May 7, 1957

LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST: Paris, 4 – Jules Dassin’s film «He Who Must Die» has just premiered in both Paris, before President Rene Coty, and at the Cannes Film Festival. Both screenings were extremely successful. The Paris premiere was particularly glamorous, with many French cabinet members and other celebrities in attendance. In Cannes, where Dassin’s film was an official entry for France, the normally critical public received the film with great enthusiasm. In an interview, Nikos Kazantzakis, the author of the book on which the film was based, who was also in Cannes, expressed his great pleasure at the faithful manner in which Dassin adapted the story for the screen. «There is great sympathy between the landscape and the story. The Cretans are wonderful. One of the stars of the film said that the Cretans had given him a lesson in simplicity and sincerity. All the acting is marvellous,» said Kazantzakis. «The two priests are amazing. Pierre Vanecke in the role of Manolios was a revelation, as was Melina Mercouri. As for Jules Dassin,» concluded Kazantzakis,» I can say that he is an ingenious director.» The critics had two reservations: the literary tone of the dialogue and the performers’ excessive theatricality.