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The 10 Greatest Movie Messiahs


1. Jesus Jeffrey Hunter

King Of Kings (Nicholas Ray, 1961)

Before Jesus: John Wayne's pretty-boy sidekick in classic Western The Searchers (1956).
Jesus: 'I was a teenage Jesus', anyone? Hunter was 34 when the film came out but despite handling the role with a grim solemnity, the eternally boyish star still looks like he should be handing out popcorn at a drive-in rather than doling out loaves and fishes.
After Jesus: Was the first Captain of the Starship Enterprise in the original Star Trek pilot. Died young from the after-effects of a stroke in 1969.
If He was an Easter Egg, He'd be: Nestles Milky Bar... blandly sweet and white. One for the kids...

2. Jesus Jim Caviezel



3. Jesus Enrique Irazoqui

The Gospel According To St Matthew (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1964)

Before Jesus: A 19-year-old Spanish economics student who turned up to talk to Pasolini about his work, Irazoqui was cast on the spot by the director.
Jesus: Less glowing fairytale, more brutal B%26W pseudo documentary about Christ's life. Heavy-browed working-class Mediterranean type Irazoqui delivers his best sermons with the raging zeal of a rabble-rousing trade union boss rather than a gentle preacher.
After Jesus: Irazoqui managed a couple more Spanish films in the Sixties before largely vanishing from movie-making.
If He was an Easter Egg, He'd be: A hand-painted boiled egg... stripping the concept of Easter back to choccie-free basics.


4. Jesus Victor Garber


5. Jesus Pier Maria Rossir


6. Jesus Robert Powell

Jesus Of Nazareth (Franco Zeffirelli, 1977)

Before Jesus: Hard-working Brit leading man on telly and film, specialising in posh sensitive types.
Jesus: Much more god than man, Powell's open-eyed Christ (director Zeffirelli ordered him not to blink in order to make him stand out) is an ethereal, slightly detached figure. It's the supporting cast - including Anne Bancroft, Ian McShane, James Mason and Laurence Olivier - who provide the humanity in this epic chunk of telly Bible.
After Jesus: Hung off Big Ben in The 39 Steps (1978), was Jasper Carrott's sidekick in The Detectives and now saves lives not souls on Holby City.
If He was An Easter Egg, He'd be: Chocolate Buttons... Everybody likes them, but they're not exactly top of the range.



7. Jesus Kenneth Colley


8. Jesus Lothaire Bluteau


9. Jesus Willem Dafoe

The Last Temptation Of Christ (Martin Scorsese, 1988)

Before Jesus: Making a name for himself as a gritty, boney presence in the likes of Streets Of Fire (1984), To Live And Die In LA (1985) and Platoon (1986).
Jesus: Wild-eyed and tormented, Dafoe's son of god is all about the lures of the flesh. Is all the agony worth it? Or should he just give up and raise sprogs with Mary Magdalene? Wild-eyed and tormented master of Catholic guilt Scorsese is looking for the answer as keenly as Dafoe's character is.
After Jesus: Less tormented, more just wild-eyed, Dafoe's hammered out a niche for himself as big-screen loonies in everything from Speed 2 (1997) to Spider-Man (2002).
If He was an Easter Egg, He'd be:
Green %26 Black's 70% Dark Chocolate... one for adults that's more bitter than it is sweet.


10. Jesus Max von Sydow