Saturday, March 07, 2009

From the Manger to the Cross

From the Manger to the Cross, a 1912 silent film, is the first full-length film of the life of Christ and the first one shot on location in the Holy Land. It is directed by Sidney Olcott, who also directed the 1907 version of Ben Hur. The inter-titles use Bible verses but not from just one Gospel. The film skips around among all four Gospels in an attempt to provide a narrative which includes the elements we usually think of as being associated with the story. The story begins with the Annunciation and ends with Jesus dead on the cross.

Youtube has it online divided into 8 sections. Part 1:

part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8

This film does not include any portrayal of the resurrection and objections were raised at the time because of that, so those people who threw a fit over Jesus Christ Superstar because it had no overt resurrection scene had soul-mates in the early days of film-making.

TCM says it is "Considered the most important silent film to deal with the life of Christ". Bible Films Blog has a post on this movie.

There is a re-edited version called Jesus of Nazareth that was released in 1916. It's online at youtube in 10 parts linked here. This version has resurrection and ascension scenes.

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