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Compromises: The Last Temptation of Christ

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How creative compromise could have killed "The Last Temptation of Christ."

Paul Schrader arrives on the set of The Last Temptation of Christ. They are filming the conclusion of the movie, but Golgotha is suspiciously absent from the erected sets.

Paul finds Marty [Scorsese] standing over a Card Sharp in a tunic. Paul says, "Marty, what is this? Where's the crucifix? Where's the thieving beggar?"

Marty turns to him, disappointed but non-chalantly, and replies, "Well, I already told Willam he wouldn't have to get all uncomfortable up on the cross. It's hot out here, ya know? And besides, Greg called in with the flu, so there's no beggar.

"So what are you gonna do?!" Paul exclaims, no small measure of outrage in his voice.

"Willam's an ace at poker. We're gonna end the picture with a little Three Card Monty between him and Judas. Judas is gonna lose his hand and get really miffed."

"What about the last line?"

"The Last Supper? We already shot that. Looks beautiful."

"No, the last LINE! It is accomplished?!"

"Oh, that was an easy fix. Now he's gonna collect his chips and say, 'Man, what a game!'"

Paul walks away and contemplates the moral and spiritual repercussions of putting a gun in his mouth.

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