Friday, October 22, 2010

Catholic Movies

Last year I did a post on Catholic Fiction. I found it interesting that there were some Catholic themed books out there that I had no idea were such. Now I will take a look at movies. Of course, some are obvious, while others are not. Some I've seen, some I have not, some I've heard of, others not.

Considering that Pope John Paul II wrote the play verison of The Jeweller's Shop (1988), I think it is safe to say that this is a Catholic Movie. Drama about three married couples and their ups and downs in holy matrimony. With a faithful jeweler acting as their spiritual adviser, three sets of husbands and wives struggle to live their lives with love, steering clear of avarice and infidelity. Must say away from those pesky deadly sins now!!

Brother Orchid (1940) is another movie I don't recall hearing about. The storyline sounds interesting. When retired racket boss John Sarto tries to reclaim his place and former friends try to kill him, he finds solace in a monastery and reinvents himself as a pious monk.

Well, just by looking at the cover I can see this is a Catholic Themed movie. I have never seen The Miracle of the Bells (1948), but I will put it on my list. I actually haven't heard of this one, and the synopsis sounds good: Granting her final request, a Hollywood press agent brings the dead body of an actress, who died after making her first and only film, back to her hometown for burial. To arouse public interest, and to get the reluctant studio head to release the film, he asks all the local churches to ring their bells for three days.

Apparently Mel Gibson has his hand in a lot of Catholic Themed movies (OK we get it, you are proud to be Catholic). We Were Soldiers (2002) is also considered a Catholic themed and refrenced movie. I have not seen it, but if Mel is in it, it probably is true.

This is one of my favorite Christmas movies. The Trouble With Angels (1966) centeres around a girls Catholic school and some students who don't quite behave. Definetly a light movie, sometimes Catholic movies are so serious, it is nice to laugh occasionally.

The Decalogue (1987) are 10 full length Polish language movies by the late Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski. Each story is based on one of the 10 commandments. Each and every film is depressing, dark and thought provoking.

I remember seeing this movie in the library in the foreign film section. Sometimes I do like to watch thought provoking older films. Monsieur Vincent (1947) a French film talks about the life of 16th-century French priest St. Vincent de Paul (Pierre Fresnay). He faced slavery in Algiers as a boy and the horrific Black Death in Europe as an adult. The internationally acclaimed film won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in 1948. It isn't hard to see why.

Karol: A Man Who Became Pope (2005) is obviously a Catholic Movie. It takes us through the life of the man who would become Pope John Paul II. We get to see how the war affected him, and his rise to the highest 'human' seat in the Catholic world. This isn't your typical 'pretty' story, this is raw and depressing, but very good.

Come on, you know you love this movie. I have not met anyone who did not like Sister Act (1992). I enjoy this movie too because I am in a choir, and to see how she whips these sisters into shape makes me smile. There is the Mother Superior who is strict as hell, there are all sorts of nuns in this convent, just like there are all sorts of people in life. I love the scene where they are sitting around making rosaries.

The most obvious movie that comes to mind is The Excorsist (1973). This movie should just have a big Catholic symbol ont he cover. You know the story, two priests save the soul of a young girl who is possessed by The Devil himself. One would think all movies about excorsism would be considered a Catholic Movie, but I haven't watched another one in which I would consider even on par with this one. Others that come to mind are The Exorcism of Emily Rose and The Last Exorcism. Both of these movies fell short of what The Excorsist did.

One movie that surprised me in having not only a Catholic Theme but Catholic Refrences as well was, It's a Wonderful Life (1946). This is my favorite movie, but in watching it, year after year, I never noticed the Catholicness about it. I will really watch for it this year. I mean, it is Christian in theme, there is Clarence the Angel after all. Does anyone recall a specific Catholic reference? Never-the-less, it is on the Pro-Catholic Movie List.

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