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The Last Temptation of Christ


The life of Jesus Christ, his journey through life as he faces the temptations that all humans face during their lives, and his final temptation upon the cross.

Release Year: 1988

Rating: 7.6/10 (24,551 voted)

Critic's Score: 80/100

Martin Scorsese

Stars: Willem Dafoe, Harvey Keitel, Barbara Hershey

The carpenter Jesus of Nazareth, tormented by the temptations of demons, the guilt of making crosses for the Romans, pity for men and the world, and the constant call of God, sets out to find what God wills for him. But as his mission nears fulfillment, he must face the greatest temptation: the normal life of a good man. Based, not on the Gospels, but on Nikos Kazantzakis' novel of the same name.

Writers: Nikos Kazantzakis, Paul Schrader


Willem Dafoe


Harvey Keitel


Paul Greco


Steve Shill


(as Steven Shill)

Verna Bloom

Mary, Mother of Jesus

Barbara Hershey

Mary Magdalene

Roberts Blossom

Aged Master

Barry Miller


Gary Basaraba

Andrew, Apostle

Irvin Kershner


Victor Argo

Peter, Apostle

Michael Been

John, Apostle

Paul Herman

Phillip, Apostle

John Lurie

James, Apostle

Leo Burmester

Nathaniel, Apostle

Release Date: 12 August 1988

Filming Locations: Ait Benhaddou, Ouarzazate, Morocco

Box Office Details

Budget: $7,000,000


Opening Weekend: $401,211
(14 August 1988)
(9 Screens)

Gross: $8,373,585

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


In the scene where Jesus is in the temple and Roman soldiers are coming after him in what appears to be all directions, it is the same five soldiers that are used in each shot. This was to save money as the film had a small budget.


The state of Mary Magdalene's robe when confronted by Jesus at the beginning.


Girl Angel/Satan:
There is only one woman in the world. One woman, with many faces.

User Review

This film is superb.

Rating: 10/10

Most cinematic depictions of Christ show a perfect being, a one-dimensional
person who is overly self confident and almost egotistical. I can never
relate to those films, so they aren't believable. The Last Temptation of
Christ is totally different. It was banned by intolerant Christians who
didn't even see it because they have conflicting viewpoints, which is one
hell of a paradox. I use to say that Christ was described as a demi-god in
the Bible because He is half-man and half-god, but I was told that He is
really all-man and all-god. If the latter thesis is correct, than he most
have all the perfections of god as well as all the faults of man. In the
movie, Jesus is not perfect. He sins, or at least, He confesses sins. He is
haunted by visions and sounds almost to where He goes on the brink of
insanity. He is tempted by Satan over and over again into thinking that he
is just a man. When He cures a person of blindness, He does not smile, he
frowns in pain because for every man he cures, he knows it brings him
to the cross. The characterization in this movie is excellent. This script
is Schrader's best, although it was rewritten. The music is the best I've
ever heard in any films. Scorsese's direction was absolutely superb. Willem
Dafoe and Harvey Keitel were excellent as well. And the movie leads you to
the most haunting portayal of the crucifixion in cinematic

It is a must for any person to see, especially if you were outraged by the
fact that Jesus is displayed as imperfect. You cannot do the film justice
you don't watch the whole film. You may be offended throughout the entire
film, but it all comes together in the end and all is well. Seriously, I
give the film five stars.