King of Kings is by no means the worst film version of Jesus’ life, but it’s more notable for the seeming lack of Ray’s directorial stamp anywhere and some interesting casting (besides Hunter, we have Robert Ryan as John the Baptist and Rip Torn as Judas) than its majesty or reverence.
The Blu-ray Disc
King of Kings is presented in 1080p high definition with an aspect ratio of 2.4:1. This is an overall quite lovely transfer of the film’s 70mm Super Technirama Technicolor presentation. It doesn’t reach the astonishing level of the recently released Ten Commandments, but the deeply saturated colors reach a near film-like level and the image is consistently sharp. Object fine detail can be a little muddy, particularly in medium and long shots, but close-ups feature lots of crisply rendered detail.
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is most notable for its sweeping presentation of Miklos Rozsa’s grand score. Dialogue is a little hollow, but cleanly presented.
DVD leftovers are all there is here, with a brief, sort-of making-of featurette titled The Camera’s Window of the World, two premiere newsreels and the theatrical trailer, all looking pretty rough in standard definition.
The Bottom Line
The Blu-ray upgrade is certainly worth it for those who enjoy the film, but anyone looking to see Ray on Blu-ray should head toward Criterion’s release of Bigger than Life.