Watch The Silver Chalice
- 2 hr 22 min
The Silver Chalice is a 1954 American historical epic film directed by Victor Saville, based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Thomas B. Costain. The movie features a star-studded cast, including Virginia Mayo, Pier Angeli, and Jack Palance. The story takes place in ancient Rome, during the reign of Emperor Nero. Basil, a young Greek artisan, is sold into slavery after being accused of murder. He is purchased by a wealthy merchant named Demetrius, who recognizes his talent for crafting silver. Demetrius wants Basil to make a silver chalice for an important Christian mass, but Basil is hesitant because he is not a Christian.
Soon, Basil becomes acquainted with a group of Christians, led by a woman named Helena. He is skeptical of their beliefs but is drawn to their kindness and compassion. Meanwhile, a power-hungry centurion named Marcus, who is in love with Demetrius' wife, attempts to seize control of the chalice and use it for his own gain.
As Basil struggles with his own beliefs and grapples with his growing love for Helena, he must also protect the chalice from falling into the wrong hands. The story unfolds against the backdrop of Nero's ruthless reign, with political upheaval and religious persecution looming over the characters at every turn.
One of the film's main draws is its stunning cinematography and elaborate set pieces. The filmmakers spared no expense in recreating ancient Rome, with sprawling sets and intricate costumes that transport viewers back in time. The film also features a sweeping orchestral score by Hollywood legend Franz Waxman, adding a layer of grandeur to the already epic story.
The performances are also notable, with Virginia Mayo delivering a standout performance as the tortured and conflicted Empress Poppaea. Pier Angeli is equally compelling as the kind and compassionate Helena, and Jack Palance is deliciously villainous as the power-hungry Marcus.
The Silver Chalice was one of the most expensive films produced by MGM at the time, with a budget of nearly $4 million dollars. Unfortunately, the film was not well-received by critics or audiences upon its release, and it ultimately bombed at the box office. Despite this, the film has gained a cult following in recent years, with many viewers appreciating its grandeur and spectacle.
Overall, The Silver Chalice is a lavish and ambitious epic that offers a fascinating glimpse into ancient Rome. While it may not be the most critically-acclaimed film of its time, it remains a visually stunning and emotionally engaging piece of cinematic history.
The Silver Chalice is a 1954 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 22 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 4.6.