Actress Elizabeth Taylor's performance is entirely mute, Taylor having no lines of dialogue at all, her characterization being completely silent.
Film critic Judith Crist once famously said of this film: "It turns out to be the story of a man [Richard Burton] who sold his soul for Elizabeth Taylor".
For the secondary roles, director Richard Burton, an Oxford graduate, cast drama students from Oxford University. They were from the Oxford University Dramatic Society in Oxford, England.
According to Renata Adler in The New York Times, actress Elizabeth Taylor "plays almost all the female parts, from Faustus's devil wife through Helen of Troy and Alexander's Paramour".
After the 1966 stage production of "Doctor Faustus", star Richard Burton did not appear on stage again for about a decade until he portrayed on Broadway the psychiatrist Dysart in Equus in which he followed playing the same character in the Equus (1977) film version.
"The Pageant of the Seven Deadly Sins" does not use the dialogue from the original scene. Instead, Richard Burton used passages from Christopher Marlowe's other plays "Edward II" (for Lechery), "Jew of Malta" (for Avarice), and "Tamburlaine the Great Part One" (Pride). Two of the Sins, Gluttony and Sloth, do not appear in the film at all.
One of five collaborations of actor Richard Burton and producer Richard McWhorter. The films include Becket (1964), Doctor Faustus (1967), The Taming of the Shrew (1967), Anne of the Thousand Days (1969) and The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965) the latter of which was the only non-period costumer picture.
In one scene actress Elizabeth Taylor appears completely painted in silver body-paint.
This film and Hammersmith Is Out (1972) are considered to both be based on the Faust legend. Richard Burton co-directed Doctor Faustus (1967) which he co-starred with Elizabeth Taylor. As such, Doctor Faustus (1967) was the first of two films based on the Faust legend that the pair made together.
The movie is a considered to be an official filmed record of a 1966 stage production of "Doctor Faustus" that Richard Burton had starred in which had been staged and directed by Nevill Coghill with the Oxford University Dramatic Society.
The film's opening prologue states: "A tragic legend written down in the sixteenth century wherein a learned scientist honoured with the laurels of his university, sold his soul to the devil for still greater knowledge and power in the unknown".
The film was made and released about 375 years after its source stage play "The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus" (aka "Doctor Faustus") by Christopher Marlowe was first performed around circa 1592.
The sixth of eleven films that Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton starred in together.
The following ensemble cast members received an 'introducing' credit: 'Andreas Teuber', Ram Chopra, Richard Carwardine, Patrick Barwise, Michael Menaugh (as Michael Meneaugh), Richard Durden (as Richard Durden-Smith), David McIntosh, Jeremy Eccles, Elizabeth O'Donovan, Gwydion Thomas, Ian Marter, Nicholas Loukes and Adrian Benjamin. These thesps from the Oxford University Dramatic Society represented the very high majority of the film's entire cast.
The high majority of the film's cast were amateur actors from the Oxford University Dramatic Society.
Though the film's source material is of English legend and the film an Oxford University production being made by Oxford University Dramatic Society alumni, the film itself was shot in Rome, Italy.
The film's co-writer and co-director Nevill Coghill was Merton Professor of English at Oxford University at the time that the film was developed, made and released.
The first, final and only ever cinema movie directed by both of the film's co-directors - Nevill Coghill and Richard Burton.
Second and final of two films as a producer of actor Richard Burton who previously had acted as an associate producer uncredited on The Guest (1963).
The first, final and only ever produced screenplay of stage director Nevill Coghill.
A few actors portrayed dual roles: Michael Menaugh as a bishop and a good angel, Richard Durden as a knight and an evil angel, and Nicholas Loukes as Envy and the Cardinal of Lorraine.
Elizabeth Taylor's character of Helen of Troy was billed only in the credits under the single name of Helen.