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Max von Sydow

The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)

Image credit: The Greatest Story Ever Told: Kobal Collection

Max von Sydow: He played Jesus -- what's he done since?

WHAT IT IS Don't let the name fool you. It's a plodding, cameo-packed mess. Despite five Oscar nominations (for art direction, cinematograpy, costume design, effects, and score), it is widely considered director George Stevens' (Giant) most expensive misstep. Von Sydow has called it ''a beautiful, very moving failure.''

COSTARS Telly Savalas as Pontius Pilate; Charlton Heston as John the Baptist

HIS CAREER B.C. The Swede's collaborations with director Ingmar Bergman on The Seventh Seal (1958) and Wild Strawberries (1957) gave him international fame.

HIS CAREER A.D. He had the title role as the weary priest in The Exorcist (1973), went toe-to-toe with Tom Cruise in 2002's Minority Report, and will pop up in this summer's Rush Hour 3.

FINAL JUDGMENT His career is still burning bright, but whom should he thank? After all, he also played Satan in 1993's Needful Things.

Originally posted Feb 12, 2004
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