Family movie night

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Family Movie Night

Film lovers, you might be surprised at the movies that have received the Vatican’s thumbs up. Read the Vatican Commission’s review of each film here. And then pick one to watch with your family. Popcorn required.

Vatican list of 45 important films  

Selected in 1995 in honor of the 100th anniversary of cinema


Andrei Rublev (1966)

Babette’s Feast (1987)

Ben-Hur (1959)

The Flowers of St. Francis (1950)

Francesco (1989)

The Gospel According
         to St. Matthew (1966)

La Passion de Notre Seigneur
         Jesus-Christ (1905)

A Man for All Seasons (1966)

The Mission (1986)

Monsieur Vincent (1947)

Nazarin (1958)

Ordet (1954)

The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)

The Sacrifice (1986)

Thérèse (1986)



Au Revoir les Enfants (1988)

The Bicycle Thief (1949)

The Burmese Harp (1956)

Chariots of Fire (1981)

The Decalogue (1988)

Dersu Uzala (1975)

Gandhi (1982)

Intolerance (1916)

It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

On the Waterfront (1954)

Rome, Open City (1945)

Schindler’s List (1993)

The Seventh Seal (1956)

The Tree of Wooden Clogs (1978)

Wild Strawberries (1957)



Citizen Kane (1941)

8½ (1963)

Fantasia (1940)

Grand Illusion (1937)

La Strada (1954)

The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)

The Leopard (1963)

Little Women (1933)

Metropolis (1927)

Modern Times (1936)

Napoleon (1927)

Nosferatu (1922)

Stagecoach (1939)

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

VISION editors’ quick picks from the list:

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Chariots of Fire: The inspirational and true story of two Englishmen (played by Ben Cross and Ian Charleson), one a Jew and the other a devout Christian, who compete in the 1924 Olympics in Paris. Themes to consider: duty, honor, what gives you joy?

Stagecoach: In this classic Western (note: do not substitute with any other version—only the 1939 one will do!), cowboy Ringo Kid (John Wayne) rides the stagecoach to Lordsburg and encounters an odd array of passengers, Apache attacks, the beauty of Monument Valley, and the love of a good woman (Claire Trevor). Themes to consider: mercy, transformation

Babette’s Feast: Based on a story by Isak Dinesen, Babette (Stephane Audran) is taken in and serves as a housekeeper to two sisters who live an austere and pious life carrying on the work of their pastor father. When Babette is granted permission to prepare the feast in honor of their deceased father, everyone is transformed in the process. Subtitles. Themes to consider: Your gifts, talents, and passions; beauty, grace, scarcity, and abundance (Fun fact: Pope Francis’ favorite film)

The Church’s overall judgment of this art form, as of all genuine art, is positive and hopeful. We have seen that masterpieces of the art of film-making can be moving challenges to the human spirit, capable of dealing in depth with subjects of great meaning and importance from an ethical and spiritual point of view.
—Pope John Paul II (1995)




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