Vie et Passion du Christ

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Vie et Passion du Christ
Directed byLucien Nonguet (co-director), Ferdinand Zecca (co-director)
StarringMadame Moreau (Virgin Mary)
Monsieur Moreau (Joseph)
Distributed byPathé Frères
Release dates
  • May 1903 (1903-05) (France)
  • June 1903 (1903-06) (U.S.)
Running time
44 minutes
LanguageSilent (French intertitles)

Vie et Passion du Christ (English: Life and Passion of the Christ) is a 44-minute French silent film that was produced and released in 1903. As such, it is one of the earliest feature-length narrative films.[1]

The film, with sequences made in the stencil color process Pathéchrome, takes a straightforward approach to its subject matter. All scenes are introduced by an inter-title giving the traditional name of the event (the Annunciation, the Nativity, etc.) followed by the actors playing out the familiar stories from the Gospels. Other than the scene titles, there are no other inter-titles. Many of the scenes attempt to recreate the illustrations of the life of Christ by Gustave Doré in detail.[2]

In 1932, the film was re-issued in the U.S., distributed on a states-rights basis. Instead of the stencil coloring effect, however, the film was printed on red-tinted stock, with a musical score by James C. Bradford.

Its original French title was La Vie et la passion de Jésus Christ (The Life and the Passion of Jesus Christ).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ S. Lubin released a different passion play film in the U.S. in January 1903, running 60 minutes. Some film historians disqualify both as feature films because they were released in multiple parts of one scene each, leaving the exhibitor the option of showing the scenes together.
  2. ^ Valentine, Robert (2014), "Cinema and the Work of Doré", in Kaenel, Philippe (ed.), Doré: Master of Imagination, Paris: Musée d'Orsay, p. 228, ISBN 978-2-0813-1643-0

External links[edit]