He Who Must Die

He Who Must Die

Film poster
Directed by Jules Dassin
Produced by Henri Bérard
Written by Ben Barzman
Jules Dassin
Starring Jean Servais
Carl Möhner
Grégoire Aslan
Cinematography Gilbert Chain
Jacques Natteau
Edited by Roger Dwyre
Pierre Gillette
Release dates
  • 4 May 1957 (1957-05-04)
Running time
122 minutes
Country France
Language French

He Who Must Die (French: Celui qui doit mourir, Italian: Colui che deve morire) is a 1957 French film directed by Jules Dassin. It is based on the novel Christ Recrucified (also published as The Greek Passion) by Nikos Kazantzakis. It was entered into the 1957 Cannes Film Festival.[1]


In a Turkish-occupied Greek village shortly after World War I, villagers put on a Passion Play, with ordinary people taking the roles of Jesus, Peter, Judas, etc. Staging the play leads to them rebelling against their Turkish rulers in a way that mirrors Jesus's story.[2]


The film received a generally positive response. It was favorably reviewed in Time and The New Yorker, and received awards in communist eastern Europe (Dassin was well known for his left-wing views), and even some liberal Catholics praised it.[2] Bosley Crowther for The New York Times described it as "brutally realistic", praising the "daring sort of candor and relentless driving" in the way it works out the logic of the plot, and he also praised all of the cast.[3]



  1. "Festival de Cannes: He Who Must Die". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 7 February 2009.
  2. 1 2 Berube, Maurice R. Beyond Modernism and Postmodernism: Essays on the Politics of Culture. p. 114.
  3. Crowther, Bosley (29 December 1958). "Movie Review: He Who Must Die (1957) Screen: Greek Passion; 'He Who Must Die' Opens at Beekman". Retrieved 19 February 2014.

External links

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