Favorite religious movie

Hi, I was sorting through some old VHS tapes yesterday and found an old favorite tape of Christ’s life, “King of Kings”. It’s from the 60’s (I was born in 1959) and very dated in some ways, but I loved it. Jeffery Hunter, was a handsome Jesus and although I don’t think Jesus had blue eyes, they helped make for an effective performance. When he meets John the Baptist in the water, no words are said, they look at each other and you could read the expressions and then their is a close up on their eyes. The sermon on the mount is wonderful too…my kids watched that part twice. Again, it’s dated, but it brings back good memories and helped me even as a child with meditation.

I admit I never saw Passion of the Christ…way too violient for me and I never had a fondness for Mel Gibson even before his arrest. Being hyper-sensitive, I didn’t need to see that brutality to feel it.

Any favorites you would like to share?

“Going My Way” is my favorite religious movie. It has many good messages in it- faith, dedication, charity, patience, hope, forgiveness, generosity, love, and responsibility. The movie is full of good music too. I also like The Bells of St. Mary’s, which is a sequel to it (although I like “Going My Way” better). The Sound of Music is also good. I like the movie “Therese” also, though it isn’t a hollywood hit or anything like the first two movies were. The Passion of the Christ is also good, and Mel Gibson’s recent legal issue doesn’t make me like it any less.

I liked those movies too…the only thing that bothered me and I could remember asking my mom about it, was that in “Bells of St. Mary’s” they weren’t going to tell her she was sick and let her think she was just being transfered. I thought that was cruel but since the priest told her, it was okay.

I remember my sister, mom and I waiting for “King of Kings” every Easter and my brother liked Ben Hur and I think a movie called The Robe, based on Jesus’s garments (fictional of course but somewhat fact based)
After those kind of movies, religious movies went away except for comedies like “Oh God” and the like.

When I was 17, I read *Gone With the Wind *straight through four times. Then the movie came to the theatre (this was NOT in 1939, BTW!), and when I went, I was bitterly disappointed in Clark Gable as Rhett Butler, because the Rhett in my own imagination was so much stronger. That’s how I feel about movies about Jesus - not a single one of them has a Jesus that’s anywhere near the One I know from my own relationship with Him. So, none of those movies are on my favorite list.

I do like The Sound of Music very much. And one movie that’s not overtly religious is way up on the list - Close Encounters of the Third Kind. To me, that movie is all about the Christian vocation, how it makes perfect sense to those who are called, and is a stumbling block to others. Go watch it with that in mind, and I bet you’ll agree.


Baltobetsy, that made me smile. I couldn’t wait to see GWTW after reading the book (and screenplay) numerous times. I can’t say I disliked it much then but years later (about 10) seeing it again, I thought Scarlett was a fool and couldn’t understand her continued infatuaton with Ashely. Rhett was “smaller” to me also.
I think the reason I liked King of Kings (more then than now) was that Jefferey Hunter on the sermon of the mount, was like the Jesus I prayed too at night. ( I was about 6-8)He was kind but authoritative, and I remember thinking about following him, daydreaming about what I might do or say. When I came back to the church the friar I talked too said to try to remember those days, those meditations and do it again with the childlike innocence of youth. It will never be the same, but it helped me with the rosary and as I matured in prayer I still reflect on how simple it seemed then.

ps, I will have to look at Close Encounters with new eyes next time. : )

The Keys of the Kingdom. I love it. Also The Song of Bernadette

Not a ‘religious’ movie, but I have to mention The Quiet Man with John Wayne. The two priests in it are just great.

The Passion of the Christ. Never has Our Lord been so real and His Passion so realistic. It is violent but I had read some books on the Saints so I knew what to expect.
The movie helped me understand Jesus on a completely different level and accept my own sufferings with more courage.

I adore Mel Gibson. What he went through to give us this movie is a story of courage in itself.

Jesus Christ Superstar!!!

“A Man for All Seasons”

“The Scarlet and the Black”


The Quiet Man is one of favorite movies period. I just smile at my wife when he scoops up the holy water when she is coming out of church. No patty fingers now!

I love it when Robert Powell, in Jesus of NazarethI explains in tears to the Twelve, that he is “the Truth, the Way, and the Life.” I cry everytime. Probably the best of all time. Especially when Michael York says “This is my beloved son! With him I am well pleased.” Those piercing blue eyes. We must fulfill all righteousness!

And I have to give kudos to Jim Caveziel’s scene at the Table of the Last Supper in The Passion of the Christ.

Like picking out a favorite ice cream - it’s all good!

Any Cadfael fans?

I’m not sure if it qualifies as a “religious” movie or not: Lilies of the Field.

My "religious movie pictures:

The Passion of the Christ

The Edges of the Lord

The Mission

Bernadette’s Feast

Before the Rain

Schindler’s List

The Piano Player

Life is Beautiful


Granted; some of the above are not "feel good’ movies but they do explore our relationship with God, sacamental realities and our common experiance and historical realities…

and the classics: The Sound of Music, The Robe, The Greatest Story Ever Told, Moses, Ben Hur, Quo Vadis…come to mind…

Hello Debraran,
I also like the movie King of Kings, and I also like The Greatest Story Ever Told, and I like The Ten Commandments, The Robe, The Song of Bernadette, and In a kinda way I liked Mel Gibsons The Passion of the Christ, I couldnt stand to see the violence and shut my eyes, but the underlying theme of wickedness, snake, abandonment, sadness, cruelty, was strong. My husband’s favorite scene is post ressurrection, the wounds on hands are clean and you can see through them, but clearly there.
I have seen The Passion twice and I think in time I would like to see it again.
God Bless your life.
Grace Angel.

Oh boy, did this post make me smile! Mom and Dad MADE us watch King of Kings every Easter without fail. It was probably the best catechesis I received in childhood (even though I went to 12 years Catholic School)! I LOVED Jeffrey Hunter as Jesus. My mom used to say she believed Jesus “was in him” when he portrayed Our Lord. She even told me Hunter mysteriously died right after the filming of the movie. I’m pretty sure that’s an urban myth mom started to convince me that Jesus really was “in” dear old Jeffrey! This was one of the first movies I ever bought on tape, back when VCR’s weighed about 100 pounds!

You know debaran, I couldn’t watch another “Jesus” movie until the Passion because I just couldn’t imagine anyone other than Hunter playing Jesus. Suffice to say, I can now! I strongly recommend you give it a try. I think they have an edited version available for the faint of heart.

Yes, I believed a myth for years as a teen that he killed himself because he was haunted from playing Jesus, etc.
He in reality, had a stroke after an accident after hitting his head.

A funny bit of trivia, he was thought of by one critic to be too young to play Jesus, but he was 33.

Song of Bernadette

Man for All Seasons

The Ten Commandments

Jesus of Nazareth (Franco Zeffirelli‘s film)

Passion of Christ

Jesus (from the Jesus Film Project)

Chronicles of Narnia (BBC series)

-The Passion of the Christ (of course!)
-Ben-Hur (1959)
-The Sound of Music

-All the SW and LOTR movies

Ditto to this. It may be the one movie that made such a lasting impression on me.:thumbsup:

In fact, I used to love lots of types of movies-sci-fi, romance, comedy, but after seeing Passion, I don’t like too many movies at all. But lately I’ve seen the one about St. Therese the Little Flower, and an older one on St. Francis that I loved!:signofcross:

*The Hunchback of Notre Dame! * Yes, I admit it. :smiley: That is an awesome movie. When I was younger, my babysitter (a Seventh-Day Adventist, no coincidence, I’m sure) used to show it all the time, and I just recently watched it again. Oh yeah, no competition whatsoever. lol

It deals with so many issues: Hypocrisy, prejudice, superficiality, etc. It was funny to me Frollo, the “pious man,” saw the world as a hopeless abomination full of sin and impurity (which described himself more perfectly) while Quasi was able to see past this deceptive view and note God at work in his creation, corrupted though it was. A very beautiful, tragic, but realistic view of things …


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