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Easter is coming! Favorite Silents About Jesus


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Jill,

 

Can't think of a whole lot of Jesus Silents. FROM THE MANGER TO THE CROSS, BEN HUR, maybe LEAVES FROM SATAN'S BOOK, portions of INTOLERANCE. TCM is running THE KING OF KINGS which I love. That's about it? The Good Shepard scene from SPARROWS always haunts me. Stunning imagery.

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Oh I love that scene from Sparrows, hauntingly beautiful.

 

I love parts of King of Kings and absolutely hate others. The parts suggesting Judas had an affair with Mary Magdalene are absolutely shocking to me. That's not in the Bible! I usually skip right over those parts. Other sections are beautiful though including the early Technicolor section of the resurrection.

 

 

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> {quote:title=goldensilents wrote:}{quote} I love parts of King of Kings and absolutely hate others. The parts suggesting Judas had an affair with Mary Magdalene are absolutely shocking to me. That's not in the Bible! I usually skip right over those parts.

 

To paraphrase the Immortal Bard, there are more things in heaven and earth, Jill, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. Whoever said that all human history is contained in the Bible? We know very little about the backstories of the people in the gospels -- just what we need to know, actually -- so who's to say that Judas and Mary Magdelene didn't have an affair? Maybe yes, maybe no. Personally, I think it's a great plot device to steer us into the real story . . .

 

It's certainly no more ludicrous (or any less, for that matter) than that whole thing between Noah's son Japheth and the pagan girl in NOAH'S ARK (1929). I need to watch that movie again!

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Dan,

 

What! Who says that Miriam (Delores Costello) is a Pagan girl in NOAH'S ARK? I don't hardly think so. Not with that name? I love that movie too, despite the very poor tacked on dialogue sequences that all but ruined it.

 

Mary Magdalene being is forever depicted as a Prostitute, in this case a Courtesan in Cinema, and elsewhere, that is just nasty rumor started by Priests in the middle-ages to downplay her importance in the New Testament, and stifle the role of woman. It has no basis in fact. Magdalene being depicted as the ex-lover of Judas doesn't bother me. There's embellishment but it makes for great cinema in my opinion. The truth as you inferred is, much of what was once known about Mary has been lost to time. And Jacqueline Logan might be the best looking woman ever cast in the part! I also think her performance, her conversion, is quite convincing in the picture. I won't complain.

 

While I would like to see TCM run the longer original 1927 Road Show edition, instead of the heavily re-edited 1928 re-issue, I really don't care much for Donald Sousin's score. The vintage Hugo Reisenfeld one is far superior, even if the film is now missing some key scenes.

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I never wrote anywhere that "all human history is contained in the Bible". Please show me where I wrote that.

 

If you're a Christian like I am the Bible is your Holy Book. You believe it was inspired by God. It's your foundation. The Apocrypha was not inspired by God; that's why it was separated out and labeled as such in the original 1611 King James Bible and sandwiched in between Old and New Testaments. There is no reason to go to it when you are making a film about Jesus Christ, who is called The Word of God in John chapter one. If you are a Christian you don't want to insult your Savior. You stick to the REAL Word of God. There is so much wealth in the New Testament to draw on without inventing stuff for plot devices. In those parts of DeMille's film where he stuck to the Bible and quoted from the King James Bible in the title cards then his film became worthwhile. When he departed from it the film sinks into mire. You also have to realize that adding junk like Judas and Mary Magdalene having an affair is going to perpetuate lies and myths among the uninitiated for generations, and if you believe you are going to face judgment in the afterlife you should be FAR more careful what you put on screen for posterity. You'll be judged on it by Jesus Christ Himself. I hope DeMille passed his test. ;)

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From The "Illustrated Bible Dictionary" by MG Easton of 1897:

 

The idea that this Mary was "the woman who was a sinner," or that she was unchaste, is altogether groundless.

 

The "International Standard Bible Encylopedia" says:

 

 

*1. Mary Not the Sinful Woman of Luke 7*:

 

As she was the first to bear witness to the resurrection of Jesus, it is important that we should get a correct view of her position and character. The idea that she was a penitent, drawn from the life of the street ... arose... from a misconception of the nature of her malady, together with an altogether impossible identification of her with the woman who was a sinner of the preceding section of the Gospel. It is not to be forgotten that the malady demon-possession, according to New Testament ideas ...had none of the implications of evil temper and malignant disposition popularly associated with "having a devil." The possessed was, by our Lord and the disciples looked upon as diseased, the victim of an alien and evil power, not an accomplice of it. Had this always been understood and kept in mind, the unfortunate identification of Mary with the career of public prostitution would have been much less easy.

 

According to New Testament usage, in such cases the name would have been withheld (compare Luk_7:37; Joh_8:3). At the same time the statement that 7 demons had been cast out of Mary means either that the malady was of exceptional severity, possibly involving several relapses (compare Luk_11:26), or that the mode of her divided and haunted consciousness (compare Mar_5:9) suggested the use of the number 7. Even so, she was a healed invalid, not a rescued social derelict.

 

The identification of Mary with the sinful woman is, of course, impossible... The woman of Luke 7 is carefully covered with the concealing cloak of namelessness. Undoubtedly known by name to the intimate circle of first disciples, it is extremely doubtful whether she was so known to Luke. Her history is definitely closed at Luk_7:50.

 

The name of Mary [Magdalene] is found at the beginning of a totally new section of the Gospel ...where the name of Mary is introduced with a single mark of identification, apart from her former residence [ie Magdala], which points away from the preceding narrative and is incompatible with it. If the preceding account of the anointing were Mary's introduction into the circle of Christ's followers, she could not be identified by the phrase of Luke. Jesus did not cast a demon out of the sinful woman of Luke 7, and Mary of Magdala is not represented as having anointed the Lord's feet. The two statements cannot be fitted together.

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Yeah, we are told that she was a Woman to whom "Christ had cast out Seven Devils." Hence depicted by De Mille and I felt brilliantly as the age old "Seven Deadly Sins". And throughout history the number Seven in general has had vast religious significance. Now this statement is subject to many interpretations, and De Mille chose one that was visually evocative. One must also except that there are books that were once in the Bible, and were later omitted. Some justifiably so, while others perhaps not.

 

Also remember that the Catholic Church did not officially absolve Mary Magdalene from the Prostitute tag until 1969, believe it or not! That's a sad fact! In all honesty, it never should have taken that long. And even than it was a rather low profile announcement. Many people are still unaware of the absolution even now.

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Wouldn't you agree though that when you are making a film on the man you believe is your Savior that you are walking on holy ground and that you should tread carefully and be faithful to the Biblical account?

 

God was the one who preserved His Word the exact way He wanted it, not any church. He promised to preserve His Word and He promised His words "will never pass away" and that they are even "written in heaven." The earth shall pass away but God's Word will last forever. Jesus Himself was called the Word of God. So I believe it is important to stick to the New Testament as preserved and when you do that you are far more likely to have a film pleasing to God and worthy of instruction and inspiration to man.

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