Movie 8min

The Kiss of Judas (1908)

Original title: Le Baiser de Judas
Not rated.

+ 1 image
Directors André Calmettes, Armand Bour
Country France
Language French
(Original) Le Baiser de Judas
(Le Film d'Art, 1908) Pathé Frères
(USA, 1909) Pathé Frères
Based on the Bible Betrayal Biblical Drama Black and White Drama Jesus Christ Jesus in Gethsemane Judas Iscariot Short Silent Film The Betrayal by Judas The Death of Judas The Last Supper

This film was made by Pathé Frères branch of art films called "Le Film d'Art"(or "la Société du Film d’Art") that were a bit more exclusive type of production, and this film was one of their first. In this movie, the topic id fully focused on the betrayal of Judas, from the kiss on the slopes of the Mount of Olives, together with the surrounding events up to his death in the Valley of Jehoshaphat. The movie was first shown to the public on the 24. December 1908 in "Salle Charras à Neuilly" near the studio where it was filmed, but is often said to be released in 1909 (7. April this year it premiered in the USA).

The opening scene of this sacred picture shows the interior of the home of Mark, where Jesus and his apostles have gathered to eat the Paschal lamb. The sacred feast is spread and the little band take their places at the table with the Master in the center, who addresses his friends in words of love, Baying: "These things I command you, that you love one another!" Jesus then takes a towel and basin and sinks upon his knees to wash the feet of his apostles. Some of them object that the Master should humble himself so, but Jesus insists in order to teach them a lesson in humility. Coming to Judas, who is seated at the extreme end of the table with a sneering look on his face, Jesus bends and bathes his feet, but the latter lends himself with bad grace to the humble ceremony. The mercenary creature is ill at ease and drops his purse on the floor, whereupon Jesus picks it up and hands it back to him. Judas then opens the purse and shows his brethren how impoverished he is, for it is empty. Jesus again takes his place at the table, where, after breaking some bread, he passes it around, saying, "This is my body;" then taking a cup of wine he drinks and passes it also, saying. "This is my blood!" During the meal a bitter anxiety seems to hang over the little band, and Jesus is so deeply wrung with agony that he turns to those about him and says: "Verily, verily, 1 say unto you that one of you is about to betray me!" Immediately there is great consternation among the band and each apostle asks: "Lord is it I?" Even Judas joins with the others with inconceivable heartlessness and effrontery, asking also, "Lord is it I?" To which the Master makes answer: "Yes, it is you who shall betray me!" The other apostles on hearing this start in anger towards Judas, but Jesus, raising his hand, quells the disturbance, whereupon Judas arises from the table and defiantly leaves the room. At the approach of midnight. Jesus and his apostles leave the house and make their way to the Garden of Olives, where Jesus goes to pray. Judas, knowing that the Master would be there, manages to get to the garden first with the officers from the chief priests and Pharisees. After closing his bargain and receiving the money for his part in the treachery, Judas instructs the multitude to hide and come forth in due time and seize the man whom he shall kiss upon the cheek. Presently Jesus approaches with his apostles, and forthwith Judas greets him, saying: "Hail, Master!" and kisses him. The soldiers rush out from their hiding place and seize Jesus, and take him prisoner, while his apostles flee in terror. Judas is now seen standing with remorse and terror written on his countenance, and, as the soldiers retire with their innocent prisoner, the traitor falls in agony to the ground. Suddenly raising himself on his elbow he begins counting over the money he received for his part in the affair. Then, realizing all at once the enormity of his crime, the traitor becomes seized with indescribable remorse and writhes on the ground in agony, laughing, crying and praying to God for mercy. In his fancy he sees a vision of Jesus coming to him with compassion in his eyes and extending his hands in forgiveness. Unable to hear the terrible remorse any longer the traitor takes a rope hanging over a tree branch, slips the noose around his neck and thus ends his miserable existence.

Source: Moving Picture World

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Albert Dieudonné - Jean
Paul Mounet - Judas
Albert Lambert - Jésus-Christ
Émile Pierre - Cinematography
Henri Lavedan - Writer
André Calmettes - Director
Armand Bour - Director
Lucien Jusseaume - Production Design (Set Decoration)