The Gospel of John (2003 film)

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The Gospel of John
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPhilip Saville
Screenplay byJohn Goldsmith
Produced by
CinematographyMirosław Baszak
Edited byMichel Arcand
Music byJeff Danna
Distributed byThinkFilm
Release date
  • 26 September 2003 (2003-09-26)
Running time
180 minutes
  • United Kingdom
  • Canada
  • United States
Budget$10–11 million[1][2]
Box office$4.1 million[1]

The Gospel of John is a 2003 epic biblical drama film that recounts the life of Jesus according to the Gospel of John.[3] The film is a word-for-word adaptation of the American Bible Society's Good News Bible and follows the Gospel of John precisely, without additions to the story from the other Gospels or omissions of the Gospel's complex passages. It stars Henry Ian Cusick as Jesus of Nazareth, Stuart Bunce as John and is narrated by Christopher Plummer.



This film was created by a constituency of artists from Canada and the United Kingdom, along with academic and theological consultants from around the world. The cast was selected primarily from the Stratford Shakespeare Festival and Soulpepper Theatre Company, as well as Britain's Royal Shakespeare Company and Royal National Theatre. The musical score, composed by Jeff Danna and created for the film, is partially based on the music of the Biblical period. The film was produced by Visual Bible International. Filming took place in Toronto, Ontario, and Almeria and Andalucia, Spain.[citation needed]


Critical response[edit]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 37% of 49 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 5.1/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "The Gospel of John takes a reverent approach to its story without ever bringing it to life, proving that cribbing from the Good Book isn't enough to guarantee a good movie."[4] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 52 out of 100 based on responses from 14 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[5]


While the film is largely a faithful depiction of the Gospel of John, one reviewer noted that the inclusion of Mary Magdalene at the Last Supper has no direct Biblical citation, and might cause issue with viewers who prefer only direct scriptural references.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "The Gospel of John". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  2. ^ "The Gospel of John". The Numbers. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  3. ^ John F. A. SawyerThe Blackwell Companion to the Bible and Culture 2012 "Overshadowed by The Passion is British director Philip Saville's The Gospel of John (2003) a film whose text is the Gospel of John, ... The film is narrated by Christopher Plummer, whose authoritative voice makes the text sound like gospel"
  4. ^ "The Gospel of John". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  5. ^ "The Gospel of John". Metacritic. Fandom, Inc. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  6. ^ "The Gospel of John Movie Review". Plugged In. Focus on the Family. Retrieved 6 May 2019. Some Christians may take issue with Mary Magdalene's silent presence at Christ's last supper with his disciples (it's not noted anywhere in scripture).

External links[edit]