The Great Commandment

Watch The Great Commandment

  • Approved
  • 1941
  • 1 hr 18 min
  • 6.0  (133)

The Great Commandment is an epic historical drama set in Jerusalem during the final days of Jesus Christ's ministry. The film follows the journey of two men on opposite sides of the Roman Empire's occupation of Jerusalem. Daniel, a young and passionate Jewish rebel, leads a group of men seeking to liberate their city from the oppressive Roman rulers. Meanwhile, a Roman centurion named Lucius is tasked with quelling the rebellion and maintaining order in the city.

As the story unfolds, Daniel and Lucius find themselves drawn into a spiritual awakening as they witness the teachings and miracles of Jesus Christ firsthand. While Daniel is initially skeptical of Christ's message of love and forgiveness, he eventually becomes a disciple and embraces his teachings. Lucius, meanwhile, struggles to reconcile his loyalty to Rome with his growing admiration for Christ's teachings and his compassion for the people of Jerusalem.

The Great Commandment is a rare example of a Hollywood film that takes its subject matter seriously and treats it with respect. The filmmakers went to great lengths to ensure historical accuracy, consulting with biblical scholars and religious leaders to ensure that the story would resonate with audiences of all faiths. The result is a film that manages to be both entertaining and thought-provoking, raising profound questions about faith, forgiveness, and the nature of power.

At the heart of the film is the relationship between Daniel and Lucius, which evolves from one of animosity to a deep friendship founded on their shared faith in Christ. John Beal gives a standout performance as Daniel, imbuing the character with a fiery passion and a genuine sense of spiritual yearning. Maurice Moscovitch is equally impressive as Lucius, portraying the character's internal conflict with a subtlety and nuance that allows the audience to empathize with him even as he represents the oppressive Roman regime.

Albert Dekker is also noteworthy in his role as the corrupt and power-hungry governor of Jerusalem, who serves as the film's primary antagonist. His scenes with Lucius and Daniel are particularly effective, highlighting the tensions between the occupying Roman forces and the Jewish rebels who yearn for freedom.

Despite its strong performances and impressive production values, the film is not without its flaws. Some of the dialogue is a bit stilted and overly didactic, and there are moments when the filmmakers seem to be relying too heavily on spectacle at the expense of storytelling. Nevertheless, these shortcomings are more than compensated for by the film's overall sincerity and emotional impact.

The Great Commandment is ultimately a film about transformation and redemption, both on a personal and a societal level. It portrays Jesus Christ as a revolutionary figure who challenges the existing power structure and inspires people to love their enemies and embrace a vision of the world built on compassion and forgiveness. In doing so, it offers a powerful message of hope and healing that is as relevant today as it was when the film was first released in 1939.

Overall, The Great Commandment is a rare gem of a film that deserves to be rediscovered by modern audiences. Its portrayal of Christ and his teachings is thoughtful and nuanced, and its characters are complex and multi-dimensional. It is a film that offers both entertainment and enlightenment, and one that will leave a lasting impression on anyone who watches it.

The Great Commandment
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 18 min
  • IMDB Rating
    6.0  (133)