It’s Good Friday, the annual remembrance of Jesus’ crucifixion and death. I’m not sure what’s so good about getting nailed to a piece of wood and then being left in the hot sun to suffocate under your own weight, but hey, whatever works for God. In honor of the (probably) historic event, and the upcoming Easter holiday, we’ve come up with this list of Jesus’ 9 greatest film appearances. The power of Christ compels you to read on.
Jesus is depicted as both a baby and an adult in this classic Monty Python film. The Three Wise Men visit the main character, Brian, while on their way to visit the Christ Child, and Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is used as the backdrop for one of the funnier scenes in the film. “Blessed are the cheese makers?”
Sure, this movie gets a lot of flak just because the guy who made it is considered to be a raging anti-Semite. Even so, it’s a powerful film. And honestly, if someone walks away from this movie with a dislike for Jews, there’s a 99.9999% chance that they were an asshole bigot to begin with.
A lot of people love Jesus Christ Super Star. I’m not one of them. But I’m not going to trash a Jesus movie on Good Friday, especially not with so many outstanding bets on the NBA playoffs. God and baby Jesus, please let the Bulls beat the spread!
Jesus is only in this film for a few minutes, but it’s definitely the creepiest depiction of the bunch. I mean, I know the Bad Lieutenant is on drugs, but would it kill him to wipe off Jesus’ feet before kissing them. I know he’s God, and all, but blood is disgusting.
This is a made for TV movie, but I added it to the list anyway. Why? Because actor Robert Powell’s performance as Jesus is one of the best in the history of film and television. Also, because I’m too lazy to go back and find another theatrical film. What can I say? God made me this way.
George Stevens directed this classic retelling of the life and times of Christ, and Max von Sydow starred as Jesus. It was an epic role for von Sydow, but not as epic as his performance as Brewmeister Smith in the 1983 comedy, Strange Brew.
Willem Dafoe plays Jesus in this controversial Martin Scorsese film. Many viewers at the time were outraged by its depiction of Jesus being subjected to human temptation, including lust. Still others were insulted by the blatant product placement, including a shot of Jesus being crucified on top of a TCBY.*
* Warning, I watched this film on acid, so my description might not be 100% accurate.
Claude Heater’s role in Ben-Hur is one of the most memorable on this list, although you don’t ever see his face. In that sense, he’s a lot like Wilson from “Home Improvement.” And if my plan comes to fruition, both Jesus and the guy who played Wilson will have the whole “crucifixion” thing in common, as well.