The Passover Plot (1976)

The Film
THE PASSOVER PLOT, starring Sir Harry Andrews, Sir Hugh Griffith, Donald Pleasance, and Zalman King. The Passover Plot was nominated for Oscar.

Dramatization of the controversial best-seller that posits an alternate version of the birth of Christianity. In this version, Jesus planned for His crucifixion by taking a drug that would simulate death. After His unconscious body was placed in the tomb, a religious sect known as the Zealots would secretly steal Christ's body from the tomb, then spread the rumor that He had risen, thus fulfilling Biblical prophecy.
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Donald Pleasance
 Zalman King

Birch Grove Films

Producer / Director Michael Campus
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Reviews / Book Information
Production Stills
This flashy adaptation of a controversial book on the true nature of Jesus Christ should have been "The Da Vinci Code" of its day; unfortunately, its sheer rarity all but ensured that it forgotten over the years! Its theme is certainly fascinating theorizing that Christ was not really the Son of God but merely a man. Jesus becomes Yeshua, John (The Baptist) Yohanan, Judas (Iscariot) is now Judah. Zalman King approaches the role of Jesus with his customary intensity, this is complemented by Michael Campus' direction. The rest of the cast is peppered with familiar faces and some fine actors: Harry Andrews (John The Baptist), Hugh Griffith (Caiaphas), Dan Hedaya (as Jacob, brother to Jesus!), Donald Pleasence (who, having already portrayed The Devil in THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD [1965], now assumes the mantle of Pontius Pilate though played in strictly stock-villain terms and shown to be in cahoots with the Jewish High Priests!), Robert Walker Jr. (Bartholomew) and Scott Wilson (Judas).