The Fifty Best Catholic Movies of all Time.by Tomas Viluckas | created - 19 Oct 2013 | updated - 19 Oct 2013 | Public
This list was released in 1997 © Crisis. The list was compiled by William Park and appeared in Crisis (March 1997). William Park teaches literature and film at Sarah Lawrence College. From William Park: The best religious films, and therefore the best Catholic films, convey the great truths of Christianity implicitly rather than explicitly. This list consists primarily of films that deal with Catholic characters, Catholic society, and the Bible in ways that are not hostile to the Church. Most of them were made by Catholic directors.
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2. The Age of Innocence (1993)
PG | 139 min | Drama, Romance
A tale of nineteenth-century New York high society in which a young lawyer falls in love with a woman separated from her husband, while he is engaged to the woman's cousin.
Votes: 41,349 | Gross: $32.20M
4. The Assisi Underground (1985)
PG | 115 min | Drama, History, War
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.
5. Au Revoir les Enfants (1987)
PG | 104 min | Drama, War
A French boarding school run by priests seems to be a haven from World War II until a new student arrives. He becomes the roommate of top student in his class. Rivals at first, the roommates form a bond and share a secret.
Votes: 26,940 | Gross: $4.54M
6. Babette's Feast (1987)
G | 103 min | Drama
During the late 19th century, a strict religious community in a Danish village takes in a French refugee from the Franco-Prussian War as a servant to the late pastor's daughters.
Votes: 15,567 | Gross: $4.40M
7. Bachelor Mother (1939)
Approved | 82 min | Comedy, Romance
An unemployed woman discovers an abandoned baby on the steps of an orphanage, and accepts an offer to take responsibility for the child in return for a job.
8. Late Spring (1949)
Not Rated | 108 min | Drama
Noriko is twenty-seven years old and still living with her widowed father. Everybody tries to talk her into marrying, but Noriko wants to stay at home caring for her father.
9. Ben-Hur (1959)
G | 212 min | Adventure, Drama, History
When a Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend, he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge.
Votes: 191,290 | Gross: $74.70M
13. City Lights (1931)
G | 87 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
With the aid of a wealthy erratic tippler, a dewy-eyed tramp who has fallen in love with a sightless flower girl accumulates money to be able to help her medically.
Votes: 134,959 | Gross: $0.02M
14. El Cid (1961)
Approved | 182 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama
The fabled Spanish hero Rodrigo Diaz (a.k.a. El Cid) overcomes a family vendetta and court intrigue to defend Christian Spain against the Moors.
Votes: 11,091 | Gross: $26.62M
15. Going My Way (1944)
Passed | 126 min | Comedy, Drama, Music
Father Charles O'Mailey, a young priest at a financially failing Church in a tough neighborhood, gains support and inspires his superior.
Votes: 8,753 | Gross: $16.30M
16. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
Not Rated | 129 min | Drama, History
A poor Midwest family is forced off their land. They travel to California, suffering the misfortunes of the homeless in the Great Depression.
19. The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964)
Not Rated | 137 min | Biography, Drama, History
The life of Jesus Christ according to the Gospel of Matthew. Pasolini shows Christ as a Marxist avant-la-lettre and therefore uses half of the text of Matthew.
21. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
PG | 130 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy
An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed.
Votes: 330,542 | Gross: $7.27M
23. La Grande Illusion (1937)
Not Rated | 113 min | Drama, War
During the First World War, two French soldiers are captured and imprisoned in a German P.O.W. camp. Several escape attempts follow until they are sent to a seemingly impenetrable fortress which seems impossible to escape from.
Votes: 29,750 | Gross: $0.17M
24. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
Not Rated | 114 min | Biography, Drama, History
In 1431, Jeanne d'Arc is placed on trial on charges of heresy. The ecclesiastical jurists attempt to force Jeanne to recant her claims of holy visions.
Votes: 37,067 | Gross: $0.02M
25. The Last Supper (1976)
120 min | Drama
A pious plantation owner attempts to teach Christianity to 12 of his slaves by inviting them to participate in a reenactment of the Last Supper.
27. My Night at Maud's (1969)
GP | 105 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
The rigid principles of a devout Catholic man are challenged during a one-night stay with Maud, a divorced woman with an outsize personality.
28. A Man for All Seasons (1966)
G | 120 min | Biography, Drama, History
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 remarry.
Votes: 26,581 | Gross: $28.35M
31. North by Northwest (1959)
Not Rated | 136 min | Adventure, Mystery, Thriller
A hapless New York advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies, and is pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive.
Votes: 256,650 | Gross: $13.28M
34. Pinocchio (1940)
G | 88 min | Animation, Comedy, Family
A living puppet, with the help of a cricket as his conscience, must prove himself worthy to become a real boy.
Votes: 107,384 | Gross: $84.25M
36. Quiz Show (1994)
PG-13 | 133 min | Biography, Drama, History
A young lawyer, Richard Goodwin, investigates a potentially fixed game show. Charles Van Doren, a big time show winner, is under Goodwin's investigation.
Votes: 58,682 | Gross: $24.82M
37. Rome, Open City (1945)
Not Rated | 103 min | Drama, Thriller, War
During the Nazi occupation of Rome in 1944, the Resistance leader, Giorgio Manfredi, is chased by the Nazis as he seeks refuge and a way to escape.
39. The Song of Bernadette (1943)
Approved | 156 min | Biography, Drama
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 ... See full summary »
40. Thérèse (1986)
94 min | Drama
The life of little St. Therese of Lisieux, depicted in minimalist vignettes. Therese and her sisters are all nuns in a Carmelite convent. Her devotion to Jesus and her concept of "the ... See full summary »
45. Vertigo (1958)
PG | 128 min | Mystery, Romance, Thriller
A San Francisco detective suffering from acrophobia investigates the strange activities of an old friend's wife, all the while becoming dangerously obsessed with her.
Votes: 299,343 | Gross: $3.20M