Wednesday, July 22, 2020

The Creepiest Scene in Jesus Film History

The King of Kings


Directed by Cecil B. DeMille

Despite the odor of sanctity around the set and production, DeMille began his Jesus-epic with a thoroughly extra-biblical episode at the lavish pleasure palace of the high-living and scantily-clad Mary Magdalene, played by the beautiful Jacqueline Logan. When Mary Magdalene discovers that one of her lovers, Judas Iscariot, has forsaken her to follow a certain preacher from Nazareth, she leaves the party-in-progress, hops on her chariot, and rides off to gain him back. When she finally meets Jesus, there follows one of the most dramatic and frightening and in my opinion greatest scenes in Jesus-film history. The scene depicts the seven ghostly deadly sins reluctantly being exorcised from her body, by the use of simple double exposures. Up to this point, this is the high point in the film. After this dramatic and unusual opening, with its sexual lustiness, which DeMille knew would draw people into the story, the film begins its conventional and reverential treatment of the incidents of Jesus' life.

The scene can be seen in the video below, beginning at the 0:35 point (turn up the volume for the accompanying music):

For further reading, see: The Seven Demons of Mary Magdalene