I really liked "One Night with the King".Quite a few LDS
gentry movies are good, considering the very low production costs involved.
To add to the mix of movies with religious themes, we can add The Matrix
trilogy. It's got a very human character who becomes the savior of
humanity simply by virtue of his own choices - "As God is, man may
become," anyone? :-)
Even a mundane movie like "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" had a great
spiritual theme. V-ger, sent out by the "Creator" to gain knowledge,
came back to earth to become "one with the creator". "Be one or ye
are not mine." To those with ears to hear and eyes to see, there are so
many wonderful gospel messages in many films. The Star Wars (original trilogy)
is another great example of the Good vs. Evil struggle. Satan never does
support his own, just as Emperor Palpatine didn't support Darth Vadar in
the end. And Vadar was restored thru repentance and sacrifice. Wow, what great
stuff. Don't forget the original Battlestar Galactica: Adam(a), eternal
marriage, Twelve original Tribes, Quorum of Twelve, etc. There was even an
actual satan character that tempted Starbuck and Apollo.
I still really like the movie Oh God. George Burns plays God. I remember when
it came out some objected to the idea of God having a body and being talked to
and seen as a person. That was before I joined the LDS Church. To me it fit in
well with LDS theology. Also back in the 1970s. there was a movie
called Mohamad, Messenger of God. And they did a very respectful dipiction of
Mohommad by not showing him in any form, as the Muslim people don't want
any image of him being produced. The camera was always from the point of view
of Mohamad himself, through his own eyes.
The author of this article states that, "Since the days of "Ben-Hur"
(1959) and "The Ten Commandments" (1956), religious-themed films have
been making a stamp on the box office." Has the author never heard of the
1923 version of "the 10 Commandments", "The King of Kings"
(1927), Ben Hur (1925), "The Sign of the Cross" (1932), "How Green
Was My Valley" (1941), "Samson and Delilah" (1949) The Passion of
Joan of Arc (1928), The Robe (1953),Angels with Dirty Faces (1938), Bicycle
Thieves (1947),Diary of a Country Priest (1950), It's a Wonderful Life
(1946), The Nazarin (1951), Saint Joan (1957),The Song of Bernadette (1943),
"The Bishop’s Wife" (1947), "The Bells of St.
Mary’s" (1945),... I could go on. I hope I made my point,
"Religious Films" and Films with religious themes have existed since
celluloid was invented. The author should have done more research. He seems to
have assumed that religious films started with his childhood memories.
I enthusiastically endorse "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make
Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan" for its footage of Borat's visit
to a good ol' southern Pentacostal (I think) revival. Make it a
double-feature with "Hell House," a documentary about religous-themed
haunted house exibits put on by some of our more . . ummm, "committed"
Christian brethren. Those will tell you a lot more about a dedicated religous
mindset than "Ben Hur" or "Evan Almighty" will.
If we're going to go into movies, let's not forget the TV movies or
series like "Doc" with Billy Ray Cyrus or "Touched by an Angel,"
and others. I believe these were taken off the mainstream TV fare because they
were too good for the critics but they are still available on cable and in
syndication. "Doc" has a message of hope and inspiration on every
episode. It would be nice if these could be brought back; they are so much
better than the violence and evil that so many shoot-em-up movies that are being
produced in today's market. Of course, that's just my opinion.
Not well received by this author, but I really enjoy the movie Saved. Certainly
the characters are over the top, but the message is essentially 1 Cor 13. Be as
religious as you wish, attend a private christian school, go to church, have
visions, make all the right choices, etc., but if you don't have charity -
if you are intolerant and judgmental - then in the end you are (and will have)