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The Agony and the Ecstasy DVD


Carol Reed (The Third Man) directed this 1965 portrait of the relationship between Michelangelo (Charlton Heston) and Pope Julius II (Rex Harrison), who commissioned the artist to paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Based on a novel by Irving Stone, the script of The Agony and the Ecstasy plods along, juggling the dynamics between the two men along with a somewhat perfunctory love story and distracting battle sequences. Reed seems more attuned to the nuances and great pains of the artistic process, as seen in sequences of Michelangelo working. But the overall focus of the film is unfortunately fuzzy. --Tom Keogh

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In 16th century Rome, Pope Julius II (Rex Harrison) commissions Michelangelo (Charlton Heston) to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Michelangelo refuses and tries to flee Rome, but is eventually forced to undertake the work by Julius. The project then takes on a subtler scale, representing not merely the heavenly hierarchy, but the clash of wills between the two men.

Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 or region free DVD player in order to play   Much of what appeared in Irving Stone&39;s biographical novel of the life of Michelangelo was of the author&39;s invention but few will dispute that the artist painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel which is the subject of Carol Reed&39;s film Starring Charlton Heston as the irascible genius it traces his life from the age of 13 to his death at 88 but deals mainly with the five years during which he painted the chapel Pope Julius II (Rex Harrison) has commissioned the work in the hope that it will serve as an immortal symbol of his enlightened papacy Yet both his money and remaining years are finite and his constant haranguing of the artist to finish his painstaking work is the source of an ongoing war of words between them When not struggling with the pope Michelangelo battles with his physical limitations and recalcitrant materials in the quest for perfection   The multifaceted Carol Reed (Oliver! The Third Man) has successfully taken on yet another genre in a film that also features superb art direction and costume design   Actors Charlton Heston Rex Harrison Diane Cilento Harry Andrews Adolfo Celi Tomas Milian Alberto Lupo Venantino Venantini & John Stacy Director Carol Reed Certificate Universal Suitable for All Year 1965 Screen 2201; Widescreen 169 Languages English - Dolby Digital (51) Additional Languages French; Italian Subtitles English for the hearing impaired; French; Italian; Portuguese Closed Captions Yes Duration 2 hours and 13 minutes (approx)

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