Memorable "Religious" movie moments

Not necessarily from “religious” movie, per se, but memorable scenes. A couple of my favorites:

  1. From “Braveheart”: Just before Willian Wallace (Mel Gibson) is take out to be tortured, he prays, telling God that “I’m so afraid…” and to ask for the strength to die well.

William Wallace, “afraid”? To seem him make this admission and pray for strength is inspiring.

  1. The flashback scene in Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” where Jesus splashes Mary with a bit of water. Really illutrates his human-ness.

  2. “The Apostle” with Robert Duvall where he is watching the priest bless the shrimp boats as they pass under the bridge and says, “You do it your way and I’ll do it mine, either way we get the job done”. A fundamentalist protestant “tipping the hat” to the Catholic clergy.


The Apostle was a nice little movie. One of Farrah Fawcett’s better performances too, actually.

The scene that stands out for me is from “The Passion of the Christ.” It is when Jesus is carrying His cross, and one one side there is Mary, trailing Her Son to His death, wanting to run to Him, knowing He must do what He said He must do; but, feeling that mother’s heart to heal all wounds and being torn in two by the suffering He endured and the helplessness of knowing she could not relieve Him ("a sword shall pierce your heart . . .).

On the opposite side, with Christ between them, there is the enemy, seething with super-intelligent, deliberating and calculating hatred, overlooking Christ and focused squarely on the Blessed Virgin who never moves her eyes from her Son. Christ stumbles and falls face first. He raises Himself a little, looks over to her and somehow smiles through the agony and says . . .“Behold . . .I make all things new.”

Breathtaking. :harp:

It was one in a long series of “conspiratorial” moments (like Chesterton’s “million little facts”), in which the Catholic faith began to take hold for me as a conviction.

I’ll ditto that one convert66 - I still get funny feelings when I think of that line/moment

  1. Several scenes from Denys Arcand’s movie “Jesus of Montreal”
  2. Dinner scene from “Babette’s Feast”
  3. Sidney Poitier in “Brother John”

The Carroll O’Connor character in “Return to Me” going to the hospital chapel, lighting a candle and praying a Rosary when his grand daughter (played by Minnie Driver) is undergoing a heart transplant.

There’s a scene in the movie “Smoke Signals” where Thomas is talking about Victor’s mother Arlene’s famous fried bread. Thomas mentions that that bread is even used for Communion in their church and says something like, “fried bread walking on water, fried bread rising from the dead.”

The scene in Ben Hur, when he’s on the slave chain being dragged through Nazareth, and falls over dying from thirst, he prays to God, “God Help Me” and a mysterious hand reaches down to him to offer him a pitcher of water. This moment comes full circle toward the very end of the film when the favor is repaid.

ALL OF THE SOUND OF MUSIC.:slight_smile:
the scene in The Trouble With Angels where Mary tells Rachel that she is going to be a nun. ( I think I have the right names, it’s been a long time since I have watched)
there"s a few scenes in Gone With The Wind
the church scene in Pollyanna with Rev Ford. “DEATH COMES UNEXPECTEDLY”

Lilies of the Field - “I built the chapel” -“You built the chapel” - “We built the chapel” - “HE built the chapel!”. Wonderful stuff.

1.) That scene from the extended version of The Return of the King, where Sam briefly sees a star in Mordor. I quote from the book:

There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing; there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.
2.) When the Christians sing hymns on the way to martyrdom in Quo Vadis.

The endings of Ordet and Andrei Rublev are quite easily the most powerful religious moments i’ve seen in films.

Ditto again convert66. I get tears in my eyes every time I think of that scene, “I make all things new”, from Passion of the Christ.

There was a little movie called “Tender Mercies” also with Robert Duvall, where Tess Harper, not knowing if her new husband (a former alcoholic) is going to come home because he is having a crisis and went out to drink, goes to bed and begins to recite a psalm, "teach me your ways O Lord…

(He threw the bottle away and came home sober. yea!)

The pivotal scene from The End of the Affair, when a non-believing Sarah Miles prays out of desperation to God to save her dead lover. When her prayer is unexpected answered, and Bendrix walks into his bedroom where Sarah has been kneeling in prayer, a shocked Sarah hastily dresses and heads for the door.

Bendrix: I’m sorry to disappoint you, Sarah.
Sarah: Love doesn’t end, just because we don’t see each other.
Bendrix: It doesn’t?
Sarah: People go on loving God, don’t they, all their lives without seeing him?
Bendrix: That’s not my kind of love.
Sarah: Maybe there’s no other kind.

It’s “old style” Hollywood but there are some scenes that really stick out in my mind:

The Ten Commandments (1956)

A scene with a goading Queen Nefretiri and an arrogant Rameses:

Nefretiri: [approaches Rameses as he is praying to an idol over his dead son] How many more days and nights will you pray? Does he hear you?
Rameses: [praying] Dread Lord of Darkness, I have raised my voice to you, yet life has not come to the body of my son. Hear me!
Nefretiri: He cannot hear you. He’s nothing but a piece of stone with the head of a bird.
Rameses: He will hear me. For I am Egypt.
Nefretiri: Egypt? You are nothing. You let Moses kill my son. No god can bring him back. What have you done to Moses? How did he die? Did he cry for mercy when you tortured him? Bring me to his body! I want to see it, Rameses! I want to see it!
Rameses: This is my son. He would have been Pharaoh and would have ruled the world. Who mourns him now? Not even you. All you can think of is Moses. You will not see his body. I drove him out of Egypt. I cannot fight the power of his God.
Nefretiri: His God? The priests say that Pharaoh is a god. But you are not a god. You are even less than a man. Listen to me, Rameses. You thought I was evil when I went to Moses. And you were right. Shall I tell you what happened, Rameses? He spurned me like a strumpet in the street. I, Nefretiri, Queen of Egypt! All that you wanted from me he would not even take! Do you hear laughter Pharaoh? Not the laughter of kings, but the laughter of slaves on the desert island!
Rameses: Laughter? Laughter? My son I shall build your tomb upon their crushed bodies. If any escape me, their seed shall be spattered and acursed forever. My armor! The war crown! Laughter? I will turn the laughter of these slaves into wails of torment! They shall remember the name of Moses! Only that he died under my chariot wheels!
Nefretiri: Kill him with your own hands!
Rameses: Let the trumpets sound. Alert the watchtowers. Assemble all the chariots at the city gate. I obey. Nura and Thebes will draw my chariot. I will bring you back your temple treasure.
Nefretiri: Bring it back to me… stained with his blood.
Rameses: I will… to mingle with your own.

[Then then famous parting of The Red Sea scene.]

[Upon his return humbled before God, a still defiant Ramses is about to strike Nefretiri with his sword.]

Nefretiri: Before you strike, show me his blood on your sword.

[Rameses throws down his sword in disgust.]

Nefretiri: You couldn’t even kill him.
Rameses: His god… is God.

Another favorite is, to me, this spellbinding exchange between Judah Ben-Hur who has won the Chariot race but saddened having just learned of his family’s circumstances and the infamous Pontius Pilate from:

Ben Hur (1959):

Judah Ben-Hur: You sent for me?
Pontius Pilate: I hope I bring you a good conclusion to your victory. I have a message for you from the consul, your father.
Judah Ben-Hur: I honor him.
Pontius Pilate: As you may honor yourself. You have been made a citizen of Rome.
Pontius Pilate: Do you say nothing to this?
Judah Ben-Hur: I have just come from the Valley of Stone where my mother and my sister live what’s left of their lives. By Rome’s will, lepers and outcasts without hope!
Pontius Pilate: I have heard this. There was great blame there, very deeply regretted.
Judah Ben-Hur: Their flesh is mine, m’lord Pilate. It already carries Rome’s mark.
Pontius Pilate: Messala is dead. What he did has had its way with him.
Judah Ben-Hur: The deed was not Messala’s. I knew him, well, before the cruelty of Rome spread in his blood. Rome destroyed Messala as surely as Rome has destroyed my family.
Pontius Pilate: Where there is greatness, great government or power, even great feeling or compassion, error also is great. We progress and mature by fault. But Rome has said she is ready to join your life to hers in a great future.
Judah Ben-Hur: There are other voices.
Pontius Pilate: The voice for instance of Arrius, waiting for you in Rome. He would tell you, if I may speak in his place, not to crucify yourself on a shadow such as old resentment or impossible loyalties. Perfect freedom has no existence. A grown man knows the world he lives in, and for the present, the world is Rome. Young Arrius, I am sure, will choose it.
Judah Ben-Hur: I am Judah Ben-Hur.
[long pause; Pilate turns and walks away a few steps, then gestures]
Pontius Pilate: I crossed this floor in spoken friendship, as I would speak to Arrius. But when I go up those stairs I become the hand of Caesar, ready to crush all those who challenge his authority. There are too many small men of envy and ambition who try to disrupt the government of Rome. You have become the victor and hero to these people. They look to you, their one true god as I called you. If you stay here, you will find yourself part of this tragedy.
Judah Ben-Hur: I am already part of this tragedy.
[Judah Ben-Hur takes off the ring, Quintus Arrius gave him earlier. Judah Ben-hur rescued Quintus Arrius, as Romans was fighting Macedonians, that just come onto the Roman ship]
Judah Ben-Hur: Return this to Arrius. I honor him too well to wear it any longer.
Pontius Pilate: [taking the ring] Even for the sake of Arrius, I cannot protect you from personal disaster if you stay here. You are too great a danger.
[he turns away and walks up the stairs to the governor’s throne]
Pontius Pilate: Leave Judea. You have my warning.
[Judah Ben-Hur then exits Pilate’s palace]

In the movie “Alive”…about the plane crash in the Andes mountains in the 1970’s…true story…anyway ,at the end of the movie they show a cross on top of the Andes that was built for the people that died and a beautiful version of Ave Maria is being sung…it always brings tears to my eyes…

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