I was joshing the other day about the blue-eyed Jeffrey Hunter resembling Yeshua of Nazareth in Nicholas Ray‘s King of Kings. My point was that as theatrically phony and prettied-up as Hunter was, he fit the conventional white-bread Episcopalian image of the man. So he passed muster in a way that Leonardo DiCaprio-as-J. Edgar Hoover emphatically doesn’t.
The most temperamentally genuine J.C., I suspect, was portrayed by Enrique Irazoqui in Pier Paolo Pasolini‘s The Gospel According to St. Matthew. My all-time fave will always be Willem Dafoe in Martin Scorsese‘s The Last Temptation of Christ. The all-time worst is Max Von Sydow in George Stevens‘ repulsively phony The Greatest Story Ever Told, which imagined Judea as an almost totally barren land made of rock and sand (and located in Utah).