Mohammad, Messenger Of God

  • 1976
  • Movie
  • PG
  • Religious

Though the film is really just your run-of-the-mill, multi-million-dollar religious spectacle, MOHAMMAD, MESSENGER OF GOD became notorious for the controversy surrounding its production and release, the dramatic climax of which came when black Muslim terrorists held a Washington, DC, B'nai B'rith building and its employees hostage, threatening to kill everyone...read more

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Though the film is really just your run-of-the-mill, multi-million-dollar religious spectacle, MOHAMMAD, MESSENGER OF GOD became notorious for the controversy surrounding its production and release, the dramatic climax of which came when black Muslim terrorists held a Washington, DC,

B'nai B'rith building and its employees hostage, threatening to kill everyone unless the American premiere of the film was canceled. It hardly seemed worth all the fuss, because this religious epic, which dramatically illustrates the beginnings of the Muslim faith, is not very good. The main

problem with the film is that, though the sacred Mohammad's name is in the title, the holy man himself was not allowed to appear on screen due to the Muslims' fanatical belief that he should never be visually represented. Presented with this seemingly fatal drawback, first-time producer/director

Moustapha Akkad decided to go for the next best thing and have the film concentrate on Mohammad's Uncle Hamza, a brave warrior. When rumors flew that everyone from Charlton Heston to Peter O'Toole was to play the role (some sects misunderstood and assumed that these icons of white-bread Western

culture were to play Mohammad) several fanatical Muslim sects threatened to blow up the production. After a lot of fancy talking, Akkad convinced the Muslims that the film would be done in good taste and even hired a group of Muslim religious scholars to approve every page of the screenplay. This

seemed to calm everyone down, but then, inexplicably, after the film was in production the religious experts changed their minds and condemned the whole production. After the company constructed a massive set duplicating Mecca in Morocco, an angry King Faisal of Saudi Arabia put the screws to

Morocco's King Hassan and forced him to kick the filmmakers out, using the excuse that Akkad's expensive and very realistic set of Mecca might confuse true believers traveling to pray in the real Holy City and cause them to mistakenly venture into the bogus Mecca. Left with neither a set nor a

country in which to shoot, Akkad eventually turned to none other than the psycho-ruler of Libya, Muammar Qaddafi, for support. Eventually, after bouncing around to every major Muslim nation and spending millions upon millions of dollars, MOHAMMAD, MESSENGER OF GOD was released, much to the chagrin

of the terrorists, who ensured that the film got some bad word-of-mouth, and it promptly bombed. Jarre's interesting score received an Oscar nomination.

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  • Released: 1976
  • Rating: PG
  • Review: Though the film is really just your run-of-the-mill, multi-million-dollar religious spectacle, MOHAMMAD, MESSENGER OF GOD became notorious for the controversy surrounding its production and release, the dramatic climax of which came when black Muslim terro… (more)

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