The Agony and the Ecstasy

Chuck paints the Sistine Chapel while Pope Rex looks up and wonders when it will be finished. The conflict between artist and sponsor often leads to some fine and even witty interplay, though the extremely dubious love affair and the pallid battle sequences make the film lose focus. Heston is good in the role - he looks less like Michelangelo than Michelangelo's statue of Moses - and the way that Reed conveys the actual painting is impressive. The original version included a 15-minute prologue, with music by Jerry Goldsmith, which toured the world's museums so that audiences might not muddle this Michelangelo with another.

Release details

Duration: 139 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Carol Reed
Screenwriter: Philip Dunne
Cast: Charlton Heston
Rex Harrison
Diane Cilento
Harry Andrews
Alberto Lupo
Adolfo Celi
Fausto Tozzi
Tomas Milian
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