The Agony and the Ecstasy

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Charlton Heston stars as Renaissance artist Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (6 March 1475 – 18 February 1564), who begrudgingly paints the Sistine Chapel for imperious Pope Julius II in this epic adaptation of Irvine Stone's novel directed by Carol Reed. While the novel covers Michelangelo's life from birth to death, the film focuses on the battle of wills between the perfectionist artist and the impatient Pope who commissions (and eventually commands) him to paint the famed chapel.

  1. Philip Dunne


  2. Carol Reed


Top Billed Cast

  1. Charlton Heston

    Charlton Heston


  2. Rex Harrison

    Rex Harrison

    Pope Julius II

  3. Diane Cilento

    Diane Cilento

    Contessina de'Medici

  4. Harry Andrews

    Harry Andrews


  5. AL

    Alberto Lupo

    Duke of Urbino

  6. Adolfo Celi

    Adolfo Celi

    Giovanni de' Medici

Full Cast & Crew

Movie Data


Status Released

Original Language English

Runtime 2h 18m

Budget -

Revenue -

Homepage -

Release Information

  • October 7, 1965



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Featured Review

A review by John Chard

By John Chard

When will you make an end?

When I am finished!

And so it be that that is the often repeated exchange between Rex Harrison's Pope Julius II & Charlton Heston's Michelangelo, and thus we have the basis for the film version of Irving Stone's novel The Agony & The Ectasy. This is a fictionalised account of how Michelango came to paint his masterpiece on the roof of the Sistine chapel, focusing solely on the two main characters of the piece, The Agony & The Ectasy is a character and dialogue driven piece of work.

I'm not here to give you a history lesson on the Renaisssance painters or the... read the rest.

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