After seeing the dismally bad Ignatius Press re-edit of “Mary of Nazareth,” in which we are inflicted with a St. Joseph who violently screams at the Virgin Mary, angrily rips down a house with his bloody hands, and later quips to the Mother of God that the townspeople of Nazareth thinks she has illicitly been with a man, I decided to look for more noble portrayals of the blessed Saint in film. Although these characterizations are all flawed to some degree, I think, for the most part, they captured the spirit and demeanor of the man as related in Holy Scripture and in the writings of the Saints and Church Fathers.
1. Yorgo Voyagis in “Jesus of Nazareth.”
Strong, silent, and dignified. The best portrayal so far in film history.
2. Gérard Tichy in “King of Kings.”
Doesn’t say a whole lot, but neither did the Biblical Joseph; as in this film – he is a stalwart man of action.
3. Laurence Payne in “Ben Hur” (1959).
Has very little screen time, but this actor incredibly makes the best of it. Is solid, unflappable, and resolute.
4. Robert Loggia in “The Greatest Story Ever Told.”
Again, a bit part in which the actor is quickly able to express the essence of the man: quiet, and faithful,
but steely determined.
5. NEST (Animated Stories of the Bible) in “The King is Born.”
The cartoon depiction that is a far better Joseph than all modern-day live-actor interpretations.