• Bible Films Blog

    Looking at film interpretations of the stories in the Bible - past, present and future, as well as preparation for a future work on Straub/Huillet's Moses und Aron and a few bits and pieces on biblical studies.

    Matt Page


    View my complete profile
    Contact me
    Book me to speak

    Monday, August 15, 2005

    The Living Christ Series - Intro

    I first came across this series of films at the Arts and Faith Discussion Forum about a year ago when someone posted a link to some spoof Jesus film shorts. Sadly it appears these are no longer available.

    There were 4 clips and two of them definitely seemed to star Robert Wilson from I Beheld His Glory (1952), but the other two I couldn't quite work out. The question of the identity of the actor/film of the 2nd and 4th clips in this link has bugged me for almost a year.

    I'd also heard of a film called the Living Bible, which I'd not really been that interested in and assumed was a 70s tie in with the translation / paraphrase of the same name. Nevertheless, it came up cheap on eBay the other day so I bid for it.

    It turns out that what was actually on the discs was something called The Living Christ series, and this was indeed the film used in the spoofs above. It would appear that the 12 half hour episodes started being released individually 1951 as films shown to church youth groups. The films were made by Episcopalian film company "Cathedral Films", and became so successful that they created two film spin offs, I Beheld His Glory in 1952, and Day of Triumph in 1954, although the IMDB lists both films as being 1953.

    Day of Triumph is often credited with being the first American Jesus "Talkie", coming 27 years after Cecil B. DeMille's The King of Kings in 1927. This may now be due a revision depending on how you classify a "film". If it is just moving pictures shot onto celluloid then the first Living Christ episodes deserve that claim. That said Day of Triumph was the first American Jesus film to gain cinema release in the sound era, and was also the first film in that era that was feature length, so I'll leave it to the reader to decide.

    I am surprised that neither Campbell and Pitts's "The Bible on Film" nor Kinnard & Davis's "Divine Images" seem to mention this series.


    N.B. - This post was back-dated to when much of it was first noted down in a discussion at the Arts and Faith discussion forum

    Labels: , ,


    • At 7:53 pm, February 08, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

      I really loved the living Christ series. It has some awesome character actors of the 1950's that never got the chance they deserved.I Behled His Glory was good (it featured stovk footage form the LCS). Day of Triumph is the best one bar none. Should have had oscar nominations for Lee J.Cobb and James Griffith. I really enjoy this site and I enjoy chatting about films on the life of Christ.

    • At 3:51 pm, March 13, 2006, Blogger Matt Page said…

      Hi Blake,

      Only just noticed your comment for the first time on my Bible Films Blog. Apologies for not saying hello sooner. Hello. Thanks for popping by. Hope you enjoy the site

      Matt Page

    • At 8:54 am, September 16, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

      I have watched I beheld his glory
      on www.blip.tv and I think that
      is one of the best films ever made
      about Christ. I can compare it
      with Jesus of Nazareth.There's no
      Jesus film that is perfect, and
      with this I must speak about the
      short shot of the Entry of Jerusalem. I mean: Why is so
      short? Why it isn't long like
      in The Living Christ series?

    • At 8:53 am, November 09, 2007, Blogger Matt Page said…

      Thanks for your comment. I'm not entirely sure why this is so short. FWIW it's one of the more memorable moments in the other Cathedral Films Jesus film - Day of Triumph. From memory I Beheld His Glory is fairly short, so perhaps they felt they had to pass over it to include other material.


    • At 11:08 am, December 13, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

      Also I saw that the Jesus before Herod
      scene is totaly diferent. And I can sign
      freely that "I beheld his glroy" with
      "From the manger to the cross" or even
      "Last temptation of Christ" are the rare
      films with ommited Jesus before Caiaphas

    • At 3:34 pm, December 25, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

      The Trial before Pilate scene
      is based on Matthew's Gospel but
      with text from John's (John 18:37-

    • At 8:34 pm, March 15, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said…

      merçi mon ami j'ai vu ça

    • At 9:33 am, March 16, 2009, Blogger Matt Page said…


    • At 12:46 am, July 08, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said…

      Les films doesn't speak english??!! GET HIM OUT OF TOWN!!!

    • At 12:34 am, February 22, 2010, Anonymous Satish said…

      Hi Matt
      Where can I get all the 26 episodes DVD. Is the 4 DVD set on amazon.com include all the episodes. Thanks in advance!

    • At 8:56 pm, March 18, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said…

      I just bought this series on DVD in a box with two other series put out by Mill Creek Entertainment at Target for $5!

    • At 4:17 pm, March 19, 2010, Blogger Matt Page said…

      Hi SAtish

      The DVD set I got it in was this one:


      which has 10 or so other OT films, a Jesus film series, and an Acts series
      as well.

      It has 12 half hour episodes, but I think I read that they were originally available as 26 quarter of an hour episodes. I assume that this is largely the same material, but I'm not sure what happened to those last 2 episodes.

      It's all a bit hazy in my memory though so apologies if any of that is not quite correct. YOU might also try out the set mentioned above.


    • At 10:59 am, December 25, 2010, Anonymous Bible Island said…

      I can't believe you've been writing since 2005. Great first post here.

    • At 11:24 pm, February 10, 2011, Anonymous Jake said…

      Does any one know where i can purchase this film "Day of Triumph" on VHS online? I've checked Ebay, and they didn't have it. It's on Amazon, but it was impossibly sold for $999. So, can any one tell me where to watch, download, or purchase (buy) this film? I've never seen this before, and would like to see this. Thanks!

    • At 1:57 pm, February 12, 2011, Anonymous Jake said…

      Comment to appear on post:

      Where can i purchase this video? I've never seen this before.

    • At 1:04 am, February 17, 2011, Anonymous Jake said…

      Comment to appear on this section:

      Where can i purchase this video?

    • At 1:35 am, April 05, 2011, Anonymous Jake said…

      Can anyone PLEASE tell me where to find this movie "Day of Triumph" to watch or buy online?! PLEASE?! I want to see this SO BAD!!! Can any one like, post it to youtube? 'cause i REALLY, REALLY want to know where to find this movie!

    • At 12:25 pm, April 07, 2011, Blogger Matt Page said…

      I'm not aware of it being available anywhere, but I'd reiterate Jake's request. If it is available anywhere, please let me know!



    Post a Comment

    << Home