So, lately I have been really disappointed in the Catholic Media’s portrayal of movies (this isn’t really news)
One review in particular was by Random Catholic Thoughts who explained to the viewers, the “catholic characters” in secular movies that we may have missed. One was a character from the X-men movies; I mean, aside from the naked blue chick running around it’s an okay movie… right? UGH!
Another “Catholic” review on movies is this guy, who made a video on how “The Nightmare Before Christmas” can be perceived as a Christian themed movie……
Anyone else notice … anything… off? No? It’s just me? Okay. Whatever.
The idea of taking secular movies (and not the best ones either!) and trying to make them “Christian” themed is just preposterous. Aside from the obvious facts… its just wrong! There are SO many good movies out there ! We don’t need to take movies such as the X-MEN and trying to make it… “COOLER BECAUSE THERE IS NOW A SECRET CATHOLIC CHARACTER!” *yay*.
What happened to the Church being “in the world, but not of the world“ What happened to “the world, the flesh and the devil” being the number one enemies and dangers? On the other hand, some people have decided to take secular movies and turn them into a “IT’S THE DEVIL! REPENT!” sort of … review. Uhm, that’s awkward. Now whenever anyone talks about movies being sinful it is reverted to a mental picture of a crazy person with an “end of the world” sign telling everyone that Santa is the devil…. (sigh) Thanks guys.
Where has the middle ground gone? Where has common sense gone? Why is it either “Puritan” or Secular nowadays?
For some reason ‘Catholic’ movies that are old aren’t as cool as modern movies? I have no idea. But if it comes down to something being ‘too old’ to be cool and still relevant, then what about every single thing we do that dates back to decades ago? What about … Holy Communion? The Church itself? The art of reading books, tea-drinking, gardening…. ?
Ok, enough ranting. Here are the movies. They are either CATHOLIC, or about Catholics (in a good way). Enjoy!
NOTE: all quotes are from IMDB St. Luke Productions & Ignatius Press
The Detective (Father Brown) – 1954
“Works of art are disappearing, stolen by a master thief, a master of disguise. Father Brown has two goals: to catch the thief and to save his soul.”
The Reluctant Saint – 1962
“In 17th century Italy, a simple and clumsy young man joins a Franciscan order, pursues full priesthood and performs a miracle that eventually ensures his sainthood.”
The Song of Bernadette – 1943
“In 1858 France, Bernadette, an adolescent peasant girl, has a vision of “a beautiful lady” in the city dump. She never claims it to be anything other than this, but the townspeople all assume it to be the virgin Mary. The pompous government officials think she is nuts, and do their best to suppress the girl and her followers, and the church wants nothing to do with the whole matter. But as Bernadette attracts wider and wider attention, the phenomenon overtakes everyone in the town, and transforms their lives.”
The Sound of Music -1965
“A woman leaves an Austrian convent to become a governess to the children of a Naval officer widower.”
Joan of Arc – 1948
“In the Fifteenth Century, France is a defeated and ruined nation after the One Hundred Years War against England. The fourteen years old farm girl Joan of Arc claims to hear voices from Heaven asking her to lead God’s Army against Orleans and crowning the weak Dauphin Charles VII as King of France. Joan gathers the people with her faith, forms an army and conquerors Orleans. When her army is ready to attack Paris, the corrupt Charles sells his country to England and dismiss the army. Joan is arrested, sold to the Burgundians England and submitted to a shameful political trial in Rouen castle.”
Monsieur Vincent – 1947
“St. Vincent de Paul struggles to bring about peace and harmony among the peasant and the nobles in the midst of the Black Death in Europe, carrying on his charitable work in the face of all obstacles.”
The Scarlet and the Black – 1983
“Vatican efforts, lead by Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, to save Allied POWs and downed Allied airmen as the Nazis invade Rome.”
Francis of Assisi – 1961
“Francis Bernardone (Bradford Dillman) is the son of a wealthy cloth merchant in Assisi, who gives up all his worldly goods to dedicate himself to God. Clare (Dolores Hart) is a young aristocratic woman who, according to the film, is so taken with St. Francis that she leaves her family and becomes a nun. By this time (1212 A.D.), St. Francis has a well-established reputation for his vows of poverty. The movie goes on to note miracles (such as the appearance of the stigmata on Francis’s hands and feet) and other aspects of his life, up to and including his death on October 3, 1226.”
Karol: A Man who Became Pope – 2005
“The life of the pope John-Paul II, from his youth as a writer, actor, and athlete in war-torn occupied Poland to his election as Pope at the age of 58.”
Karol: The Pope, the Man – 2006
The continuing story of St. John Paul II following his election as Pope to his death.
The Keys of the Kingdom – 1944
“A young priest, Father Chisholm is sent to China to establish a Catholic parish among the non-Christian Chinese. While his boyhood friend, also a priest, flourishes in his calling as a priest in a more Christian area of the world, Father Chisholm struggles. He encounters hostility, isolation, disease, poverty and a variety of set backs which humble him, but make him more determined than ever to succeed. Over the span of many years he gains acceptance and a growing congregation among the Chinese, through his quiet determination, understanding and patience.”
For Greater Glory – 2012
“A chronicle of the Cristeros War (1926-1929); a war by the people of Mexico against the atheistic Mexican government.”
A Man for all Seasons – 1966
“The story of Thomas More, who stood up to King Henry VIII when the King rejected the Roman Catholic Church to obtain a divorce and remarriage.”
Therese – The Story of St. Therese of Lisieux – 2004
“The mesmerizing story of a young girl’s romance with God. Her faith, trials, and sacrifices reveal a way of life based on love and simplicity. A contemplative film based on the true story of Saint Therese of Lisieux, the most popular saint of modern times.”
The Assisi Underground – 1985
“This film sheds light on the role of the Catholic Church and the people of Assisi in rescuing Italian Jews from the Nazis in 1943.”
Marcelino Pan Y Vino – 1955
“Marcelino is an orphan who grows up in a monastery. One day when he eats his small meal in a room full of old things he gives a piece of his bread to an old wooden Jesus figure – and indeed it takes the bread and eats it. Getting a wish granted for his donation Marcelino wishes to see his mother…”
Padre Pio – Between Heaven & Earth – 2000
“The story of Padre Pio (1887-1968) “
Mother Teresa – 2003
“Mother Teresa – the movie: the inspirational portrayal of Mother Teresa, a simple nun who became one of the most significant personalities of the 20th Century. Armed with a faith that could move mountains, Mother Teresa followed her calling to help the poor, the lepers, the dying and the abandoned children in the slums of Calcutta, challenging many authorities – including the church – along the way.”
Sant’Antonio di Padova – 2002
“Depiction of the life of St. Anthony, beginning with his initial calling to the priesthood as a young Portuguese nobleman, and following him as he becomes a Franciscan monk and preaches across Africa and Europe.”
There Be Dragons – 2011
“Arising out of the horror of the Spanish Civil War, a candidate for canonization (St. Josemaria Escriva) is investigated by a journalist who discovers his own estranged father had a deep, dark and devastating connection to the saint’s life.”
A Time for Miracles – 1980
“A true story about (Saint) Elizabeth Bayley Seton, the first American to ever be canonized as a saint by the Pope. She took up Catholicism after the death of her rich husband, fought bigotry and opened free catholic schools and orphanages.”
Popieluszko – 2009
“The stirring, powerful true story of Blessed Jerzy Popieluszko, the courageous young priest martyr who became the chaplain and spiritual leader of the large trade union in Poland, Solidarity, in the 1980s. At 37 yrs. old, Fr. Popieluszko was brutally murdered by Communist agents for his outspoken defense of his people, and proclaiming the teachings of the Church on human rights and the dignity of the human person.”
Pius XII: Under the Roman Sky – 2010
“Based on Vatican documents and personal testimonies used by advocates for the cause for the canonization of Venerable Pope Pius XII, this epic film stars acclaimed actor James Cromwell in a powerful movie about the great, often hidden struggle waged by the Pope and many others with him to save the Jews from the Nazis during WWII. After the Nazi’s take over Rome in 1943, Hitler’s plan to kidnap the Pope is revealed as the Nazis make an all-out attempt to silence the one authority figure in Italy standing strong against them. Everything comes together with great intensity in this dramatic story that retraces history from the documents and the testimonies of witnesses that was not fully known til now.”
John of the Cross –
“Saint John of the Cross was the greatest poet that Spain has ever known. In Leonardo’s warmly moving portrait, he is portrayed as a man in love with God, whose exquisite poetry touches a chord in every heart that cries out for a deeper relationship with our Beloved Lord. Not only is this production a profound contemplative experience, it is also a gripping drama of intrigue and adventure. John of the Cross was captured and held prisoner in a tiny closet by his own Carmelite brothers for nine long months. His harrowing escape forms the highlight of this drama. The saint’s mystical poem, The Spiritual Canticle runs as a connecting thread through the piece, and the suspenseful story keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. The musical score for this production is a complete orchestral performance, composed by Randall DeBruyn.”
St. Patrick: The Irish Legend
“This is the first ever feature film depicting the dramatic life of the legendary Irish hero and saint. Kidnapped at the age of 16 by Irish raiders, Patrick escapes after six years, only to return to the turbulent country as a missionary to preach the faith. Armed with great courage, convictions and unwavering faith that Christianity could liberate Ireland, we see how his mission altered the course of history. Patrick Bergin, Malcolm McDowell and Susannah York star in this lush production filmed in Ireland.”
Maximilian Saint of Auschwitz –
“Many of us don’t realize that Jews were not the only religious group persecuted in the Auschwitz death camp during World War II. Such was the case for Saint Maximilian Kolbe, the Catholic priest who gave his life in the starvation bunker for a fellow prisoner. His moving story is brought to life by actor Leonardo Defilippis in this powerful one-man dramatic production. In this tour-de-force performance, Defilippis switches effortlessly from Maximilian to Nazi, alternating dramatically between good and evil. As the exciting plot unfolds, one is drawn not only into the compelling events of this courageous life, but into Kolbe’s message of trust as well. Maximilian: Saint of Auschwitz is completed by a breath-taking musical score. The drama of this saint’s heroism and faith touches the heart in a mysterious and profound way, and his message is an inspiration for our age.”
“Travel through time to the 19th century parish church of Ars, France, in this dramatic presentation of Vianney Speaks, performed by Leonardo Defilippis. There you will witness firsthand the inspiring sermons and intimate prayers of Saint John Vianney that vividly illustrate the human frailty, humility and fervor of the patron saint of parish priests. Born on the eve of the French Revolution, John Vianney witnessed the intense persecution of the Church, and the heroism of the priests who risked their lives during that era to deliver the sacraments.”
Wizard of Heaven
“The Wizard of Heaven – the Life of St. John Vianney – On February 9, 1818, a 32 year-old priest began his journey to Ars, France, with his few meager possessions. Ordained less than 3 years before, Fr. John Marie Baptist Vianney (1786 – 1859) was on route to take up his first pastoral assignment……”
St. John Bosco Mission to Love
“Flavio Insinna gives a winning performance as John (Don) Bosco, the great priest and educator of youth from the tough streets of Turin, Italy. Beautifully filmed in Italy, this epic movie dramatizes the many challenges that Don Bosco had to overcome from his childhood through founding his religious order, the Salesians, for helping educate boys. Growing up without a father gave him compassion for the many orphans that he cared for, while he faced persecution from both secular society and the Church as he fought to build a place to house and educate the homeless, outcast youth of Turin. His deep faith, creative imagination and profound charity shine through in this wonderful film. Also stars Charles Dance (Gosford Park) and popular Italian singer and actress Lina Sastri.”
“The Staircase, based on the real legend of the “miraculous stairway” at the Sisters of Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe, New Mexico is an inspirational, life-affirming drama of hope and faith. Mother Madalyn’s (Barbara Hershey) last wish is that her beloved chapel be completed. However when local carpenters built the chapel, they neglected to erect stairs up to the choir loft, and due to the chapel’s construction, adding a staircase is now impossible. The arrival of Joad (William Petersen), may be the answer to Mother Madalyn’s prayers.”
In finding these movies I encountered a lot of annoying, and disturbing content on Catholic sites proclaiming movies to be “Great Catholic Movies” … when afterwards when I checked the Parents Rating there are scenes of nudity, sexuality, ect. UGHH!
But that’s for another post…
Until next time… don’t trust just any Catholic movie until YOU have read the parents guide. Even if it’s in a “Catholic” newspaper/website… trust God more, trust Catholic media less. Your soul and the souls of your children are in danger; impurity is everywhere. So much so that I guess I am the only one who notices it in movies.
Be careful out there, and when in doubt, remember well the words of Pope Pius XII,
“What sins are committed or provoked by conversations which are too free, by immodest shows, by dangerous reading. How lax have consciences become, how pagan morals!“
“The good of our soul is more important than that of our body; and we have to prefer the spiritual welfare of our neighbor to our bodily comforts. . . If a certain kind of dress constitutes a grave and proximate occasion of sin, and endangers the salvation of your soul and others, it is your duty to give it up.“