Usually a movie review is posted here. But since Passion Sunday is upon us, we found it befitting to list a few movies we usually watch this time of year. And we also wanted to know if you had any favorites among this list or some that were not listed you would like to tell us about.

King of Kings is a favorite fixture in our VHS collection. It is safe to say this movie stands as our family’s traditional Easter film. The film is a dramatization of the story of Jesus of Nazareth (Jeff Hunter) from his birth and ministry to his crucifixion and resurrection, with much dramatic license. Whenever we see Jesus carrying the cross it really touches my heart to the core. First released in 1961, this movie is 2 hours and 41 minutes.

The Passion of the Christ starring Jim Caviezel (The Count of Monte Cristo) and Monica Bellucci. Directed by Mel Gibson. This film is the closet to true scriptural interpretation. As it depicts the last twelve hours of Jesus’ life. A difficult film for me to watch as it always leaves me in tears. There are just so many memorable moments in this film. Caviezel was excellent in his role. Originally released in 2004. The film is 2 hours and 6 minutes long and can be seen on Amazon Prime, Pluto TV and Tubi TV.

Forty Nights. The character story about Christ (DJ Perry) beginning at his baptism by John the Baptist (Terry Jernigan) and ending with his wilderness quest. Here Jesus reflects on his childhood and the events that shaped his life. We found this movie to be interesting because you see how Satan is constantly antagonizing him in greater depth. More than we have seen in previous films. Released in 2016. The film is 1 hour and 26 minutes and can be seen on Amazon Prime, Pluto TV and Tubi TV.

The Original Ben Hur with Charlton Heston as the main character. There are some films that should never be re-done. This is one of them. It takes more than just grand special effects to carry a film. Great films receive their accolades because of a well written script, exceptional actors and timing. The movie script was superb with a brilliant cast and the timing of Ben Hur was impeccable—never to be done again.

This is definitely a film about the human spirit. And how, no matter the difficulty, Ben Hur’s fight to survive never waned nor his purpose thwarted. The interesting part is how the Christ is woven throughout the film’s backdrop—tying the storyline altogether. In AD 26, Judah Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston) is a wealthy Jewish prince and merchant in Jerusalem, who lives with his mother, Miriam (Martha Scott); his sister, Tirzah (Cathy O’Donnell); and their female servant Amrah (Stella Vitelleschi).

The family’s loyal slave, the merchant Simonides (Sam Jaffe), pays a visit with his daughter, Esther (Haya Harareet). Seeing each other for the first time since childhood, Judah and Esther fall in love, but she is betrothed to another. Judah’s childhood friend, the Roman citizen Messala (Stephen Boyd), is now a tribune. After several years away from Jerusalem, Messala returns as the new commander of the Roman garrison, the Fortress of Antonia. Messala believes in the glory of Rome and its imperial power, while Judah is devoted to his faith and the freedom of the Jewish people. This difference causes tension between the friends, and results in their split after Messala issues an ultimatum demanding that Judah deliver potential rebels amongst the populace to the Roman authorities. Released in 1956. The film is 3 hours and 42 minutes long and can be rented on Amazon for $3.99.

No Passion Sunday would be complete without The Greatest Story Ever Told. With an all star cast comprised of Telly Savalas as Pilate, Sidney Poitier as Simon of Cyrene, Shelley Winters as the woman with the issue of blood healed by touching Christ’s garment, and Max von Sydow as an authoritative yet compassionate Jesus the Christ. In it’s era the film did not get any good reviews. However, it is still a good movie to watch as it lends a more in depth look at the life of Christ from a reverent and religious dimension not seen in other films. Released in 1965. This film is 3 hours and 19 minutes long and can be seen on Amazon Prime or rented for $3.99 and $4.99 on Amazon.

Do you have any movies you would like to add? Or comments on the ones listed above?

Ben Hur information gathered from Wikipedia.

© Rhema International. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission, from this blog’s author and/or owner, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Rhema International.

2 Comments »

  1. Have you seen the Visual Bible’s Matthew, with Bruce Marchiano? My best-loved life of Christ! Wonderful body language fleshes out Jesus’ humanity. The book by Marchiano is a humble and tender story of how God led throughout production, changing lives of cast and crew.

    Then there is the Sight and Sound Theater’s movie of their stage play, “Jesus”, masterfully presented.

    My most recent favorite is The Chosen TV series, a crowdfunded life of Christ as seen through those who encountered Him. Season 1 is available, with 8 seasons hoped for.

    All three of these present a view of Jesus which allows us to believe in and love His humanity as well as His divinity. In each, we see Him as a joyful lover of souls.

    Like

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