The Day Christ Died

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The Day Christ Died
The Day Christ Died.jpg
Genre Drama
Written by Edward Anhalt
James Lee Barrett
Directed by James Cellan Jones
Starring Chris Sarandon
Music by Laurence Rosenthal
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Producer(s) Martin Manulis
Ted Butcher (associate producer)
Production location(s) Tunisia
Cinematography Franco Di Giacomo
Editor(s) Barry Peters
Running time 142 min.
Production company(s) 20th Century Fox Television
Distributor CBS
Original network CBS
Picture format Color
Audio format Mono
Original release March 26, 1980

The Day Christ Died is a 1980 American TV movie directed by James Cellan Jones. The collaborative production by 20th Century Fox and CBS-TV dramatizes the last 24 hours of Jesus Christ's life and is based on Jim Bishop's 1957 book of the same name.[1] Bishop, who did not accept the script adaptation, had his name removed from the credits, called the film "cheap revisionist history", and even tried unsuccessfully to change the film's title.[2] The Day Christ Died was filmed in Tunisia, at a cost of USD$2.8 million.[3] It was broadcast by CBS-TV on Wednesday, March 26, 1980.[4]


Around the same same time that a popular mob hero named Barabbas is arrested and convicted by Pontius Pilate and his lieutenant governor/aide Tullius, Jesus of Nazareth arrives in Jerusalem in time for the celebration of the Passover/Seder. The High Priest Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin, who oppose and find Jesus to be a menace and danger to their traditions , scarcely bargain with Pilate on how to detain Jesus. This ideas initially goes well with Pilate since he fears a riot from a mob clamoring for Barabbas release. When Jesus is finally condemned by the Sanhedrin and handed over to Pilate, he uses him as a decoy or alternative to please the Jerusalem populace by acquitting Barabbas and sentencing Jesus to be crucified in his place.



  1. ^ Alex Keneas Newsday (Mar 26, 1980). "A Question of Intrigue". Boston Globe. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
  2. ^ Winfrey, Lee (Mar 24, 1980). "Film Treatment Annoys His Author". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
  3. ^ "Revised Christ Draws Writer's Ire". Montreal Gazette. Mar 17, 1980. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
  4. ^ "The Day Christ Died". The Evening News. March 23, 1980. Retrieved 24 June 2012.

External links

  • The Day Christ Died on IMDb
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