so close to the Gospel as I have read it, and it is told with such a lovely pace of calm and reflection that it calls one into the telling with gentleness and not commercial flash and color. That is, if one is ready.

We are all so "spoiled" by melodramatic presentations that we forget that the story of the life of Jesus was dramatic on its own merits without need for Hollywood's elaborations or expansions.

"Jesus" is a movie I recommend to everyone, yes, even those who have no faith or interest in the Christ, if not more so.

Many blessings to this film, its creators and participants and the message it imparts with such grace, truth and peace.
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A true representation of the gospels
Valor30 March 1999
For any searcher, this movie gives an account that is closer to the truth of the four gospels than any other movie about Jesus. One not to be missed, but to be seen and thought about as to who Jesus really is. Filmed in several locations of where Jesus actually walked, the movie takes away the Hollywood hype and myths about Jesus and represents what the viewer really needs to know. Is Jesus who he claims to be? Is he the Son of God? Watch this movie and then make your own decision.
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The Life of Christ as recorded in the Gospel of Luke
johnjhafs25 January 2005
This was, I thought, the best cinematic summary of the life of Christ I have yet seen. Brian Deacon, who portrays Jesus, looks the part and speaks with quiet authority. His interaction with children in the movie gives a moving picture of the tenderness of Christ. The words of Christ are given in modern translation making it easy for the viewer to understand the language. Simon Peter (Niko Nitai) looks the part and acts it well. The movie allows about the same amount for the last week of Christ's life as does the gospel (about 25%). While not a perfect movie (nothing on earth is perfect), this is a delightful one. If you are looking for an accurate picture of Christ which accords well with the Bible, this is it!
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True story a message of hope
gcd703 October 2007
Warning: Spoilers
A very simple film that gives a literal account of the Gospel according to St. Luke. It tells the story of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, proclaimed by Christians the world over to be the only Son of the living God. A man who in his latter years preached to the non-believers, gave his life for the sin of man, and then rose on the third day - as He had foretold - to set mankind free from sin, should they chose to follow Him.

Brian Deacon makes a convincing Christ (not an easy thing to do), however in its simplicity it may fail to challenge those who are unwilling to listen. These people may find the film dull. For the believer it is a wonderful reminder of God's promises, and for the searchers that listen with an open heart, perhaps "Jesus" will truly touch their lives.

Thursday, July 23, 1992 - Video
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Half-Way Between Love and Hate
john-ruffle28 June 2006
From a motion picture perspective, the "Jesus" film is primitive and flawed for audiences who are familiar with cinematic convention. From a biblical story-telling perspective however, it is brilliant. I'm therefore rating it at just "5" - half-way between love and hate, as I shall explain in this review.

That the producers achieved what they set out to do is indisputable: it's the most watched movie of all time. That the film is clear and truthful to the Gospel account of Luke is indisputable. That we need to consider the intended audience is also indisputable. Released just two years after Zeffirelli's magnificent masterpiece, "Jesus of Nazareth", this film comes across as is a lifeless clone... IF you've seen the Zeffirelli film, that is.

But what if you haven't -- what if you couldn't; maybe because you live in the jungle some place away from TV sets and westernised living? Then some chaps come into your village, set up a sheet between trees, wait for dark and then display these "magic pictures". NOW which film is the most powerful? The tables are turned, and all of a sudden, the "Jesus" film comes out tops. The film is not sophisticated, but it's not meant to be. Its power is not due to the imagery, but due to the Word of God that it illustrates.

Now, what about all the narration? It makes it sound like one of those old 16 mm "Fact and Faith" films that my maths teacher showed in school way back. Like an old newsreel. For a start, narration makes the translators' tasks much easier- it is, after all, the most translated film in history. However, during the climax, we actually loose the narrator altogether - a very unusual device, and I'm still not sure if it works that way or not. If I was cynical, I'd say the narrator went off for a coffee break, but I think they did it that way to help draw the audience, sitting spellbound on the hard earth, more into the story. The idea of any cinematic style has long left the screen, so it probably really doesn't matter, and on the primitive level, it certainly works.

Again, desperately failing not to be cynical, I see this film as perhaps the Protestant answer to the Catholic "Jesus of Nazareth" that it desperately tries to copy in part, and which was released just two years earlier. It reflects the fundamentalist ethos that it's okay to "use" film for religious purposes, but it is not okay to be absorbed by it. Art can be tolerated so long as the message is loud and clear. I don't mean to be cruel or mean; I admire and respect the folks who made this. However, I guess I just fail to understand why the producers were not able to get a few more talented people to guide the project to completion. It is a prime example of blinkered movie vision. In the end, it doesn't really matter, however, because the purpose of the film is to help non-Christians encounter Christ himself in his resurrection power - not to have a great night out.

As a side note, I have figured out a way to really enjoy this movie. Get something useful to do like washing the dishes or painting a wall. Then, put the movie on in the same room, and listen to the soundtrack as you work, and forget it even has moving pictures. The film makes excellent audio, and it has a wonderful added bonus: whenever you get really curious, all you need to do is take a peek at the screen, and low and behold, as if by magic, there's a moving picture of what you've just been listening to! A quite awesome way of listening to the Bible on tape. Because the visuals are almost entirely incidental, you can "listen" to the movie and not miss a thing!

On this film, I'm really sitting on the fence. For achieving what it set out to do, which is basically tell the story of Jesus to primitive audiences, I'd rate it 10 out of 10. As a film, with any depth of artistic talent, I have to be honest and give it a 1 out of 10. So I have to settle for a 5 rating. Which is one higher that the 4 that I hated myself for originally giving it, before writing this review and finding a valid reason to mark it up at least one notch.
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"I am with you always, even unto the end of the age..."
Here in the Bible belt of the United States, particularly in our Southern Baptist churches, when you say the name "Jesus Christ," most of us envision such a person as Brian Deacon, who stars as the title character of "Jesus" (1979). The plot of "Jesus" is generally well-known even by non-believers. The opening scene displays John 3:16-17 from the King James Version. Though the film claims to be entirely from The Gospel of St. Luke, it also mixes elements from Matthew's Gospel (i.e.: a more complete Lord's Prayer said by Christ and the use of the trinitarian baptismal formula).

Sadly, the acting in "Jesus" is almost as wooden as the oil-painted icons of the Eastern Church. Brian Deacon delivers a sort of solemn, meek interpretation of Jesus of Nazareth--making the scene in which he casts out the money-changers from the temple--look as if he is only frustrated, and not righteously angry. However, in the film's defense, the acting in "Jesus" is much more a product of its time in that this was generally accepted as to how Jesus acted.

"Jesus" is perhaps one of the greatest films ever made, not because of its production values or acting, but because of its content. This 80-minute film, translated into God knows how many languages, has communicated the Gospel to millions all across the globe. "Jesus," the forerunner of such films as "The Gospel of John" (2003) and "The Passion of the Christ" (2004), is one of the finest examples of evangelical film-making. Recommended for everyone.
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johnatuna15 June 2009
I learned of this movie when I was in college. It was the best discovery of my life. If memory is serving me correctly, it was sent in the mail throughout Alabama for a short time for people to have for free. It is well-made and biblically correct. It gives a message of hope and reaffirms one's belief in Christ. If you do not know Christ, he is definitely worth meeting and learning about. Once you have accepted him your life will change for the better! This is a movie to watch alone, with friends or family. Watch it with your enemies..:) Watch it multiple times and you will learn something new every time! I give this movie a 10!
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This is the first free tape that ever came to my door!
macpherr16 February 2000
I liked the tape because I am a believer and think that this is a great tool for outreach. I have read the Bible several times and this depicts the life and death of the Lord Jesus Christ very well. The script quotes the scriptures verbatim. That is very important when there are so many cults out there saying what sounds like the scripture but in fact it is not. Whether you are a believer or not, whether you are seeking or not it is interesting to watch the life of the man who holds the record of books written about his life. I recommend it. The movie has a soft and pensive mood to it. Please do not expect an action movie. There is a prayer at the end which is really cool! Favorite Quotes: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son for whoever believe in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."

Favorite Scenes: When Jesus comes back from the dead and his disciples did not recognize him.
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Excellent, Biblically-based
chewyandcharro11 May 2003
This is an excellent movie based on the book of Luke. Its dialog is entirely taken from Scripture, which makes it unique, as well as the fact that they didn't ADD any nonsense to the story like modern films based on the Bible do. No over-acting and the effects are pretty good considering it was filmed in '79! Highly recommended.
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A truly brilliant film as well as a great witnessing tool!
KMM8 January 2000
This is without a doubt the best film around about Jesus. It is truly wonderful in its portrayal according to the Gospel of Luke. It is one of the truest accounts about Jesus both biblically and historically. As of 1999 over 2.9 billion people have witnessed this film around the globe. It has been translated into over 540 languages. If you have not seen this film then I encourage you to find someone who owns it or go to the official website and find out how you can get a copy. Watch this film today!
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bbrasher114 February 2001
Said to be the most-watched film in cinematic history, it's also the most accurate depiction of the life of Christ, according to the Gospel of Luke. No hype, no grandiose special effects, and unlike the awful NOAH'S ARK miniseries, it sticks to the story as it was written in the Bible-no additions, no subtractions, no deviations.

All in all, a classic.

See it!
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chuck_boyce17 December 1999
Simply brilliant. Not to be missed! A wonderful film that will touch your heart and give you a thirst to know more about Jesus of Nazareth. Truly a classic.
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BEST of the best Jesus films!!!
vyefim21 July 2007
The most ACCURATE and BRIGHT movie about Jesus Christ! Let the facts speak for themselves (from the 2004 "Jesus: Fact or Fiction" DVD):

= "The most historically accurate film about the life of Jesus Christ"

= "By far the most translated film in history, translated to over 800 languages"

= "5 billion viewers worldwide" (1979-2003)

= "After viewing the film, more than 300 million people have indicated a decision to follow the teachings of Jesus"

After seeing quite a few of them, i decided not to be a fan of Christ movies, as they often mislead you by giving the twisted (by the director) image of Him. True believers know better than any movie what He was/is like from the Bible and personal experience. But if a movie is the only way for you to reach to your friends, this would be THE ONE and ONLY!

Those who have eyes to see will see the beauty of following the Bible "script". No need to add anything else. Look deeper, see Christ's person in this film - you will be amazed by the spiritual wealth of His simplicity. How can someone call this "boring"?!

Don't wait for lots of entertainment. Jesus's life was not about having fun, but about our redemption, about witnessing Truth and serving others, about spirituality of one's soul, about life in God, and personal humility. And these all are well depicted in this great film. May God have mercy on all who toiled making it!

Indeed, it's THE MOVIE of all times! 10 out of 10.
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The Jesus Film Proves That God Is Alive
RealChristian1411 March 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Brian Deacon stars in this film about the only begotten of the Almighty God known as "The Jesus Film". The screenplay about the life of Jesus was based on the gospel written by Saint Luke which starts from the Annunciation when the Blessed Virgin Mary received the news from the Angel Gabriel that she is going to be the Mother of God up to the time when Jesus - the Son of God - resurrected from the dead.

No question that this movie was not made with a great amount of budget similar to the likes of The Ten Commandments at $13 million back in the 1950's or $120 million to present day standards.In fact,it was only made for $6 million back in 1979 or 25 million to today's standard.Or better yet,just enough to pay movie stars like Leonardo Di Caprio or Tom Cruise.Nor was it really popular mainstream similar to other films about Jesus such as Mel Gibson's The Passion Of Christ,which earned $600+ million world-wide. It even lost money earning only $4 million when it was released on the theaters back in 1979 ($13 million at present).

Why did it lose money?The Jesus Film - the 1979 version - can be considered dry,monotonous and boring while it was telling the story of Jesus.It also has low production values.What is even noteworthy was that the voices of the actors with the exception of Brian Deacon,who portrayed Jesus, was not theirs.Accuracy of the gospel is the only thing it could be really be proud of.

But in spite of them,the movie became the most watched film about Jesus of all-time especially in many countries abroad that were willing to evangelize and spread the word of God after it was used to spread the gospel.Its popularity outside the United States was truly surprising at present and it only shows that God is truly alive.Amen!!!
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Lifeless, but accurate
jcoons20 March 2003
I had heard that this film was being used as a missionary tool throughout the world, and was therefore one of the most watched films in history. While it does present a Biblically accurate account, it does so with very poor and lifeless acting and production values. Jesus was the most important person ever to walk the earth. He deserves better than this... It's time for an updated version.
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Authentic And Sincere
Marian2029 February 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The Jesus Film is recognized as the most watched film about the messiah.It stars Brian Deacon in the title role.It tells the story of the messiah from his birth when an angel of the Lord announced to Mary about bearing a son who is going to be the messiah up to the passion,death and resurrection of the Lord.

Despite the fact that it is far from being a masterpiece and far from being comparable to the likes of Robert Powell's Jesus Of Nazareth and the mere fact that it is dry and boring,the movie still would not fail to please the viewer especially in narrating the story of the messiah.Added to that,it has become effective in reaching million of people around the globe in telling the story of Jesus as the makers of the movie were authentic and sincere in proclaiming the Good News.
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Some pearls of great price in the chaff...
jimtheven10 September 2002
Maybe it would be unfair, or beside the point, to review this one as a movie rather than as a cinematic Evangelization tool. As far as direction, acting, film editing, and scoring go it's amateur night in Zion almost all the way. What can you say about a movie in which a spliced-in scene between Pilate and the chief priests has a different actor from the Passion Pilate? That there are beautiful shots of the eerie undulations of the rocks in the Judean desert.

Brian Deacon tries hard as Jesus, but he's just trying TOO hard, like the new young Rev in charge of the Youth Ministry. This Image of Christ seems like the proverbial (HIS proverb) house divided. On the one hand Deacon goes out of his way to present a Flesh and Blood rather than a "Stained Glass" Christ, chuckling all the time, grinning, even having a hairy chest, but on the other, he's saddled with a perfectly straight chestnut wig which could have been left over from Greta Garbo's QUEEN CHRISTINA. A minor point, but it seems perverse. The perfect chestnut hair is the aspect of the Stained Glass Jesus most often singled out for ridicule. And why an English actor who speaks in veddy, veddy proper tones which often seem condescending? Why wasn't the actor who plays Judas chosen to play Jesus? He is tall and dark, with piercing eyes, and a little scary-looking. JESUS pours its new wine into too many old bottles on the Sunday School shelf. The result is a mess on both the visual and the dramatic level. I won't even get into the awkwardness of the camerawork and the scene transitions, the cheesiness of the sets and costumes...

The Mormons, by the way, have since shown how it SHOULD be done: their "Lamb of God" promotional video has excellent production values, elegant direction, a fine, burnished "lived-in" look of ancient reality, and a Jesus in whose Figure classic iconography is combined with the contemporary ideal of a COOL Young Carpenter Rabbi...

But there are some fine things in this most widely seen movie of all time. Seeing a movie "for the scenery" is a joke, but since the scenery here is the actual Holy Land, it's what the old Revised Standard Bibles call a Help. Someone who knew a little bit about making movies seems to have stepped in (like that Second Pilate) at a few points. The scene of the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes is nicely done. Catch that low-angle shot of the Master raising the Bread to Heaven. The opening shots of the crowds kind of "chasing" Jesus are nice Gospel illustrations. The interest which St Luke had in the women who gave their all to Christ is conveyed appropriately. The brutality of the Crucifixion is shocking, moving. And for people who really know their Bible, it's kind of fun to count the peculiarly "Lukan" touches (the screenplay is based on the Third Gospel): for example, there is no Crown of Thorns because Luke doesn't mention that detail. Deacon even shines in a few scenes. So grave and kind as he raises Jairus's daughter. He even looks pretty good/Godly when that blasted wig gets wetted down, as when He is baptized and when He calms the Strom on the Lake.
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Very Scripturally accurate, but rather poor acting.
gsellars-120 February 2008
The really good value in this movie is its accuracy. If you wish to research it, you'll find great effort was made to do just that in many details, though my comment is specifically referencing the dialog being accurate to the version of Scripture that was used.

The weak points are the film quality is not outstanding and much more importantly, the acting and directing leave very much to be desired.

When this was originally produced, it was hoped (and planned) that this would be the first of a long line of Biblically accurate films but the money just didn't come in and the project was eventually sold and this film became a major evangelism tools around the world. Many millions of people have seen this film and it has accomplished much good for the Gospel.

My personal opinion is that the original vision didn't succeed because of the film's glaring weaknesses and those who would have financed more endeavors didn't, because they felt those in charge simply didn't have the skills to produce the quality of films that would warrant their investment.

The Gospel of John, made in 2003, and also faithfully representing the version used, is far superior, primarily in communicating realism in the film. Every time I watch The Gospel of John, I'm moved by the actor representing Jesus. His words are so powerful, it's like Jesus Himself is really speaking. Of course this is what every movie about Jesus has wanted to accomplish and I think none does it better than "The Gospel of John." I did not like, however, the Bible version they chose to use, but nevertheless, it's a powerful presentation of God's Word and I recommend it to everyone, regardless of your opinions about Jesus. For the believer, they'll be blessed and for the scoffer, they may for the first time in their lives really perceive the very powerful claims of Jesus. This is a moving film.

I know this was supposed to be a review of Luke (and it was) but I wanted to especially point you to John, since it is, IMO, so much better in its delivery.

Bear in mind when you see voting on Christian films, you see a wide disparity because God-haters don't like the Gospel. I noticed that on this film, all who voted before I, gave it either a "10" or a "1." A perfect illustration of my point. It deserves neither extreme.
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Faithful to the Bible
John-22911 December 1999
The story of Jesus as told by this movie is faithful to the Bible version. It does not flinch from some of the uglier parts of the story, such as the crucifixion. Jesus was a soft-spoken man, with dark complexion and long hair. This is more accurate than portraying him as a blond-haired, blue-eyed WASP.

One question, though: why was this movie ever rated G? The proper rating is PG-13, although it would have been rated PG because we did not have the PG-13 rating at the time.
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Earnest, sincere, restrained.
dinky-427 April 1999
This is the flip-side to the Cecil B. DeMille style of Biblical "epics." It's a worthy attempt to present the story of Jesus as told in the New Testament without the usual Hollywood digressions and additions. As such, one can usually forgive its sometimes flat, even ponderous style. The crucifixion is an especially good sequence since obvious attempts have been made toward historical accuracy. The nails, for example, aren't driven through the palms (a common misconception) but rather through the wrists. However, the movie makes a deference toward modern standards of modesty by allowing Jesus and the two thieves to wear surprisingly-clean loincloths while hanging on their crosses. Since crucifixion was meant to be not only a physically agonizing form of torture but also one which deliberately shamed and humiliated its victims, it's likely that the Romans would strip their victims of every trace of dignity by stripping them of every scrap of clothing. Imagine having all one's parts completely exposed to the jeers and taunts of the crowds! Imagine having these parts laid bare to to swarms of crawling, stinging insects! Brian Gibson represents a more virile Jesus than is often the case. He has a certain "aesthetic" look but he also has hair on his chest and in his armpits.
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about the Lord
Kirpianuscus16 April 2018
Each film about the Savior is a challenge. because it propose the vision of director against your vision. and all is only a problem of faith. in this case, the situation is little different. because "Jesus" propose a simple thing - accuracy to the Gospel according to Saint Luke. the right atmosphere. good performances. not a show. but the confession of faith . sure, in Romania , it has the fame to be the film of neo-protestants from the early "90 period of conversions. but it has a virtue - the honesty. and a kind of simplicity who is more than moving. a film about the Lord. not a demonstration. only one of useful films reminding the word of an old message out of desire to convince. and it works in admirable way.
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An Imperfect Film That Managed To Spread The Good News And Impact Many Lives
Desertman8425 April 2014
Warning: Spoilers
The Jesus Film,also known as Jesus, is a film about the life of Jesus that is based on the Gospel of St.Luke.It stars Brian Deacon in the title role. It starts with the annunciation when Mary receives the news from the Angel Gabriel that she is to bear a son whom she would call Jesus and it concludes with the resurrection of Jesus after he was nailed on the cross.

The movie was said to be the most watched film of all-time and it has been translated into more than a thousand languages.Is it the best film made about the messiah?Obviously,not.It is monotonous,dry and boring.Add to that is the fact that it is low production values and most of the voices were obviously dubbed except that of the Deacon himself.The great thing I can say about it is the fact that the events depicted are truly accurate based from the scriptures.It was used as a film to teach about the messiah and to reach billions of people around the world.Inspite of the flaws that I have stated,it was just as good and effective in spreading the Good News and to impact many lives around the world.

Watch this film not to watch a perfect movie but rather to learn the about our Savior and his teachings.With that attitude,one would never truly be disappointed.
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ntaylor028 April 2004
After opening with the expected quotation from John 3:16, the video Jesus bases its plot solely on the gospel of Luke, remaining rigidly faithful to the gospel and rarely adding conversations that you can not find in Luke. That makes for a far less controversial route than would occur if incorporating variations from the other three gospels that differ slightly from each other.

In a sense the choice of filming only the gospel of Luke has its strengths, as it appeals to a larger audience and presents Jesus Christ in his best. The richest parables are told here, with a larger overview of Christ's life, but the film focuses mainly of Christ's public ministry and glosses over his birth and his questioning of the priests in the temple at the age of 12. It also portrays Christ in the most positive way on the cross, as his final words in the Luke version are `Father! Into your hands I commend my spirit.'

Besides using the scripture from Luke straightforwardly, the filming locations add authenticity to the production. It appears to be straight from Jerusalem without any other settings. The scene leading to the Crucifixion does appear to take place on the actual Via Delorosa and thus provides much realism.

Even though the movie was great script and settings it is hurt by the lack of emotion. Movie seems fake in the sense of how the actors act. From the beginning starting with the narrator he has no emotion just reading the words causing it to be dull. Nothing was surprising as it was dull and you knew what was coming next if you had read the book of Luke.

The movie was just plain, plain text and plain acting. Being from 1979 you cannot expect a great video production but they could spice up the acting. After seeing what is easily the greatest Jesus movie ever made (The Passion of Christ) it is hard to be impressed but I was not expecting to be. In general it's a below average movie, had the best setting possible and the script already written just with the poor mellow dramatic acting decreased it value.
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