It is finished: Happy Easter with religious movies

WordPress offers several awesome features for it’s users.  My favorite is “Site Stats” where you can see how many views you got that day, where they are coming from, links clicked and keywords searched that brought people to my blog.

Today when I looked at the site stats and keyword searches, I just shook my head.  One of the searches was “Is Easter biblical?” Why yes, yes it is. It’s the most important holiday in the Christian faith. Here are some of my favorite religious movies (as promised yesterday) that show this.

Barbara Stanwyck and David Manners in “Miracle Woman”

The Miracle Woman (1931): Barbara Stanwyck is the daughter of a minister whose fatal heart attack is caused by his ungrateful congregation.  Stanwyck loses her faith and takes up with a con man who hires her to heal the blind and crippled in his evangelical road shows.  A blind man (played by attractive David Manners) is about to commit suicide but stops when he hears The Miracle Woman on the radio.  Manners seeks her out and they fall in love, helping each other to restore their faith in God and humanity. This is actually one of my favorite Barbara Stanwyck and Frank Capra movies.  It has a really good story and several intense moments.

•One Foot in Heaven (1941): This movie takes place in America during the turn of the century until the 1940s. It isn’t set in Biblical times, but it shows the sacrifices a minister and his family makes for their parish and faith. From having to put up with roofs with 16 leaks, hand me downs from the women in the church and rumors about your children, Fredric March’s character and his wife Martha Scott never yield to the temptation of giving up the parish. “One Foot in Heaven” is a really heartwarming story and is actually one of my favorites. March’s character is human and does feel downtrodden by a greedy congregation, but he never completely loses sight of what is important.

The Song of Bernadette (1943): This movie isn’t based in Biblical times, but has to do with the sacrifices a French peasant girl sees a vision of the Virgin Mary. Officials think she is crazy, she gains followers in the town and the church denounces her. However, Bernadette (played by the beautiful Jennifer Jones) overcomes it all and becomes a nun. This isn’t directly related to Easter but is inspiring none the less.  Miss Jones won her Oscar for this movie and she did a wonderful job.

Ben-Hur, his mother and sister watch as Jesus carries the cross.

Ben-Hur (1959): This is an all around beautiful movie. Not just because of the elaborate sets, outstanding Technicolor and Charlton Heston’s good looks, but because of the over all message. The movie mainly focuses on the journey that begins when Juda Ben-Hur has the misfortune of being wrongly accused for murder. However,  Jesus has a large role in Ben-Hur’s journey. Jesus gives Ben-Hur water while he is on a chain with other prisoners and dying of thirst.  Later Ben-Hur has gained his high status again and sees Jesus being sentenced by Pontius Pilate. He watched as Jesus carries the cross and when Jesus stumbles, Ben-Hur tries to help him (which of course gets him in a bit of trouble). After Jesus dyes, there is a terrible storm (which symbolizes God’s anger). Ben-Hur’s mother and sister who were lepers, have their skin washed clean. The film is very moving and I don’t really see how either “Titanic” or “The Lord of the Rings” measures up Oscar wise (they both seem a bit frivolous in comparison).

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