main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
YMMV: The Last Temptation of Christ
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Several. Jesus and Judas are the most obvious.
  • Awesome Music: By none other than Peter Gabriel.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: That "talking lion" was pretty trippy.
  • Narm: Harvey Keitel's keeps his Brooklyn accent.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: The film's reception.
    • Subverted in actual fact. The film was a box-office flop and in fact, pundits got paid made more money to decry the film on radio hosts and talk shows than Scorsese earned own box-office receipts. The box-office failure and the strong reaction it provoked, including Anti-Semitic outbursts(fundamentalists burnt crosses on producer Lew Wassermann's lawn, Wassermann was Jewish), made the film industry skeptical of bible films and religious subjects in general.
  • One True Threesome: Jesus is implied to become one of these during the alternate future when, following Mary Magdalene's death, he ends up living with Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus, and having many children with both of them.
  • Vindicated by History: Decades later, some hard right fundamentalist Christian sects like The Promisekeepers would eventually agree that the infamous temptation in the film would be precisely the kind of trickery that Satan would try on Jesus.
  • What The Hell, Casting Agency?: Willem Dafoe, known for taking dark, psychotic roles and looking generally Satanic, plays Jesus. Sergio Leone, at least, did not take it well.
    "This is the face of a murderer, not of Our Lord!"
    • Scorsese justified this on grounds of averting Jesus Was Way Cool, wanting a Jesus who wasn't immediately charismatic and obvious in his message but someone who grew into his role and an actor who illustrated the conflict between being fully human and divine.
    • Also David Bowie as Pontius Pilate raises most people's eyebrows, but Bowie then turns in the most subtle performance of the film, portraying Pilate as intelligent, thoughtful and reserved.
    • It can be very alarming to realize that Judas is Mister White.

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy