The Gospel According to St. Matthew

Watch The Gospel According to St. Matthew

"A Motion Picture which will be seen by the entire world - up to the end of the world!"
  • NR
  • 1964
  • 2 hr 13 min
  • 7.6  (13,531)

The Gospel According to St. Matthew is a stunning black-and-white film directed by controversial Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini. The movie, released in 1964, tells the story of Jesus Christ, according to the first Gospel, the book of Matthew, in the New Testament. The movie is faithful to the text and, in fact, Pasolini drew much of the language directly from the Gospel, as well as from the writings of other early Christian texts, such as the Gospel of Thomas.

The movie follows the life of Jesus from his birth to his crucifixion and resurrection, with attention to all of the major events in between. Jesus is played by first-time actor Enrique Irazoqui, who was chosen by Pasolini because of his striking resemblance to the traditional image of Jesus. Irazoqui gives a very naturalistic, understated performance that is both powerful and captivating.

Margherita Caruso plays the role of Mary, Jesus’s mother. She gives a heart-wrenching performance, especially during the scenes leading up to Jesus’s death. Susanna Pasolini, the director’s sister, has a small, yet important role as Mary Magdalene.

The movie is shot in a quasi-documentary style, with a minimalist aesthetic that lends the film an air of authenticity. Much of the film was shot on location in southern Italy, and Pasolini worked hard to make sure the film looked and felt like it was set in first-century Palestine. He went as far as to direct his cast to speak in rustic Italian dialects, which added to the verisimilitude of the period.

One of the most striking aspects of the film is its use of music. The score, comprised primarily of Bach’s music, was chosen specifically for its spiritual resonance. The music heightens the emotional impact of each scene, leading to moments of great beauty and clarity.

The Gospel According to St. Matthew stands out as a film of great visual and narrative power. Pasolini’s uncompromising approach to his source material – the Gospel text – is evident in every frame of the film, as he takes care to retain the distinct tone and style of the original Gospel. He eschews the usual Hollywood trappings in favor of a more spare, austere style that serves the story and the characters.

The film was not without controversy. Pasolini, who himself was an atheist, was accused of blasphemy, and the film was banned in many Catholic countries. However, many Christian scholars praised the film’s straightforward depiction of Jesus’s teachings, and it went on to win several international awards, including the top prize at the Venice Film Festival.

In the end, The Gospel According to St. Matthew is a film that deserves to be seen by anyone with an interest in the life of Jesus Christ or the Bible. Its stark realism and powerful performances make it an unforgettable experience, and its influence can be seen in many subsequent films that have attempted to bring the Gospel to the big screen. Pasolini’s vision is unique, honest and ultimately very moving.

The Gospel According to St. Matthew is a 1964 history movie with a runtime of 2 hours and 13 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.6.

The Gospel According to St. Matthew
Where to Watch The Gospel According to St. Matthew
The Gospel According to St. Matthew is available to watch free on Tubi TV and Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, The Roku Channel, Apple TV, Amazon, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Gospel According to St. Matthew for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 13 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.6  (13,531)