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Context Series / JesusOfNazareth

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1[[quoteright:228:]]²²->''"Now it begins. It all begins."''²-->-- '''Zerah'''²²''Jesus of Nazareth'' is an Anglo-Italian mini-series made in 1977 about the life of UsefulNotes/{{Jesus}}. Directed by Franco Zeffirelli and produced by Sir Lew Grade, it stars Robert Powell in the titular role and has an exceptionally strong supporting cast making up the rest of 1st-century Judea. Zeffirelli made the project after he was asked directly by Pope Paul VI to make a film about the life of Jesus from his birth to the crucifixion and all the way to his resurrection. In order to make a more accurate film, various religious authorities were consulted besides the Vatican, including the Leo Baeck Rabbinical College in London and the Koranic School in Meknes, Morocco.²²''Jesus of Nazareth'' has been referred to as "the best mini-series of all time" and is shown on televisions at least once every year.²----²!!Tropes:²²* ActuallyPrettyFunny: When Peter sets off his first MotiveRant, Jesus has a lot of fun, and it shows.²* AdaptationExpansion: The miniseries expands upon the Zealots, the main anti-Roman LaResistance organization of 1st-century Judea. One major subplot has them trying to co-opt John the Baptist (and later Jesus) to their cause and incite Jews to declare open revolt. Simon and Judas are both members who infiltrate Jesus's inner circle for that purpose, though the former fully commits. Barabbas is also an active member who interacted with Jesus a few times. The subplot culminates in a failed assassination attempt on Herod Antipas, for which Amos, leader of Simon and Judas's cell, and several of his comrades were immediately executed.²* AdiposeRex: Herod the Great, played by Peter Ustinov.²* AffablyEvil: King Herod the Great, initially. His son Antipas seems to have traces of this, screaming at John the Baptist not to force him to have him executed.²* AlwaysWithYou: Jesus directly responds to Peter's PleaseDontLeaveMe speech, assuring him that he will always be there for him and the rest of his fellow disciples until the end of time.²* AscendedExtra:²** The Roman centurion played by Creator/ErnestBorgnine, whose servant Jesus heals, also appears at the crucifixion.²** Both Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus (Creator/JamesMason and Creator/LaurenceOlivier, respectively) appear more often than they do in the Gospels.²* AsideGlance: Doubles with LeaningOnTheFourthWall, when Joseph and Mary exchange marital oaths early in the movie. One of the witnesses looks straight into the camera at one point with the following words (while showing a broad smile):²---> Beautiful!²* BadassBeard: Quite a few, though special mention has to go to John the Baptist's.²* BeautyEqualsGoodness: Mary (Creator/OliviaHussey) does not appear to age until during Jesus' crucifixion.²* BibleTimes: Of course, but with the additional bonus of multiple scenes which highlight life as it was back in 1st-century Judea, [[ShownTheirWork the result of extensive research]].²* BlindSeer: Herod the Great has one in his palace.²* CanonForeigner: Creator/IanHolm's Zerah does not feature in any of the Gospels but instead was made up for the series in order to give Judas motivation to betray Jesus.²* CompositeCharacter: Both Roman centurions who appear in the Gospels (the one with the ill servant and the one who stands at the foot of the cross) are made into the same character.²* DeadpanSnarker: Zera. Both snarky and pretty deadpan to boot. ²* DeathByAdaptation: There is a scene that shows Joseph dying despite the fact that this is not mentioned in the Gospels. It's generally accepted by scholars that Joseph must have died in Jesus's youth, though, [[ChuckCunninghamSyndrome since the Gospels never mention him again after Jesus's childhood.]]²* DrivenToSuicide: Judas hangs himself after he realizes he has led Jesus to his death.²* DyingMomentOfAwesome: It is about UsefulNotes/{{Jesus}}, so what did you expect?²* {{Facepalm}}: Even here. Judas does a double one when Jesus insults pretty much the entire Sanhedrin with his TheReasonYouSuckSpeech in part two. And then there is Pontius Pilate, who seems to facepalm quite a lot when he rubs his forehead, pondering how to ever govern such people. ²* FingerTenting: Zerah does this in the scene where he tells Judas how much the Sanhedrin knows about Jesus' ministry.²* GameChanger: Much of the miniseries focuses on the impact of Jesus's ministry in 1st-century Judea.²* TheGhost: Tiberius Caesar, who is mentioned many times throughout the mini-series, but is not actually seen.²* GhostExtras: There were literally thousands in this mini-series.²* GoryDiscretionShot: When Jesus is flogged by the Romans.²* GrumpyBear: Peter.²* HeelFaithTurn: Unlike his fellow Zealots who wish to co-opt Jesus's message to their ends, Simon becomes convinced that he was never meant to incite a revolution with arms, but that of hearts.²* HeroicBSOD: After Jesus dies, Peter is briefly shown weeping in regret over unintentionally fulfilling Jesus's prophecy about him denying him thrice before daybreak.²* IfYouKillHimYouWillBeJustLikeHim: Jesus warns Barrabas that if he responds to the Romans' violence with violence, they'd be no different.²* JewishComplaining: ²** In a movie set in first century Palestine. In this case, a farmer who has ordered Joseph to make him a new plow, who fits the trope as a FunnyBackgroundEvent while the child Jesus climbs a ladder to get closer to the skies. ²** Peter, who sets off his EstablishingCharacterMoment as a man who has a ''lot'' to complain about.²* KillEmAll²* LargeHam: ²** John the baptist. Michael York runs on scenery chewing most of the time. He only quiets down when he meets Jesus. His bellowing even disturbs king Herod´s exquisite banquet and has to be shut down by loud music. ²** Herod the Great has some moments as well.²* OccultBlueEyes: Perhaps the most notable thing about Powell's Jesus are his extremely clear blue eyes. He also barely blinks. He does blink once, and it's a "look away and you'll miss it" type thing. This technique was deliberate on the part of the director; he wanted to add an air of divinity to the character by calling attention to the actor's [[WhatBeautifulEyes gorgeous eyes]].²* PietaPlagiarism: Rubbing off the "plagiarism" part of the trope, as it is meant to show the real thing: Mary holding the dead Jesus in her arms post Crucifixion. ²* PleaseDontLeaveMe: Peter's pleas to Jesus at the very end of the movie:²-->"Please, stay with us, Lord, for the night cometh, and the day is far spent."²* PunchClockVillain: Pontius Pilate.²* PlayingGertrude: Olivia Hussey portrayed Mary all throughout the series, both as the young maiden who gives birth in a manger, and as an older woman. At the time of production, she was 26 compared to 33-year-old Powell, who played her son Jesus. [[note]] Coincidentally, this was also widely believed to be the age Jesus was when he died.[[/note]] The makeup used to make her look older than him and Mary Magdalene (played by 46-year-old Anne Bancroft) was not entirely convincing.²* RealityEnsues: During the Annunciation scene Mary's mother is woken up when she knocks some pots over, and sees what appears to be Mary talking to herself, since we only hear her side of the conversation with (what we presume to be) Gabriel.²* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Jesus does this to the scribes and Pharisees in the Temple when he has his UnstoppableRage moment towards the end third part of the mini-series.²* RuleOfSymbolism: The "Five breads and two fishes" scene. Note that Mary Magdalene is one of the many receiving from the bread basket. When she visibly breaks down crying after her first bite, we ''know'' this is not ordinary bread, but serves as a {{foreshadowing}} to the last supper. Mary visibly changes clothes after this incident as well. ²* ShownTheirWork: To ensure the accuracy of the setting with regards to 1st-century Judea, the production team also consulted Jewish and Muslim scholars.²* ThisIsGonnaSuck: Zerah's reaction at the end upon discovering that Jesus's grave is empty (despite heavy Roman security), realizing that this could be the beginning of drastic changes in Judea.²* TokenGoodTeammate: ²** [[Creator/ErnestBorgnine Ernest Borgnine]]'s centurion for the Romans²** Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea for the Sanhedrin.²* UnstoppableRage: Jesus rants at the Pharisees in the Temple and later destroys the moneychangers' tables on the Temple grounds.²* WellIntentionedExtremist: Judas's portrayal in the miniseries -- he sincerely believes that Jesus will lead an open revolt against the Romans (unlike Simon, a fellow Zealot-turned-disciple, who believes Jesus meant something else) and only betrays him to the Sanhedrin to force him to explain himself. [[ForegoneConclusion It doesn't go well]].²* YouAreNotAlone: Peter when he tells Jesus that he will stick by and protect him no matter what happens.²* YourTerroristsAreOurFreedomFighters: The Zealots.²----


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