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Catholic Films

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Gospel According to Saint Matthew
$13.99 (Save $1.00)
[VHS Tape] (1964)
Christ's life is presented with respect for the traditional religious doctrine of the church, but Pasolini's trademark naturalism "humanizes" his subject and makes Him his own. The documentary-style camera captures Christ's meetings with the men who were to become his disciples, the Last Supper, and the betrayal by Judas. Note the rich music of Bach, Mozart, Prokofiev and Webern and Odetta's passionate singing. Crisis Magazine considers the best "Life of Christ" film ever made.
Greatest Story Ever Told
$22.48 (Save $2.50)
[VHS Tape] (1965)
Max von Sydow does beautiful work as Jesus in this famous "Life of Jesus" film--his spontaneous mourning at discovering his friend Lazarus has died is not like anything in other New Testament epics--and Stevens renders the familiar tale with a handsome authenticity.
Groundhog Day
$11.99 (Save 96)
[VHS Tape] (1993)
The protagonist, Bill Murray, a nerdy, narcissistic, condescending Pittsburgh TV weatherman, discovers that he cannot die, that he is trapped, seemingly forever, in February 2nd, Groundhog Day, in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, the site of the National Groundhog Festival. Murray, sent to cover this event, must continually relive it until such immortality as this provides him teaches him how to be mortal. Murray tries out, in a comical manner, the worldly pleasures of indulgence, sex, and money, and when they do not work, he turns to despair. But after hundreds if not thousands of attempts either to live a fun day or annihilate himself, he begins to sanctify the time. Whereas Jimmy Stewart in It's a Wonderful Life discovers what Bedford Falls would have been like had he never lived, Bill Murray discovers how Punxatawney can be turned into a better place. This picture embodies the message taught and lived by many saints.
Groundhog Day
$22.36 (Save $5.59)
[DVD] (1993)
I Confess
$13.99 (Save 96)
[VHS Tape] (1953)
Alfred Hitchcock's compelling tale about a parish priest (Montgomery Clift) who hears a killer's confession and plunges into peril. Circumstantial evidence and eyewitness accounts point to a priest as the slayer--and the seal of Confession forbids him to speak out. He is determined to honor the sanctity of the confessional even at the risk of his own demise.
It's A Wonderful Life
$13.99 (Save 99)
[VHS Tape] (1947)
Seldom has the pope's favorite theme of the importance of each person's life been so effectively dramatized. Perceived when it was released as too sentimental, it has taken its place as one of the most profound and beloved films of all time. Joseph Walker, the great cinematographer, filmed this so beautifully in black and white that it is a sin to watch the tacky colorized version. George Bailey (played superbly by James Stewart) grows up in the small town of Bedford Falls, dreaming dreams of adventure and travel, but circumstances conspire to keep him enslaved to his home turf. Frustrated by his life, and haunted by an impending scandal, George prepares to commit suicide on Christmas Eve. A heavenly messenger (Henry Travers) arrives to show him a vision: what the world would have been like if George had never been born.
  It's A Wonderful Life
$19.98 (Save $5.00)
[DVD] (1947)
Jacob
$17.99 (Save $1.99)
[VHS Tape] (1994)
  Jesus
$25.45 (Save $4.50)
[DVD] (2000)
Jesus (2-Tape Set)
$22.49 (Save $2.50)
[VHS Tape] (2000)
Tackling the story of Jesus for film is bound to incur controversy. Yet, in a bold move, CBS produced the television miniseries Jesus, which not only retells the biblical story, but takes a look at the more human side of the man. Jeremy Sisto stars, and although it takes a little while for him to gather enough momentum to have us believing him in this role, overall he is surprisingly convincing.
  Jesus of Nazareth
$33.90 (Save $6.00)
[DVD] (1977)
Jesus of Nazareth (3-Video Set)
$29.73 (Save $5.25)
[VHS Tape] (1977)
Originally made for TV in 1977, this in-depth (six hours plus) version of Jesus' life is so thorough that the first hour is devoted solely to the story of his birth. The film doesn't skimp on some of the other landmark events of this famous story, either. Director Franco Zeffirelli gives more than 12 minutes screen time each to the Last Supper and the Crucifixion. Passages of the Bible are quoted verbatim, the locations have a Palestine-like authenticity, and, aside from some of the principals (Robert Powell as Jesus, Olivia Hussey as Mary, and Stacy Keach as Barabbas), many of the non-Roman characters are actually played by Semitic-looking actors. Zeffirelli diligently provides the sociopolitical background that gave rise to Jesus' following and the crisis in belief it caused for the people of Israel (and one or two Romans). While not graphic by today's standards, some of the scenes--baby boys being ripped from their mothers' arms and slaughtered, nails being driven into Jesus' hands--may disturb young and/or sensitive children.
Joan of Arc
$12.88 (Save $2.10)
[VHS Tape] (1999)
The acclaimed CBS mini-series about the heroic 19-year-old woman whose saintly visions lead her to unite France against the English invaders. This impressive, richly visual epic production features excellent acting and an all-star cast.
Joseph
$17.98 (Save $2.00)
[VHS Tape] (1995)
TNT has put together a surprisingly good account of the Biblical story of Joseph, betrayed into slavery in Egypt by his jealous brothers. Martin Landau as Jacob and Ben Kingsley as Potiphar give their usual first-rate performances, with the role of Joseph also well-acted. Leslie-Anne Down is the lustful wife of Potiphar, who unsuccessfully tries to seduce Joseph, and lands him in the Pharoah's prison. This film offers a very credible depiction of life in the ancient Near East, from the desert tents of the Hebrews, to the claustrophobic walled towns like Sichem, to the lushness of civilized Egypt and the Pharoah's court. The film is faithful to the Biblical account, and succeeds in making it come alive on the screen. A well-acted, well-scripted, and entertaining film.
Keys of the Kingdom
$17.98 (Save $1.99)
[VHS Tape] (1944)
This adaptation of A. J. Cronin's novel explores the life of Francis Chisholm (Gregory Peck), a priest devoted to missionary work. Chisholm's story is told from his childhood days in Scotland, to his experiences preaching the gospel and helping the poor in China, on through his later years. Along the way, we see the man's tireless devotion to his cause in spite of such obstacles as a civil war and an unyielding mother superior who often disagrees with his techniques.
Lilies of the Field
$13.99 (Save 96)
[VHS Tape] (1963)
Sidney Poitier won an Academy Award for his performance in this endearingly wholesome film. Former G.I. Homer Smith is accustomed to an austere lifestyle complete with the rigors of daily ritual, strict discipline and hard work. But when he encounters a group of German refugee nuns wandering in the Arizona desert, he'll learn a few things about solemnity, self-control and handiwork. Led by tenacious Mother Maria, these nuns are eager to establish a homestead, build a church and minister to the community. Only they haven't got a clue about how to begin. But maybe now that they've found Homer, they'll be able to make some miracles happen.

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