Movies with a strong Christian component

Surprised no one has said The Robe. It is based and red pilled. A silver screen epic, with impressive costumes, acting and the Christian message here will massage your shoulders. I got a copy at a ValueVillage on VHS. Made in the 1980's and never opened, still had the plastic wrap and ancient coupons. Gosh what a treat. Complete with uncensored Roman salutes and the love of Christ.

I remember trying to watch this a decade ago and found it a tad too melodramatic - but I started watching it again and wow, I am really enjoying it.

It is also an excellent book - it was a bestseller in 1942, which I plan to re-read, as is "the Silver Chalice" which was also made into a film during the 1950s which was a great time for biblical movies.
The author also has a wonderful book "Magnificent Obsession" about a playboy who finds meaning after an accident.

ONE caveat - as with all ((Hollywood))) films the Crucifixion boils down to 'the Romans did it' .
 

DTJG

Chicken
This one might be better suited to the general movie thread as it is an action/fantasy film, but 'Solomon Kane' has strong Christian themes.

I am not familiar with book series, but in the film, Kane is a ruthless warrior and pirate, but renounces all forms of violence once the devil claims his soul as his own.

Kane escapes and seeks sanctuary in a monastery for a time, but is eventually forced to take up the sword again to save a pilgrim family. He expects that by doing so, he forfeits his soul, but in fact becomes an instrument of Holy justice against the devils minions that dominate the land. He hunts down all evil with a relentlessness of a man seeking to redress a lifetime of wrongdoing.

There is one particularly good scene at a campfire which I wont spoil, but no doubt a useful lesson for us all in these times. If in doubt, offer a crucifix.
 

paulag

Chicken
Last Flag Flying is a semi-Christian (general faith-based) film that is soul-touching and deals with a Vietnam Vet's loss of a son (who served in Iraq) in a mature way. Stars Steve Carell, Lawrencr Fishburn (as the Nam vet friend who became a pastor) and Brian Cranston. I'm almost about to shed tears by thinking about the ending.

The Last Temptation of Christ. If you watch it without getting hung up on the highly heretical details and take it more broadly, it makes some powerful points of the struggle to know and follow God, and to resist the temptations of evil.
 
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Cryptosam

Pigeon
This one might be better suited to the general movie thread as it is an action/fantasy film, but 'Solomon Kane' has strong Christian themes.

I am not familiar with book series, but in the film, Kane is a ruthless warrior and pirate, but renounces all forms of violence once the devil claims his soul as his own.

Kane escapes and seeks sanctuary in a monastery for a time, but is eventually forced to take up the sword again to save a pilgrim family. He expects that by doing so, he forfeits his soul, but in fact becomes an instrument of Holy justice against the devils minions that dominate the land. He hunts down all evil with a relentlessness of a man seeking to redress a lifetime of wrongdoing.

There is one particularly good scene at a campfire which I wont spoil, but no doubt a useful lesson for us all in these times. If in doubt, offer a crucifix.
I second this. Solomon Kane is a movie based on the books written by Robert Howard, who wrote the Conan the Barbarian books series (the ones the Arnold movies are based on). I haven watched it multiple times. It's great fun. An action packed fantasy adventure about a murderer / pirate who repents. Like Conan as a pilgrim. It's very cool, good flavour of film.

 

Volador26

Pigeon
Mel Gibson’s movies keep getting brought up and for good reason-many of the characters he portrays are men who live their faith.

His role as the real life Lt Col Hal Moore in We Were Soldiers is no exception. Before the battle kicks off, there are some great scenes of him teaching his kids to pray as Catholics, and mentoring a fellow officer on what it means to be a Christian and a soldier. The battle itself-Ia Drang Valley, 1965-is well portrayed, and some of the terrible consequences of said battle are movingly depicted. Like Hacksaw Ridge, the Christian response to war and destruction is a theme at play here.

Overall, great movie, great scenes of a man living his faith. The only “bad” thing about this movie is the fact that watching it in 2021, after the nonstop (and very morally questionable) wars the US has been in since...well 1965...you know that the tragic lessons of Vietnamese have not been learned, and that the type of Army that Mel Gibson portrays-of solid, moral men, backed up by loving wives and families is basically the antithesis of our current military.
TL;DR: Check out We Were Soldiers!
 
Hardcore (1979): Dutch Reformed dad George C. Scott leaves Michigan to track down daughter in the LA porno industry.

Like Taxi Driver, it is similar to The Searchers, but is heavy on the Calvinism.

On another note, back when Paul Schrader (screenwriter and director) was a little more intellectually honest, he reported his uncle once saying to him:
"Do you know who makes television? All the kids who couldn't get along here go out to Hollywood and make TV and they send it back here. Well, I didn't like them when they were here, and I don't like them now they're out there."

Great post. Schrader is an essential touchstone for this thread. I love that quote and there is so much honesty contained in it.

The apex moment in Hardcore is the "I don't care" scene.

Paraphrase:

"I don't care who's on tv. I don't care about Johnny Carson."

"What do you care about?"

"My daughter."

[note that the scene isn't so clean as the above text makes out; for instance, why is the daughter of a guy who cares so much doing porn in Cali??]
 

Eusebius Erasmus

Pelican
Orthodox
I forgot to add Amazing Grace (2007), the true story of evangelical politician William Wilberforce, who fought to end slavery in the British Empire:


I would go so far as to call this movie explicitly Christian, with its constant references to Jesus, the Bible, and how Wilberforce knows he is fighting a battle against Satan.

People often forget that except for Christianity, we would still have slavery today.

It's an extremely well made movie, and has star performances by Ioan Gruffudd, Michael Gambon, and Albert Finney.
 

Thomas More

Hummingbird
Great post. Schrader is an essential touchstone for this thread. I love that quote and there is so much honesty contained in it.

The apex moment in Hardcore is the "I don't care" scene.

Paraphrase:

"I don't care who's on tv. I don't care about Johnny Carson."

"What do you care about?"

"My daughter."

[note that the scene isn't so clean as the above text makes out; for instance, why is the daughter of a guy who cares so much doing porn in Cali??]
Sometimes children of hard working, upstanding, loving, Christian parents are absolutely determined to go wild in the worst way. If you have lots of children, the odds of having one go this way increase. It's a roll of the dice.

The black sheep syndrome is real. Even if you could say that somehow in hindsight the parents could have prevented it, how could they know? They did the best they could seeking to do right before God and to do good for their children, and everybody has to make it up as they go. Even some of the greatest biblical heroes had children who went bad.

Also, I agree about Hard Core having some strong Christian content, but it also has a tremendous amount of nudity. I was highly aroused when I saw it as a teenager.
 
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kel

Ostrich
If you’re curious, my video on Scarface as a Christian movie is linked in the box of this video. Also don't judge me on the Einstein portraits in the background, they belonged to a previous housemate.

Coincidentally I just rewatched Scarface after seeing that Morgoth and Academic Agent had a review up, as well. Different tack that what you're taking but I like both of them and their analysis usually.
 

stugatz

Pelican
It was mentioned earlier, but 1951's Quo Vadis is a very solid film, with an impressive portrayal of St. Peter and his days as the leader of the early church.

I'd say that it definitely isn't an all-time classic like Ben Hur - it's overlong and I found Nero's portrayal overly cartoonish. (It also has a similar narrative style to Ben Hur, where Christianity and the teachings of Jesus aren't really the focus - the focus is on the main characters and their motivations, who react to the historical events portrayed around them. In Ben Hur, this made the story of Jesus and his crucifixion all the more powerful, and it never got overbearing. Here it doesn't work so well.)

It's worth watching, however, and definitely worth owning. Sadly, it's obscure enough where I haven't been able to find it in widescreen.
 

stugatz

Pelican
One more that's worth a watch but I had mixed feelings about - 1961's King of Kings. It's one of the many Biblical epics that were released after Ben Hur became a smash hit.

This one, instead of portraying Jesus as a side character, portrays him as the main character. It's well-done, but the movie is essentially Ben Hur with a different main character. Same style and similar direction all the way down to the movie posters.

What I did very much appreciate is the film's attempt to portray Judas's betrayal in the historical context of Judea revolting against Rome. (In this movie, he betrays Jesus because he thinks he isn't down enough for the cause of sticking it to Rome, and the thief/murderer Barabbas is a fellow insurgent for his cause.) It's definitely not completely successful, but I had no problem with the liberties taken and thought it was at least respectful, if unnecessary. I don't want all Biblical epics to feel exactly alike, and this was at least a change-up.

Comparatively, a Jesus-focused film I found unbearably bad and tedious - The Greatest Story Ever Told. Maybe I need to watch it again, but I remember finding it unintentionally funny (John Wayne is the centurion who crucifies him, and his line "truly, this was the Son of God" is delivered poorly to the point where I groaned).
 

Lavabis Me

Sparrow
I used to love movies and had collected a good many over the years. I've gotten rid of most them after coming back to the Church, as I consider them now either morally subversive, lewd, or outright evil. Many had some good qualities, but I couldn't in good conscience keep them or recommend them because I would consider them sinful to watch. They weren't pornographic, just your typical Hollywood jump into bed in the first 10 minutes. I used the criteria, "would I want my kids to watch these as/when they grow up and imbibe their message and have those images in their minds?"

The ones I have kept all have some kind of Christian moral to them, some more than others. Here's a list of about 100 of them that I quickly compiled; some have already been mentioned. Some are just okay movies that I kept because of a scene or two that I considered strongly Christian; one example is the "I give you back to God" scene from "Les Miserables", a movie that I do think is pretty good and well worth watching:

Here's the rest of the movies, many with the year they came out so you can better find or identify them. If enough of you would like, I can repost the list with a short review of each movie and why I think it's Christian to help determine if you would find it interesting, or if you have a specific question about one, feel free to ask:
  1. A Man for All Seasons (1966)
  2. Apocalypto (2006)
  3. Barabbas (1961)
  4. Becket (1964)
  5. Ben-Hur
  6. Brother Orchid (1940)
  7. Constantine And The Cross
  8. Demetrius & the Gladiators
  9. Doubt (2008)
  10. El Cid (1961)
  11. For Greater Glory (2012)
  12. Going My Way (1944)
  13. Goodbye Mr Chips (1939)
  14. Ieri oggi domani (Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow) (1963)
  15. In this House of Brede (1975)
  16. Les Miserables (1998) [1080p]
  17. Molokai
  18. Monsieur Vincent
  19. Mysteries Of Lisbon (2010)
  20. Of Gods and Men
  21. Quo Vadis
  22. The 13th Day
  23. The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965)
  24. The Bells of St. Mary's (1945)
  25. The Fugitive (1947) - with Henry Fonda, not the Harrison Ford one. This is about the purge of the Church in Mexico
  26. The Gospel of John (2003)
  27. The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)
  28. The Left Hand Of God (1955)
  29. The Miracle of Our Lady Fatima (1952)
  30. The Mission
  31. The Robe (1953)
  32. The Song of Bernadette (1943)
  33. The Ten Commandments (1956)
  34. I Confess
  35. Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)
  36. The Seventh Seal (1957)
  37. The Virgin Spring (1960)
  38. 1951 - Diary of a Country Priest - perhaps the best movie of the priesthood I've seen
  39. 1962 - Le Proces De Jeanne D'arc
  40. 1966 - Au Hasard Balthazar
  41. Catholics (aka Conflict) 1973
  42. Dead Reckoning (1947)
  43. Edge of Doom (1950)
  44. 1969 - 3rd moral tale - Ma nuit chez Maud - My Night at Maud's
  45. Nights of Cabiria (1957)
  46. Joan of Arc (1948)
  47. Joan Of Paris
  48. Trouble Along the Way (1953)
  49. Journey to Italy (1954)
  50. La Ciociara (Two Women) (1960) (warning: difficult to watch rape scene, mostly implied and not explicit)
  51. Le retour de Martin Guerre (1982)
  52. Marcelino Pan y Vino (1955)
  53. Moby Dick (1956)
  54. Never Take No For An Answer (1951)
  55. Old Yeller (1957)
  56. Pitfall (1948)
  57. The Garden of Allah (1936)
  58. The Ninth Configuration (1980)
  59. The Passion of the Christ (2004)
  60. The Tree of Life
  61. The Warlord (1965)
  62. The Yearling (1946)
  63. To the Wonder
  64. True Confessions (1981)

Christmas Movies
  1. 3 Godfathers
  2. 10th Avenue Angel
  3. A Charlie Brown Christmas
  4. A Christmas Carol (1938), 1971 (animated)
  5. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
  6. Christmas Holiday (1944)
  7. Come to the Stable (1949)
  8. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
  9. Joyeux Noel (2005)
  10. March of the Wooden Soldiers
  11. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
  12. Nestor The Long-Eared Christmas Donkey
  13. O. Henry's Full House
  14. Our Vines Have Tender Grapes (1945)
  15. Room for One More (1952)
  16. Scrooge (1951), (1970)
  17. The Bishops Wife (1947)
  18. The Holly and the Ivy (1952)
  19. The House Without a Christmas Tree (1972)
  20. The Little Drummer Boy (1968)
  21. The Miracle of the Bells (1948)
  22. The Nativity Story
  23. The Small One (Disney, 1978)

Sci-Fi/Horror
  1. Forbidden Planet (1956)
  2. Kiss Of The Vampire (1963)
  3. Pit and the Pendulum (1961)
  4. The Believers (1987)
  5. The Brides of Dracula (1960)
  6. The Changeling (1980)
  7. The Devil Rides Out (1968)
  8. The Curse Of Frankenstein (1957)
  9. The Curse of the Werewolf (1961)
  10. The Exorcist (1973)
  11. The Fall of the House of Usher (1960)
  12. The Haunted Palace (1963)
  13. The Horror of Dracula (1958)
  14. The Wicker Man (1973)
  15. Seconds (1966)
    Werewolf of London (1935)

Children’s / Cartoons
  1. Dumbo (1941)
  2. Pinocchio (1940)
  3. So Dear to My Heart (1948)
 
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stugatz

Pelican
Hardcore (1979): Dutch Reformed dad George C. Scott leaves Michigan to track down daughter in the LA porno industry.

Like Taxi Driver, it is similar to The Searchers, but is heavy on the Calvinism.

On another note, back when Paul Schrader (screenwriter and director) was a little more intellectually honest, he reported his uncle once saying to him:
"Do you know who makes television? All the kids who couldn't get along here go out to Hollywood and make TV and they send it back here. Well, I didn't like them when they were here, and I don't like them now they're out there."
I never saw this, but it seems really similar to that Nicholas Cage movie 8MM. However, that one was sadistic to the point where I found it pretty vile and wouldn't recommend it to most people. Hardcore comes across as a genuinely good movie.
 

J.E.

Robin
The movie Drive was anti-Jewish and pro-Christian in many ways. There was a video on JewTube called "Drive's Antisemitism" but it was taken down. Despite the video being pro-Jewish, it showed the pro-Christian (and anti-Jewish) themes very clearly. I already liked the movie, but after watching this video it became one of my alltime favorites.
 
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