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  • This is one of the best biblical movies I have seen. The fact it was made for TV makes it more remarkable, considering its' best competition was filmed for theatrical release.

    As a Christian, I was a little wary of the approach Mr. Hopkins would give in his portrayal of one of the greatest men to have ever lived, the Apostle Paul. Hopkins gave a wonderful performance. His vision of Paul was entirely believable. Paul was supremely faithful, but wrestled with unforgiveness, illness, hardship, anger, etc. Mr. Hopkins' showcased the entire spectrum of Pauls' strenghts and weaknesses, without losing the strength of his immense faith in Christ.

    I highly recommend this movie because it is well done, it is true to the Biblical accounts, and it is a moving account of the lives of Peter and Paul.
  • This is a great movie for those who want to understand the early decades of the Christian church. Anthony Hopkins as Paul and Robert Foxworth as Peter are fabulous in their acting. Paul is obviously more passionate and the story tends to give him more screen time. The movie tells the story of how and what the disciples did following the Resurrection. In the book of Galatians in the New Testament, Paul is revisiting churches he started which have come under the influence of Judiazers who say that Christians must be Jews, and that Gentiles must be circumsized.

    Paul meets with Peter, who has not left the general area of Jerusalem to discuss this problem. His argument is that Jesus came to save all--Jew and Gentile alike, and he has been travelling to Greece and Asia Minor making large numbers of converts. The arguments he makes to Peter, is that salvation is by faith, that Jesus plus nothing is the key to salvation, and that works or previous Jewish religious practices are now irrelevant. Peter eventually is pursuaded, and after about 30 years of doing little, agrees with Paul's arguments. Paul's other journeys are dramatized and his final days seem to drag out the movie, but the performances are top notch!
  • Without the contributions of Peter and Paul to the early Christian church it might very well have gone on to be an obscure offshoot of Judaism and Jesus might have died a lonely and forgotten death. This film, Peter and Paul, is based on their contributions in spreading the gospel.

    Robert Foxworth is a rugged Peter, along the lines of Finlay Currie and Howard Keel previous portrayers of St. Peter, who also looks like a man who worked outdoors and with his hands. Anthony Hopkins is the scholarly Saul of Tarsus, rabbi who was charged with the apprehension and elimination of this Jewish sect worshiping a carpenter who allegedly rose from the dead.

    To mark his change of mind about this group, Saul changed his name to Paul and his forcible conversion on the road to Damascus is shown here in detail. The bolt of lightning that knocked him off his ride and blinded him and his later restoration to sight changed him 180 degrees. He becomes their champion and their most eloquent spokesperson.

    Paul before Peter took the commandment seriously about the new faith being universal. Others of the early Christians wanted to do the work of evangelizing strictly amongst the Jews. Peter was caught between a rock and a hard place on the issue.

    Undaunted Paul goes out among all various and sundry folks spreading the word. His travels are recorded in the names of the various books of the New Testament, his letters of commission and instruction to the various churches he founded.

    Whatever one's view of Christianity is, for better or worse Paul's probably the guy who did the most to spread it. That is indisputable. Anthony Hopkins combines the intellect with the personal magnetism that the man had to have in order to get as many folks as he did to listen and heed.

    You will find some other good performances in Jose Ferrer as Rabbi Gamaliel teacher of Paul who thought that we ought to give the new followers of Jesus a hearing, Raymond Burr as Herod Aggripa, Jon Finch as a worldly St. Luke and John Rhys Davies and Herbert Lom as Paul's traveling companions Silas and Barnabas at different points of his life.

    The direction is good, the script is literate without some of the banal lines associated with DeMille productions. Had this been done thirty years earlier, Peter and Paul would have had far more acclaim than it got. Still I think Christians will like it and nonbelievers will find it entertaining and factual in terms of the accounts in Scripture.
  • This is a great movie. As with any Hollywood film it does glamorize and alter God's word to fit their perception. However, it is very representative of Paul and his encounters with Peter and the other apostles. It is for Christians as well as for NON-christians and yes it does portray Paul in a very accurate representation of his nature based upon the scriptures. As for as I'm concerned ... a great job was done on this film and it is being widely distributed as a study film.

    I have never seen Anthony Hopkins act any better than he did in this film. A film worth owning and sharing with others. It gives a true picture of persecution and how Jesus Christ can change a life and use it if it is totally turned over to Him.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A fairly faithful retelling of the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, Peter and Paul centers around Anthony Hopkins playing Saul Paulus of Tarsus, the apostle of Christ to the Gentiles.

    Let's be honest: Only Christians (and possibly some bored historians) would be interested in a film about the early Christian church, so let's look at it from that point of view. There is no objectionable content to Christians in this film, as I can see. Peter's crucifixion is fairly shocking (and heart-breaking), but the rest of the film is pretty devoid of violence (thankfully, we don't have to witness Paul's end at the chopping blocks of Rome). I am about as fundamental as a Christian gets, and I was very pleased with the tight adherence to scripture present in the film, so don't worry about that.

    Some of the bickering amongst the fathers of the Church may be a bit unexpected to Christians, but if you read the book behind this movie, you'll see that men of God didn't always see eye-to-eye, and their conversations didn't always end with a handshake and a "God bless you." Anthony Hopkins is a commanding presence as Paul, and he acts fairly well (he didn't phone this one in). I can't help but wonder, however, if the man that evangelized the gentiles wouldn't have been a bit more... dynamic. Hopkins is a bit reserved at time, but still does a good job (especially at the "dissimlitude" with Barnabas and Peter).

    I've got to give props to the director for getting good performances out of the supporting cast as well, the emotions are entirely believable.

    The musical score is appropriate, with one or two memorable tunes.

    Overall I was very pleased with this movie, and it is one of my favorite scriptural adaptations on film. I heartily recommend it to its target audience.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This film has some wonderful moments. The acting is excellent in the primary roles, but there are some clunky performances in the incidental roles (Festus is strangely very American while the other actors have adopted a British standard. John is wooden and all the Roman Soldiers seem to have lead tongues).

    However, I thoroughly enjoyed both Robert Foxworth (Peter) and Anthony Hopkins (Paul) in the title roles. I also thought Jon Finch (Luke), Herbert Lom (Barnabas) and Jose Ferrer (Gamaliel) were standouts - their performances seemed effortless. Kudos also to Julian Fellowes as Nero, who was sufficiently creepy and dangerous. I felt that Tony Hopkins was best in the more personal moments, and Robert Foxworth was heartbreaking, particularly at his crucifixion.

    As a Christian who believes in the absolute infallibility and inerrancy of the Bible, there were some points of contention I had with the film.

    First, it starts with the stoning of Stephen without showing his amazing speech to the Sanhedrin that brought about the hatred from the ruling council in the first place. Also, by the time the film starts, the narrative thread is promoting a 'Christianity in Crisis' theme that the book of Acts never goes near. Christianity was certainly heavily persecuted, but the work of the Holy Spirit through the Apostles has primacy in Acts, not the work of the men themselves. One major, crucial, aspect left out at the beginning of the film is the realm of the miraculous. By the time Stephen has been stoned in Acts, Peter has given incredible sermons that turn thousands to Christ. He and John have healed a lame man, been imprisoned, whipped, and counted it all joy that they partook in the sufferings of the Lord. Peter was not angry at the competition coming from Paul, in fact, he is the one at the Jerusalem council who affirms salvation by grace for Gentiles as well as Jews who believe in Christ.

    Second, by downplaying the gospel affirming miracles, the director undercuts the authority of the early church and the gospel itself. For instance, Paul's conversion was actually one of the weakest parts of the film when it should have been the strongest. In the film, the wind whips up, he falls over, looks at the sun, and answers a voice that is not there. It allows for someone to say his conversion was internal only, almost psychological, like an hallucination. However, in the Acts account, Paul is blinded by a light brighter than the sun, and asks the risen Christ "who are you, Lord" who answers him "I am Jesus, who you are persecuting." The others hear the voice but don't understand it. The conversion, while happening in his heart, was also, like the Bible, an objective thing verifiable by others. Peter's escape from prison was treated in the same manner. He looks at a torch, weird, cold music plays and his chains break off as he tugs at them. In Acts, an angel comes in, speaks to him, and leads him out of the prison and out of the city. Peter thinks he's having a vision, but then knows what's really happening. When Paul is at Philippi, the woman who mocks him is demon possessed and Paul commands the evil spirit to come out of her. In the film, they downplay the supernatural and show the woman totally in her right mind, just able to throw her voice to make it appear that someone else is speaking. Paul rebukes her by saying "you will never speak in two voices again".

    I could go on but I don't want to belabor the point. I think producers get nervous with miracles and the supernatural, and try to make it appear more rational. That's why in most movies about Jesus, they spend about 45 minutes on the crucifixion and about 30 seconds on the resurrection. In the Gospels the emphasis is on Jesus rising from the dead. That's why we believe.

    Thirdly, Peter and Paul does not show the Pentecost, which gave the church undying confidence and authority in Christ, His apostles, and His word. Too often in Peter and Paul they make Christianity look like it is a business in a precarious position trying to gain market share, instead of the divinely appointed way to God through Christ. Of course, many and most don't believe this, but if you are going to produce New Testament movies, do it as the New Testament teaches, all miracles and confrontation of Jewish authority included.

    I liked the more intimate moments of the film, subtle relationships and the like. I found myself moved near the end of the film, where the record of Acts has stopped and the director is not hampered by trying to stay true to a text he possibly doesn't believe in. At this point, Day does include voice-overs of Paul's epistles which are effective. However, the competition between Paul and Peter in the film is not shared by the New Testament. They are almost always harmonious save one confrontation where Paul rebukes Peter for adhering to Jewish law too rigidly after already eating with Gentiles. Furthermore, Peter preached to Gentiles as well when he converted Cornelius's household. Nothing like a good drama, but I felt that the conflicts between Paul and Peter in the film were ratcheted up too far in search of drama over truth.

    Loved the settings and the costumes.

    I understand that a film cannot necessarily follow the Bible word for word, but I still wait for the day when a fully realized and accurate Acts film is made. I don't think it'll happen because it would probably be too offensive, but I would love to see it.
  • Vincentiu16 October 2013
    for a Christian, each religious movie is a challenge. not only for the common expectations font to a film but for essential fact than the story is part of him. so, the subject remains, always, extremely delicate. this case is a happy one. for respect of original story and precise-careful exploration of nuances, for credible image of Church birth, for a brilliant acting and wise music, for the feeling of a special film and for the courage to build a support for faith. it is not lesson, not speech. it is a fresco and a powerful touching definition of a religion basis. artistic values are only details of a thoroughly work , not easy, not comfortable. and that fact transforms it in an impressive result.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This miniseries is a must-see for everyone (that includes unbelievers). It is a faithful presentation of Peter and Paul's lives as Apostles of Jesus Christ, and captures the mood and tensions of Jerusalem and Rome. Anthony Hopkins merits praise for delivering a performance that is equal parts genuine, passionate, and representative of how faith in Salvation will turn anyone (including a murderer of the new Jewish sect) away from a lifetime of sin thanks to our Heavenly God. Robert Foxworth is equally up to the challenge of his role as Simon Peter. The entire supporting cast, including cameos by Jose Ferrer and Raymond Burr, is up to the challenge of giving life to these early Christians. All-around a worthy production, and again, I commend the actors who all display their thespian gifts here admirably. The simple and subtle ending detailing Simon Peter's imprisonment and then upside crucifixion on Emperor Nero's command will bring (even the most farthest person from Christ) anyone to tears at what piggish things man will do to another man.
  • When Cecil B DeMille developed "The Ten Commandments" in 1956, there began a wave of sorts of motion pictures devoted to Biblical themes, which, in order to deliver those themes were of "epic" proportions. With every good intention, these films tried to follow Scripture as closely as they could because there were enough Biblical scholars which could easily prove them wrong in their historical rendering.

    Hollywood, as we all know, is not religious. It's reputation for exploiting anything it can for money is familiar to us all. In the case of "Peter And Paul", there are two exceptions.

    Proctor and Gamble, one of the most reputable companies in the world was faced with a rumor dilemma in the early 80's. Many will remember the scandalous innuendo accusing P&G of association with a church of Satan. Their evidence was the 60 year old logo on P&G products depicting a circle in which a crescent man-in-the-moon was encircled with a group of stars. Despite Proctor and Gamble's passionate attempts to put and end to these lies, public suspicion still abounded. One more possibility existed to end this insidious slander. This would be the first exception.

    "Peter And Paul" is the story of the two major apostles in the New Testament.

    Robert Foxworth as Peter is a brilliant performance from beginning to end. I'm tempted to believe that he was absorbed in his character so much that it may very well be the reason he was able to portray Peter so effectively. Why Mr Foxworth did not receive an Emmy for this role, I can't understand.

    Anthony Hopkins, on the other hand, needs the entire four hours of this picture to really involve himself into his portrayal as Paul. His initial dialog with Jose Ferrer, a brilliant actor, is weak and irritating. The only forceful emotion he shows is when he blows up at Peter and Barnabas (Herbert Lom). His sermons to the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem and the Greeks in Antioch are not convincing. Only during his time with Luke and Timothy, does his character become really poignant.

    Exception number two. It has been widely speculated that the reason this beautiful motion picture never made it to the big screen is because the producers wanted to literally deliver it "in house". In other words, television touches the heart more than movies ever could. That has always been true and always will be. The dad, mom and kids around the TV who use Tide, Cheer, Prell, Crest, Bounty and the endless assortment of P&G products would be impressed by the announcer stating that "Peter And Paul is sponsored by the products and services of the Proctor And Gamble Company", while the logo of the moon-man and stars was emblazened across their TV screens. It was a beautifully creative idea for all the right reasons, but unfortunately, didn't work. It has also been widely speculated that it was P&G's competitors who started the rumor. A few years later, disgusted with the continued lies and harassment, Proctor and Gamble pulled the logo from their entire product line. Jealous, competitive liars had won.

    "Peter And Paul" is an epic whether on the motion picture screen or not. Any professing Christian will be deeply touched by this movie and even non-Christians cannot help but be moved by its message of love and perseverance in the face of strife and suffering.

    It is impossible to take the 30 years of history that encompassed that era and relegate it to four hours. The importance of this movie is the message of hope and faith that it conveys and that we can all understand its meaning in our lives today.
  • I first saw this on TV and was overwhelmed. It's a decent account of the story of Paul's journeys as he spread the Good News (Gospel) of Jesus Christ from his conversion on the "road to Damascus" to his final imprisonment in Rome. If you've read the Acts of the Apostles, or the epistles of Paul, you won't be surprised except by the continuity of this well-written script. You may also learn how Paul's background as both a Jew and a citizen of Rome facilitated his founding of many churches.

    Anthony Hopkins was overwhelming as the Apostle "Paul". There were minor distractions, most notably Eddie Albert of "Green Acres" and Raymond Burr of "Perry Mason" hired (no doubt) for there (TV) "star power". Robert Foxworth is primarily known as a TV-star who has a long career in "made for TV movies" and guest and starring roles in many popular dramatic series.

    Afterwards, as I read the writings of Paul in the New Testament, I can still hear Hopkins' voice in my head ... his articulation, phrasing, pauses,and conviction resulting in highly effectual communication. Yes, he was and is that good, even to today's role as the Norse God, Odin. His masterful style remains strong.

    I bought this on VHS and loved it. Years later, I bought it on DVD. It remains unavailable online. Why? I don't know. Sir Anthony Hopkins is a major movie star. This protégé of Lawrence Olivier went on to star in many major movie productions such as "The Elephant Man", "A Bridge Too Far", and "Magic". Previous to 1981, he had done many fine and honored "made for TV movies", such as "The Bunker" (Adolph Hitler) and "The Lindberg Kidnapping" (Bruno Hauptmann).

    You can still buy this on DVD from Amazon. Unfortunately, that remains our only source for viewing this breathtaking Christian drama. Someday, I hope to see it available on VUDU, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu or some other streaming outlet. Until then, I'm content to have a copy of the DVD.
  • This movie is among the more engaging of the TV Biblical films, as well as holding true to scripture, with just a little 'creative license' for areas that are vague. However, when I heard Anthony Hopkins was playing Paul, I was quite leery, at best, yet he did a magnificent job - Magnificent! One of the mysteries of the Bible is the manner in which people spoke and communicated in various scenarios. Did the person express agitation or anger when he/she said this/that? Or were they always full of patience and grace? We must remember that these people were all human beings, just like us. Each movie and play we view that is an adaptation, it is the creators that create the mood and the mode of each scene and conversation. It is simply a guess at best as to how things were spoken or acted out, however, we do know that Paul was a man absolutely full of fire and passion, and had his share of a temper. I believe the execution of Paul's character in this film had greater accuracy then many others, due to this truth that many times is over-looked. And Anthony Hopkins was the man to nail it.

    The film really brings us to a greater place of understanding the reality and nature of what took place back then. The cast is filled with actors/actresses that executed their roles just beautifully. Praise God there are players out there that desire to spread the word through their vocation, and to do so with such care.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    As a seventh grader watching it on TV in 1981, I have the searing memory of the upside-down crucifixion and beheading, and for years I wanted to see it again, but could not remember what film it was, or where I could get it. Now it's on DVD.

    Since then, I've been through Benet Academy (Benedictine College prep H.S.) and Opus Dei's pilgrimage to Rome documented on my MuSeeks "about" website, where I show pictures of the Mammertime prison (near the Roman Forum) where St. Peter was held prior to his execution. I've taken Dr. Scott Hahn's course on Romans (available on 13 cassettes from Steubenville University in Ohio), and so I am keenly aware of the movie's strengths and weaknesses theologically and historically.

    Good: You witness the passion of Peter's faith, and physical trials. I was inspired by his financial ups and downs, his tent-making business, his times of poverty and unemployment. I've wondered how he financed his traveling ministry, ultimately to Rome, and this movie answered a lot. It made me re-visit Acts, Mark and Luke, Psalms, Nehemiah and more. This movie is a great introduction/invitation to revisit your Bible and/or Torah.

    Bad (for Catholics and Christians alike): In Romans 3:26, Peter never said you are "justified by faith ALONE". The true translation is "justified by faith APART FROM works"...Martin Luther unfortunately (and purposefully, in order to attack the authority of Christ's Church) created a lot of misunderstanding and division amongst us Christians and Catholics, by mistranslating and misinterpreting from the Latin (and he was no expert in Latin). As a result, too many protestants today think that "works" means you don't need to do any good deeds in this world, if you just have faith alone. That's no good. So abortion or murder is OK, or letting your guard down is OK, as long as you have "faith alone"? Nope. St. Paul meant "works" as the over-burdened rituals his fellow Jewish brethren were performing, such as animal blood sacrifices. You still have to do good deeds and honor the sacraments.

    Parts of the film are thus, highly irritating to those Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and Anglecan, whom know the truth about Romans 3:26. It is an untruth in the movie, perhaps allowed merely to appeal to a wider demographic whom couldn't tell the difference. But that point is central to the whole story. Paul did not deny the Sacraments in particular (such as Laying of Hands--authentic Ordination--, Matrimony, Baptism, Confession and Communion). You still need those, in addition to faith, or you are missing a big thing.

    Also, little is said of St. Peter's wife. I understand Christ called the Apostles to "leave" their families, to "come follow me". In the film, it is subversive to Catholic priestly celibacy, (which St. Peter in Romans discusses at length as the preferred state). The film shows Peter lying in bed with wife, even years after Christ, he should have left her by then. It is an indirect attack on our present Popes, suggesting (contrary to Romans) that celibacy should be dismantled. It has an overall liberal karma which should be offensive to truth.

    On the positive side, the movie did show the Authority Peter had over his other Apostles, that there Was a hierarchy...that is Biblical. But why did they not show the Bishop and Priest Ordinations necessary to establish the Church of Macedonia, Galatia, etc.? That too was subversive, suggesting (like many evangelists in business suits today) that anyone and his dog can go start yet another bogus denomination of their own will.
  • This was an excellent time portal of the New Testament letters and personality clashes of the early church. I couldn't get around the anger of Paul but when he was shown writing down the meaning of agape (love of God) from Hebrews I totally changed my judgement, and seen the profound reason why God chose him. I liked Barnnapas the most because of his humor and passive nature. I never thought much about Marks youth, compared to the others so it was nice they included it. You get to see the struggle of the early church and how Peter could totally want to lay down his life for Jesus and then be in fear when he is accused of being with the Lord. The times then were very oppressive and greedy. Just like today but less populated. A good acting job by Anthony Hopkins and a good part for him to play. Paul's confidence and determination to keep going was well shown.
  • Kirpianuscus27 March 2016
    it is its great virtue. to present a story not only in convincing manner but in the grace of its nuances. story of a fight for faith, it is a remarkable portrait of the two apostles. for the science to explore vulnerabilities, searches and the need to serve the Truth. for the force of words and the trips in the heart of an empire. for the life of the first communities. for the courage to be more than a historical film. for the admirable portraits. and for the roots of the sacrifice. sure, nothing surprising. a great cast, smart script. and the images with the gift to be more than illustration of Christian first steps. a film of questions. useful for rediscover a battle who seems today almost a myth.
  • About what you would expect from a made-for-TV drama based on the Bible: reverent, hagiographic, and scrupulously faithful to a literal reading of the New Testament. No attempt to question or deconstruct the officially handed down story, this production works primarily as an illustrated guide to the Acts of the Apostles (for a more controversial view of Paul, and his relationship with Jesus's original disciples, read Hyam Maccoby's "The Mythmaker: Paul and the Invention of Christianity"). As such, I suppose this could be seen as a useful teaching aid for Bible studies - much like the miniseries Jesus of Nazareth was for the Gospels. However, don't expect much beyond that: the locations, direction and acting are all serviceable at best, and the drama is mostly underdeveloped. To anyone not already familiar with the story, in fact, the events portrayed within are probably too confusing and inexplicable to be enjoyable or instructive in any way.

    I first saw this as a little kid, and I remember that Anthony Hopkins (who I'd never heard of or seen before) made an impression on me (this was well before his Hannibal Lecter days). I rented this on video recently mainly to find out why. It was probably because he is so very striking *looking* as Paul - he has strong features, and a perpetually determined expression on his face. However, I do not find his portrayal convincing overall; he is far too restrained, too genteel, and he plays the part, from first to last, as if assured of his sainthood from the outset. That's the problem with all these Bible stories for TV: they get mired in their own piousness, and assume a reverence which is never earned or explained. As such, they are for believers only. Certainly, Paul must have been a more wily and bombastic character, more slippery and egotistical, than he is portrayed here. In other words, there's a great *human* story in him - to be told by someone, somewhere. This ain't it.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Anthony Hopkins and Robert Foxworth star in this TV mini-series that tells the story of two of the most important people and two early leaders of Christianity entitled "Peter And Paul".Eddie Albert,Raymond Burr,Jose Ferrer,Jon Finch,David Gwillim,Herbert Lom and Jean Peters complete the cast of this 1981 three-hour TV movie.

    The story is based on the Acts of the Apostles which covers a time period of three decades includes the life of the early Christians;the conversion of Saul,the prosecutor of the early Christian,to becoming Paul,the leader of the newly-converted early Christians;the interactions of conflict between Peter and Paul as well as their travels and missions into spreading the gospel;and it ends with the execution of both men with Paul being beheaded and Peter being crucified upside down by Emperor Nero.

    This epic TV series is a definitely worth watching as we get to see great performances from cast especially Anthony Hopkins as Paul.He definitely was great considering that we get to see wonderful acting from being Saul the prosecutor to Paul the believer.It was also nice to see effectively dramatize Paul,who was in constant conflict with either the Jews or the apostles of Jesus themselves like Peter to establish his apostolic credibility as a Christian considering he is still being considered as gentile by the Jews and some early Christians.The film adaptation was also worth mentioning as it tried its best to really be faithful to the events in the Book of Acts of the Apostles.Overall,it was a wonderful TV series and it remains worth watching since 35 years it has been released.
  • It's been over 20 years since this film was produce with some of Hollywood's great names. I can only imagine their embarrassment (if they are still alive) that it is still being shown anyway. The script is hokey, the performances trite and melodramatic. It is Sunday school religion at its worst -- two dimensional, preachy and poorly representative of the complexities of first century Christianity, Judaism, and the sacred texts of each. To paraphrase something I recently heard, there is nothing wrong with a 5th grade understanding of religion -- if you are in the 5th grade. Adults should demand better of their faith and its representation.