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The Agony and the Ecstasy is a 1965 drama about the conflict that arose between Pope Julius II and Michelangelo over the artist's legendary fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Desperate to leave an enduring legacy, Pope Julius II (Rex Harrison) commissions a spectacular fresco from Michelangelo (Charlton Heston), the greatest artist of his time. Michelangelo does not want to paint the immense fresco, but Pope Julius II ultimately forces him to do so. As Pope Julius II leaves the Vatican to go and wage war on behalf of the Church, Michelangelo fumes with anger as he and his assistants begin painting the extraordinarily complex work. Michelangelo's stressful life becomes even more complicated when he becomes involved with a wealthy royal, the Contessina de Medici (Diane Cilento). Though Pope Julius II believed that the fresco would cement his own legacy, it would be Michelangelo whose fame would ultimately shine for hundreds of years.