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BELOW is the title used in shorter/dubbed version

(aka "The Gospel According to Matthew" or "The Gospel According to Saint Matthew" or "L' Évangile selon saint Matthieu")

directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini
Italy 1964

Legendary director (and avowed atheist) Pier Paolo Pasolini's The Gospel According to Matthew [Il vangelo secondo Matteo] is one of the great retellings of the story of Christ a cinematic rendering (filmed by invitation from the Pope, no less) at once both passionate and poetic.

With stunning black-and-white photography, an eclectic soundtrack (Odetta, Bach, a Congolese mass, etc), and using a cast of non-professionals who voice dialogue drawn directly from scripture, The Gospel According to Matthew depicts the key events in the life of Christ, from immaculate conception to death on the cross.

Vaunted by the Vatican as one of its select few recommended films, acclaimed by the Archbishop of Canterbury as a “great film”, and revered by critics and audiences alike, Pasolini's Oscar-, Golden Lion-, and BAFTA-nominated film remains a magnificent, awe-inspiring experience.

Posters

Theatrical Release Date: September 4th, 1964 - Venice Film Festival

Reviews              More Reviews            DVD Reviews

Recommended Books on Italian Cinema (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

Comparison:

Legend Film (colorized) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. GCTHV (Edition Collector Numérotée) - Region 2 - PAL vs. Kinowelt / Arthaus (Germany) - Region 2 - PAL vs. . Water Bearer Films - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Tartan Video - Region 2 - PAL vs. Out of Print Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

BIG Thanks toVincent BOUCHÉ and Enrique B Chamorro for the Image Entertainment Screen Caps !

1) Legend Films - Region 1 - NTSC COLORIZED TOP LEFT

2) GCTHV (Edition Collector Numérotée) - Region 2 - PAL TOP MIDDLE

4) Kinowelt / Arthaus (Germany) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP RIGHT

5) Water Bearer Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM LEFT

6) Tartan Region 2 - PAL BOTTOM SECOND

7) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM THIRD

8) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

 

 

Distribution Legend Films 
Region 1 - NTSC

GCTHV

Region 2 - PAL

Kinowelt / Arthaus 
Region 2- PAL

Runtime

Short version: 1:31:33

Official Version: 2:16:55

02:11:1 (4% PAL speedup)

2:09:24 (4% PAL Speedup)

Video 1.66:1.00 Letterboxed WideScreen
Average Bitrate: 4.78
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.67 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.85:1.00 Letterboxed WideScreen

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.27 mb/s
PAL 720X 25.00 f/s

Box Covers

 

 

 

 

     (OOP )

Distribution

Water Bearer Films

Region 0 - NTSC

Tartan Video

Region 2 - PAL

Image Entertainment 
Region 0 - NTSC

Masters of Cinema Spine #33

Region 'B'  - Blu-ray

Runtime 2:16:55 2:11:04 (4% PAL Speedup) 2:17:00 2:17:09.041
Video 1.66:1.00 Letterboxed WideScreen
Average Bitrate: 6.2
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.85:1.00 Letterboxed WideScreen / 16X9
Average Bitrate: 4.16 mb/s
PAL 720X 25.00 f/s

1.85:1.00 Letterboxed WideScreen
Average Bitrate: 4.22
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

Disc Size: 48,006,006,966 bytes

Feature Size: 39,561,996,288 bytes

Total Bitrate: 35.00 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Legend

Bitrate:

GCTSHV

 

Bitrate:

Kinowelt

 

Bitrate:

Waterbearer

 

Bitrate:

Tartan

 

Bitrate:

Image

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

(GCTHV (Edition Collector Numérotée)  vs. Kinowelt / Arthaus (Germany) - Region 2 - PAL vs. - Region 2 - PAL vs. Water Bearer Films - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Tartan Video - Region 2 - PAL vs. Out of Print Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC)

  Legend Gaumont Kinowelt Water Bearer Tartan Image Entertainment Masters of Cinema
Audio Italian  Dolby Digital 2.0 and DUB on Colorized: English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono Italian  Dolby Digital 1.0 and DUB: French Dolby Digital 1.0 Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) , DUB: German (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)  Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) 

Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) 

LPCM Audio Italian 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Subtitles

English (burnt-in) on Original

None on Colorized (Dubbed)

French, none German, none English (burnt-in) English (non-removable) English (burnt-in) English, none
Features Release Information:

 

Studio: Legend Films

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio - 1.85:1- anamorphic on Colorized (4:3 on original)


 

Edition Details:

  • Original black and white with subs
  • Text bio and filmography
  • Trailers of other films

DVD Release Date:  arch 27th, 2007
Keep Case
Chapters: 18

Release Information:
Studio: GCTHV

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• "Pasolini, un religieux sans foi" featurette (10')
• "Pasolini face à l'Eglise romaine" featurette (15')
• "Un Christ à Cadaquès" featurette (22")
• Theatrical Trailer
• Comes with a 16-page booklet including photos and notes

DVD Release Date: October 28th, 2003
Amaray with carboard slipcover

Chapters 16

Release Information:

 

Studio: Kinowelt / Arthaus

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio - 1.85:1- anamorphic


 

Edition Details:

  • Film Notes
  • 13 slides
  • Trailer

DVD Release Date:  November 2nd, 2004
Keep Case
Chapters: 18

 

Release Information:
 

Studio: Water Bearer Films

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterbox - 1.66:1

Edition Details:

  • Short Documentary - "Pier Paolo Pasolini : A Film maker's Life" (28:59)

  • Non removable English sub-titles

DVD Release Date:  July 22nd, 2003
Keep Case
Chapters: 1

Release Information:
 

Production Company: Tartan Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio - 1.85:1- anamorphic

 


Edition Details:

  • 5 pages static David Parkinson

  • film notes...

  • Filmographies of  Director

  • Pasolini and two actors

  • Non removable English sub-titles

DVD Release Date:  September 23rd, 2002
Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 16

Release Information:

 

Studio: Image Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterbox - 1.85:1

DVD Release Date:  February 23, 1999
Snapper Case
Chapters: 10

Release Information:
Studio: Masters of Cinema

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Disc Size: 48,006,006,966 bytes

Feature Size: 39,561,996,288 bytes

Total Bitrate: 35.00 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 Video

 

Edition Details:
• Original Italian theatrical trailer for the feature (5:06)
• Sopralluoghi in Palestina [Scouting in Palestine], Pasolini’s 1965 film on the surveying of locations for The Gospel According to Matthew (53:37)
• A 1963 newsreel extract on The Gospel According to Matthew and Sopralluoghi in Palestina (1:16)
• A selection of outtakes from the original Sopralluoghi in Palestina rushes (3:17)
• Newly translated optional English subtitles on both films
• A 36-page booklet featuring a 1963 letter by Pasolini to Lucio S. Caruso of the Catholic Pro Civitate Christiana; a 2012-updated essay on the film by critic Pasquale Iannone; excerpts from a 1969 interview with Pasolini by Oswald Stack, on The Gospel According to Matthew and Sopralluoghi in Palestina; an excerpt from the Book of Matthew; and rare archival imagery

Blu-ray Release Date: March 26th, 2012
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 22

Comments: NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' Blu-ray - March 2012: This film drains me - and I feel doubly exhausted in MoC's new glorious 1080P transfer. I'm convinced that The Gospel According to Matthew (Pasolini's correctly translated title) can't look any better than this. The dual-layering has extracted every important facet of the film to the new format medium. The bitrate is extremely high and supports the film's thickness and heavy texture. Contrast is well-balanced to present a high level of detail. After all the SD version I can safely say that, comparatively, this MoC Blu-ray is of stunningly beautiful quality. Grain is present, there is slightly more information in the frame, the aspect ratio is tight to the original 1.85:1, damage seems almost non-existent - overall it is far beyond my expectations. I was blown away.

The music of Gospel is an important part of the film experience and the Masters of Cinema group have via an authentic linear PCM 2.0 channel track at 1536 kbps. This uncompressed transfer handles the impacting music from "Sometimes I feel like a motherless child" to J.S. Bach's Matthäus Passion, "Concerto for violin in E major (BWV 1042)" and Blind Willie Johnson's "Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground". Surprisingly this is the first digital edition with optional English subtitles (all other were burnt-in or didn't offer English translation). The Blu-ray disc is coded for region 'B' - which pains us all (that it is NOT region FREE) - none more than Nick Wrigley.

Masters of Cinema have added some great supplements. We get the 5-minute original Italian theatrical trailer for the feature and the 53-minute long Sopralluoghi in Palestina [Scouting in Palestine], Pasolini’s 1965 film on the surveying of locations for The Gospel According to Matthew. There is a 1963 newsreel extract on The Gospel According to Matthew and Sopralluoghi in Palestina and 3-minutes of Outtakes from the original Sopralluoghi in Palestina rushes. Also included in the package is a stacked 36-page booklet featuring a 1963 letter by Pasolini to Lucio S. Caruso of the Catholic Pro Civitate Christiana; a 2012-updated essay on the film by critic Pasquale Iannone; excerpts from a 1969 interview with Pasolini by Oswald Stack, on The Gospel According to Matthew and Sopralluoghi in Palestina; an excerpt from the Book of Matthew; and rare archival imagery.

A lead contender for Blu-ray of the year - a magnificent package that should be a significant reason to buy a region FREE player for 'A'-locked audiences. The MoC has our very strongest recommendation!

***

ADDITION: Legend Films (Colorized and black and white) - April 07': Easily I would put this in my personal Top 100 films.

There was a flicker of hope for a decent English subbed version here, but the entire package amounts to nothing more than a curiosity. The dual-layered DVD offers a new colorized, progressive (and shorter) version of the film that is dubbed into English. There is also the complete original version (interlaced) in a despairingly weak transfer, black and white all right, but burnt-in subs and it may be the weakest version yet. So I was interested to see this 'shorter' version with about 45 minutes cut but overall this is truly a bastardized rendition with a DUB and of course the colorization of a film that should only be seen in black and white. The color does look good I'm sure that some will suggest to me in email that it should be destroyed. I don't feel quite that strongly and for $10 it does have some value as a comparative piece of manipulated modern digitization but I think that some things shouldn't be messed with... but regardless they are.

One day some production company will create a DVD of this film that looks as good as the Kinowelt but has optional English subtitles. Criterion - are you listening?

***

ADDITION- GCTHV (France) + Kinowelt (German) - both region 2 - PAL - January 2005 - Okay, before we get started - both French and German editions do NOT have English subtitles, which will remove them from consideration immediately for many. It should also be noted that because of the complexity of obtaining information for this comparison we were not able to ensure that all screen captures are matching frames, but our contributors did the best they can and have adhered to our standards of technical generation of those images. We apologize that there are some minor discrepancies in exact frames. We are fairly certain the first and last set of large captures are accurately imitated. Some points:

1) The Kinowelt image is the brightest, yet I cannot find example of digital boosting, but feel it MUST be there. Regardless I like this image very much - it looks exceptionally clean.

2) The Tartan has the best subtitles, although they are non-removable - an almost unforgivable mistake.

3) We can through the old Image Entertainment and Water Bearer out of contention as their image quality is far too poor - showing damage and looking to come from an analog source or having a very poor bitrate transfer. They both have burnt-in subtitles.

4)The Tartan and Gaumont look very similar in image quality with the Gaumont being slightly sharper.

5) The Kinowelt has consistent damage on the left edge.

6) All editions are cropped to varying degrees.

Final comments: As with our Persona comparison, I am uncharacteristically going with the brighter image. This is very rare as, in almost every case of a brighter image, it has digital manipulation in the form of brightness/contrast boosting. Defending myself here, I still suspect that the Gaumont is the most accurate image, but I figured why not indulge myself and admit I like the brighter better in this case, especially since neither have English subtitles - and it doesn't matter to most surfers to this page. Bottom line about image: the Gaumont is better, but I prefer the Kinowelt. This comparison on DVDDuel will bear that out - CLICK HERE.

The film is so important in cinema in general, that it is hard to believe that there is not an edition with removable English subtitles in existence. We still rate the Tartan - but lets have some extras and removable subtitles. Where the heck is Criterion?

NOTE: The Water Bearer has a good documentary as an extra.

****

The print for the Water Bearer version is from "The Pier Paolo Pasolini Foundation, Rome" as stated on the back of the Water Bearer DVD case. It shows a lot of good film grain, but I do notice the contrast level flickers and some damage, although less than the Image Entertainment DVD. I am also disappointed that no distributor has yet put in removable subs. Compared to the Tartan PAL DVD the subs are very poor and the picture quality is inferior. The Tartan is cropped on the top and bottom but the Water Bearer is cropped on both sides, which you notice very much at the opening credits as they unreadable. The sound is also poor on the Water Bearer. It does however show that the Image Entertainment disc has had manipulation on the aspect ratio.

The Image Entertainment has compressed the aspect ratio so that everyone looks squished. There is visible print damage in spots on the Out Of Print Image Entertainment disc. We can now verify some issues of aspect ratio and cropping while looking at the Water Bearer print. The Tartan disc has some visible digital manipulation and has taken some grain from the original image. It also has some contrast boosting. There are no excessive scratches or dirt on either the Tartan or Water Bearer print. Although hazy at times, the quality of both are still much better than the  'Out of Print' version. There is no longer a reason to pay an arm and a leg on EBay for the Image Disc in Region 1 now that Water Bearer have put this out.

The Tartan is softer and cropped, so although I am unhappy with the current state of this film on DVD I will go with the Tartan for strictly the clearity of the image for now. the Water Bearer has a nice documentary on Pasolini. The subs on the Water Bearer are very poor and look to be duplicates of the Image release probably meaning they used the same print. This is a tough call... but I am glad I own both Tartan and Water Bearer ( for the doc).    

- Gary W. Tooze


Menus

 

Legend Film - Region 1- NTSC

 


 

(GCTHV (Edition Collector Numérotée) - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT vs. Kinowelt / Arthaus (Germany) - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)

 


(
Water Bearer Region 0 - NTSC LEFT vs.Tartan Region 2 - PAL MIDDLE vs. Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

Subtitle Samples

1) Legend Films - Region 1 - NTSC COLORIZED TOP

2) Legend Films - Region 1 - NTSC ORIGINAL SECOND

3) GCTHV (Edition Collector Numérotée) - Region 2 - PAL THIRD

4) Kinowelt / Arthaus (Germany) - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Water Bearer Region 0 - NTSC FIFTH

6) Tartan Region 2 - PAL SIXTH

7) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - SEVENTH

8) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


Screen Captures

 

1) Legend Films - Region 1 - NTSC COLORIZED TOP

2) Legend Films - Region 1 - NTSC ORIGINAL SECOND

3) GCTHV (Edition Collector Numérotée) - Region 2 - PAL THIRD

4) Kinowelt / Arthaus (Germany) - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Water Bearer Region 0 - NTSC FIFTH

6) Tartan Region 2 - PAL SIXTH

7) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - SEVENTH

8) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Legend Films - Region 1 - NTSC COLORIZED TOP

2) Legend Films - Region 1 - NTSC ORIGINAL SECOND

3) GCTHV (Edition Collector Numérotée) - Region 2 - PAL THIRD

4) Kinowelt / Arthaus (Germany) - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Water Bearer Region 0 - NTSC FIFTH

6) Tartan Region 2 - PAL SIXTH

7) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - SEVENTH

8) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

NOTE Print Damage on Image Entertainment Disc


1) Legend Films - Region 1 - NTSC COLORIZED TOP

2) Legend Films - Region 1 - NTSC ORIGINAL SECOND

3) GCTHV (Edition Collector Numérotée) - Region 2 - PAL THIRD

4) Kinowelt / Arthaus (Germany) - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Water Bearer Region 0 - NTSC FIFTH

6) Tartan Region 2 - PAL SIXTH

7) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - SEVENTH

8) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Legend Films - Region 1 - NTSC COLORIZED TOP

2) Legend Films - Region 1 - NTSC ORIGINAL SECOND

3) GCTHV (Edition Collector Numérotée) - Region 2 - PAL THIRD

4) Kinowelt / Arthaus (Germany) - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Water Bearer Region 0 - NTSC FIFTH

6) Tartan Region 2 - PAL SIXTH

7) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - SEVENTH

8) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Legend Films - Region 1 - NTSC COLORIZED TOP

2) Legend Films - Region 1 - NTSC ORIGINAL SECOND

3) GCTHV (Edition Collector Numérotée) - Region 2 - PAL THIRD

4) Kinowelt / Arthaus (Germany) - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Water Bearer Region 0 - NTSC FIFTH

6) Tartan Region 2 - PAL SIXTH

7) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - SEVENTH

8) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

More Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray Captures

 


Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras:

Blu-ray

 

 Box Covers

 

 

 

Distribution Legend Films 
Region 1 - NTSC

GCTHV

Region 2 - PAL

Kinowelt / Arthaus 
Region 2- PAL

 

Box Covers

 

 

 

 

     (OOP )

Distribution

Water Bearer Films

Region 0 - NTSC

Tartan Video

Region 2 - PAL

Image Entertainment 
Region 0 - NTSC

Masters of Cinema Spine #33

Region 'B'  - Blu-ray

Runtime 2:16:55 2:11:04 (4% PAL Speedup) 2:17:00 2:17:09.041
Video 1.66:1.00 Letterboxed WideScreen
Average Bitrate: 6.2
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.85:1.00 Letterboxed WideScreen / 16X9
Average Bitrate: 4.16 mb/s
PAL 720X 25.00 f/s

1.85:1.00 Letterboxed WideScreen
Average Bitrate: 4.22
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

Disc Size: 48,006,006,966 bytes

Feature Size: 39,561,996,288 bytes

Total Bitrate: 35.00 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 Video

 



 

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Gary Tooze

Many Thanks...