Silent Movie Experience: The King of Kings

With this silent-era spectacle, Cecil B. DeMille cemented his reputation as the master of the biblical epic. Calling the “King of Kings” a cinematic masterpiece barely begins to do it justice, and this Criterion Collection release is absolutely beautiful, turning the widespread notion of silent movies completely on its head. This print looks like it could have been made yesterday, not 1927, boasting some incredible special effects for it time. Featuring organist Brett Valliant.

After driving the sin out of Mary Magdalene (Jacqueline Logan) and raising Lazarus (Kenneth Thomson) from the dead, Jesus (H.B. Warner) enters into Jerusalem, where Judas (Joseph Schildkraut) conspires to have him turned over to the authorities. After the Last Supper, Jesus goes to Gethsemane, where he is taken prisoner, and thereafter tried under Pontius Pilate (Victor Varconi) and crucified. He is buried and, as foretold in scripture, resurrected three days later.