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The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965)

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The biographical story of Michelangelo's troubles while painting the Sistine Chapel at the urging of Pope Julius II.

Director:

Carol Reed

Writers:

Irving Stone (based on the novel: "The Agony and the Ecstasy" by), Philip Dunne (screen story and screenplay)
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Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Charlton Heston ... Michelangelo
Rex Harrison ... Pope Julius II
Diane Cilento ... Contessina de'Medici
Harry Andrews ... Bramante
Alberto Lupo Alberto Lupo ... Francesco Maria della Rovere, duke of Urbino
Adolfo Celi ... Cardinal Giovanni de' Medici (pope Leo X)
Venantino Venantini ... Paris De Grassis
John Stacy John Stacy ... Sangallo
Fausto Tozzi ... Foreman
Maxine Audley ... Woman
Tomas Milian ... Raphael
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Storyline

Pope Julius is eager to leave behind works by which he will be remembered. To this end he cajoles Michelangelo into painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. When not on the battlefield uniting Italy, the Pope nags Michelangelo to speed up his painful work on the frescoes. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From the age of magnificence comes a new magnificence in motion pictures See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Italy

Language:

English | Latin

Release Date:

16 September 1965 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The Agony and the Ecstasy See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$4,000,000, 31 December 1965
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

International Classics See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (Westrex Recording System) (70 mm prints)| Mono (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Writer Irving Stone was able to gain access to some of Michelangelo's letters, which he had translated from Italian, and then had them published in 1962 as "I, Michelangelo, Sculptor". See more »

Goofs

During most of his reign, HH Julius II wore a beard; however, apparently because of Harrison's preference, the Pope is clean shaven through the entire movie. See more »

Quotes

Michelangelo: I'm a Florentine and a Christian... painting in this century. They were Greeks and pagans living in theirs. Pagans? Christians? An artist should be above such distinction. And a cardinal, especially one who pretends to understand art... should be above such foolishness. I'll tell you what stands between us and the Greeks. Two thousand years of human suffering stands between us! Christ on His Cross stands between us. And this difference is what I will express in my paintings. Just as I'll paint ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Episode #7.5 (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
" If The Wine is sour, . . . . throw it out !
26 July 2008 | by thinker1691See all my reviews

During the 16th century, many artists arrived in Rome to fulfill their dreams of earning a place in the "Book of Florence." Among the top five, two stand out with little or no further introduction, other than their names. Names which today personify the epitome of the Renaissance artists. The first is Leonardo de Vinci and the second is Michelangelo Buonarroti, (Charlton Heston). This film, "The Agony and The Extesy" is the story of the latter. Based on a novel by Irving Stone, it relates the clash of tempers between Pope Julius II (Rex Harrison) and the artist who claimed he was first and foremost a sculpturer. Through the turbulent years of Julius's reign, during which time he tried to unify the Papal States by force, he gave a most difficult, nay, nearly impossible commission to Buonarroti, to fresco the ceiling with some "Appropriate Design" for the Cistine Chappel, on his back, on a curved surface 70 feet in the air. The film illustrates the great suffering the artist endured for a commission he never asked for. During the same time, the pope did his best to make a bid for immortality, by forcing the painter to do the impossible. The fact we are given Harry Andrews to play Bramante, who is the pope's architect and Adolfo Celi as Giovanni de Medici, adds to the film becomes history in the making. The movie itself is classic in nature and it's effect is breathtaking in it's climatic rendering. Excellance is the final gift. ****


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