The Greatest Story Ever Told Blu-ray review

The Greatest Story Ever Told Blu-ray packaging detail
The Greatest Story Ever Told Blu-ray packaging detail

George Stevens’ five-years-in-the-making Biblical epic The Greatest Story Ever Told comes to Blu-ray with about the same amount of fanfare as the original film release – with a sense of apathy, as the country deals with everything from budget battles to multiple wars. However, that doesn’t take anything away from this grand-scale epic which tells the story of the life of Jesus of Nazareth, from His birth and teachings to his crucifixion and ultimate Resurrection.

The $20 million production was honored with five 1965 Oscar nominations, and here is presented in its original theatrical format, with intermission and overture score.

Fans of the genre will certainly appreciate the Blu-ray release, which presents the movie in its best possible image available, however The Greatest Story Ever Told should have been presented with more special features, and in its original longer version.

Bonus Features

  • He Walks in Beauty is a Standard Definition documentary featuring Charlton Heston, Shelley Winters and other actors previously associated with director Stevens, discussing him and his efforts to complete The Greatest Story Ever Told.
  • Filmmaker is a vintage Standard Definition featurette that tracks the making of the film, and includes beautiful behind the scenes footage of Arizona’s Glen Canyon.
  • There is an alternate version of the Via Dolorosa segment.
  • The theatrical trailer is also presented in High Definition.

Blu-ray Specs

Aspect Ratio: 2.75:1 enhanced for widescreen TVs
Running Time: 199 minutes
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Spanish Dolby Surround, French 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English for the hearing impaired, French




Max von Sydow as Jesus
Michael Anderson Jr. as James the Younger
Carroll Baker as Veronica
Ina Balin as Martha of Bethany
Victor Buono as Sorak
Richard Conte as Barabbas
Joanna Dunham as Mary Magdalene
José Ferrer as Herod Antipas
Van Heflin as Bar Amand
Charlton Heston as John the Baptist
Martin Landau as Caiaphas
Angela Lansbury as Claudia
Pat Boone as Angel at the Tomb
Janet Margolin as Mary of Bethany
David McCallum as Judas Iscariot
Roddy McDowall as Matthew
Dorothy McGuire as The Virgin Mary
Sal Mineo as Uriah
Donald Pleasence as The Dark Hermit – Satan
Sidney Poitier as Simon of Cyrene
Claude Rains as King Herod
Gary Raymond as Peter
Telly Savalas as Pontius Pilate
Joseph Schildkraut as Nicodemus
Paul Stewart as Questor
John Wayne as Centurion at crucifixion
Shelley Winters as Woman who is healed
Ed Wynn as Old Aram
John Abbott as Aben
Rodolfo Acosta as Captain of lancers
Robert Blake as Simon the Zealot
Burt Brinckerhoff as Andrew
Robert Busch as Emissary
John Considine as John
Philip Coolidge as Chuza
John Crawford as Alexander
Jamie Farr as Thaddaeus
David Hedison as Philip
Russell Johnson as Scribe
Mark Lenard as Balthazar
Robert Loggia as Joseph
Marian Seldes as Herodias
David Sheiner as James the Elder
Frank Silvera as Caspar
Joseph Sirola as Dumah
Harold J. Stone as Gen. Varus
Chet Stratton as Theophilus
Michael Tolan as Lazarus
Ron Whelan as Annas


George Stevens


James Lee Barrett, George Stevens (screenplay)
Fulton Oursler (book)
Henry Denker (source writings)

Blu-ray Release Date:

March 29, 2011

The Greatest Story Ever Told Blu-ray packaging
The Greatest Story Ever Told Blu-ray packaging