Restored and expanded, A Special Edition of the 1965 theatrical masterpiece comes exclusively to VHS Feb. 26, and DVD March 6, 2001
"A soaring achievement. The best film made from a biblical theme." - Associated Press
"A magnificent film, handled with reverence, artistic appreciation and admirable restraint."- The New York Daily News
Restored to its original cinematic glory, a Special Edition of the five-time Academy Award-nominated "The Greatest Story Ever Told" arrives on VHS and DVD just in time to kick off the Easter season. This dramatic and accurate portrayal of the life of Jesus, from His humble birth to His ultimate resurrection, has undergone a complete restoration at a cost of nearly half a million dollars.
Featuring Hollywood legends Max Von Sydow (Jesus), Charleton Heston (John the Baptist) and John Wayne ( the Centurion), the Special Edition VHS released Feb. 26 and sells for $19.98. In addition to the entire 199-minute film, it includes the overture and intermission, plus a new 15-minute documentary on the making of the movie, with cast and crew interviews. The Special Edition DVD releases March 6 - one day before Ash Wednesday and a time of remembering Christ's death, burial, and resurrection - and includes two documentaries with never-before-seen archival interview footage, a deleted scene, a photo gallery, the original theatrical trailer, and a collectible booklet. The Special Edition DVD is priced at $26.98.
Other cameo appearances in the film are made by Martin Landau, Angela Lansbury, Roddy McDowall, Sidney Poiter, Claude Raines, Telly Savalas, Robert Loggia, Jamie Farr, Pat Boone, and Shelley Winters. Earning Academy Award nominations for Cinematography, Music Score, Art Direction, Costume Design, and Special Visual Effects, the film was also lauded in its day for lavish scenery and poignant portrayals of the New Testament's most important characters.
No expense was spared in the making of the movie - the budget topped an extravagant $20 million in 1965 (a production cost equivalent to $109 million today) - and likewise, special attention has been given to its restoration. MGM re-timed the original 65-mm negative and created a brand new 65-mm interpositive. The high definition video transfer accurately captures the original theatrical version, including the lush musical arrangements. Having never before been released on video in its original theatrical presentation, the restored version of "The Greatest Story Ever Told" remains an instant classic and a must-own for every home video library.