Jesus Of Nazareth (Full Movie) 1977
This was a big deal back in 1977... a time when there were five stations on the dial. It tied together the U.S., UK, and Italy in particular... something not likely to happen again given the massive planned changes in society. I was very young, but I remember everyone in the neighborhood seemed to have it on. As twilight and dimly lit windows arrived, that perfect moment in time, there was a certain unity and warmth to it.
When the first episode was broadcast in the United States, it was a major success. The New York Times reported it "swamped all competing programs on Sunday night", with overnight Nielsen ratings of 46% of the total audience in New York and 53% in Los Angeles. The miniseries as a whole received a Nielsen rating of 30.8 points, with each point representing approximately 712,000 television-owning homes, and an audience share of 50% nationwide, on both nights. The company calculated that Jesus attracted about 90 million viewers.
Jesus of Nazareth turned into a massive commercial success and one of the most widely marketed and best-known productions about Christ's life.
NBC rebroadcast the series in 1981 and four more times through 1990.
The mini-series is broadcast every Easter and Christmas in many countries...
Jesus of Nazareth (miniseries)
Jesus of Nazareth (Italian: Gesù di Nazareth) is a 1977 British-Italian television miniseries directed by Franco Zeffirelli and co-written by Zeffirelli, Anthony Burgess, and Suso Cecchi d'Amico which dramatises the birth, life, ministry, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. It stars Robert Powell as Jesus. The miniseries features an all-star cast of famous American and European actors, including seven Academy Award winners: Anne Bancroft, Ernest Borgnine, Laurence Olivier, Christopher Plummer (subsequent winner), Anthony Quinn, Rod Steiger, and Peter Ustinov.
Extra-biblical traditions were used in the writing of the screenplay and some characters (such as Zerah) and situations were invented for the film for brevity or dramatic purposes. Notably, Jesus of Nazareth depicts Judas Iscariot as a well-intentioned man initially, but later as a dupe of Zerah who betrays Jesus largely as a result of Zerah's false platitudes and pretexts. However, in accordance with the Gospels, the film depicts Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea as sympathetic members of the Sanhedrin. Many of the miracles of Jesus, such as the changing of water into wine at the wedding at Cana, the transfiguration, and the calming of the storm are not depicted, although Jesus healing the blind man and the crippled woman on Sabbath, the feeding of the multitude, and the raising of Lazarus from the dead are presented here.
Jesus of Nazareth premiered on the Italian channel Rai 1 on 27 March 1977 and was first aired in the United Kingdom on the ITV Network on 3 April 1977. It is generally well-praised, but was not received without controversy.