The Big Fisherman is a 1959 American film directed by Frank Borzage about the later life of Peter, one of the closest disciples of Jesus.
The film is adapted from a novel written by Lloyd C. Douglas. The novel is closely related to Douglas' previous book, The Robe, which was also adapted as a movie.
The Robe ends with "the Big Fisherman" as a nickname for Peter; Jesus called him "the fisher of men" and "the Rock". The story traces Peter's journey from self-sufficient fisherman to his dependency on a risen Christ. It also presents another story or redemption and forgiveness, as he takes in a young runaway Arab girl, Fara. She has come to take vengeance on her father, Herod Antipas, for his treatment of her mother. She is followed by Voldi, an Arab prince who wishes to marry her and take her back home. As they both learn of Jesus, it changes their lives.
The film was shot in Super Panavision 70 (the first film so credited) by Lee Garmes. The original music score was composed by Albert Hay Malotte, an American composer who is best known for his musical setting of The Lord's Prayer, composed in 1935, and introduced on radio that year by John Charles Thomas.
Though originally rejected by Walt Disney because of its religious tone, the film was supported by Roy Disney, and was distributed by Buena Vista, making it one of the few religious films ever associated with the Disney Company.
It was shot on location in the San Fernando Valley in California.
It also features one of Howard Keel's few non-singing performances prior to his ongoing role as Clayton in the hit TV series Dallas. Keel had risen to fame in MGM film musicals, starring in Annie Get Your Gun, the 1951 Show Boat, and Kiss Me Kate, among others.
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