An Easter-Time Movie List For All

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 27, 2016 04:07pm | Post a Comment
Killer bunny? From Gorleston Psalter, 14th Century.
Killer bunny? From Gorleston Psalter14th-century manuscript.

Happy Easter! Even though I grew up Jewish and had no idea what a Resurrection was, I knew I liked bunnies, chocolate, treating eggs like an art project, and finding buried treasure in foliage. I was sold on the whole Easter thing. As I matured at some point in the not too distant past, I realized that there was a whole lot more to Easter than baskets full of candy and huge hats. I learned that it was also about birth and rebirth. The symbolism of eggs, Jesus's triumphant return from the dead, and bunnies multiplying like, well, bunnies all lead us to appreciate the foundation of it all: Spring Equinox, the renewal of life on earth. I'm not sure where the chocolate fits in, but I'm not going to question a good thing.

In honor of everyone who can appreciate longer and brighter days, the rejuvenation of all life on earth, and deadly killer rabbits, I bring you this non-denominational Easter-time movie list for all...

Rebel Without A Cause

Nicholas Ray's 1955 magnum opus of teen angst is considered by most to be the first sensitive and Rebel Without A Causerealistic look at troubled, misunderstood youth. Would we have those heart-breaking scene's of Bender (Judd Nelson), Claire (Molly Ringwald), and the gang discussing their troubled home lives in The Breakfast Club without Rebel Without A Cause? I think not. The opening scene in Rebel is set in a police station on Easter night where three high school kids -- Jim Stark (James Dean), Judy (Natalie Wood), and Plato (Sal Mineo) -- meet and an unlikely friendship is born. Much drama and generation gap struggles ensue, ultimately leading to one of the character's death by the hands of the police. Rebel remains James Dean's most celebrated film. It was released a month after his death at the age of 24, thus immortalizing him as a beautiful youth forever.


Kevin Smith's 1995 prequel to Clerks (in fact, it takes place the day before the events of Clerks) is not much more than a good time with a soundtrack that now serves as a hermetically sealed time capsule of the mid-'90s, but it does take place at Easter and celebrates the insanity (and inanity) of youth. The best scene in Mallrats involves this physical assault on a mall Easter bunny:


Easter Parade

Fred Astaire and Judy Garland sing, dance, and act up a storm in Charles Walters' 1948 musical ode to Easter, Easter Parade. One of these showbiz films about showbiz people, the centerpiece is the original music by Irving Berlin (I guess I'm not the only Jew who likes Easter) including hits "Easter Parade" and "Steppin' Out with My Baby."

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

1975's Monty Python and the Holy Grail -- Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, and the Monty Python crew's masterfully surreal take on King Arthur's quest to find the Holy Grail -- changed comedy forever. It must be watched on Easter to invoke the spirits of two great bunnies from history: the Trojan Rabbit and the deadly Rabbit of Caerbannog.

The Greatest Story Ever Told

The Greatest Story Ever Told is, aptly, the Hollywood bible epic to end all Hollywood bible epics. Someone should have told Mel Gibson, because he didn't even have to bother. This 1965 religio-stravaganza follows an electrifying Max Von Sydow as Jesus Christ from Nativity to Resurrection. An all-star cast occupies the scenery like confused protesters forming a sit-in at the Oscars. There's Charlton Heston as John the Baptist, Roddy McDowall as Matthew, Telly Savalas as Pontius Pilate (!), Claude Rains as Herod the Great, and too many more to list here. Plus, hearing John Wayne drawl, "Truly, this man wuz the Son of Gaad" after the Crucifixion is EVERYTHING!

-- Audra

Relevant Tags

Bible (1), John Wayne (6), Max Von Sydow (2), Rabbits (2), Bunnies (1), Terry Jones (3), Terry Gilliam (3), Monty Python (11), Irving Berlin (1), Judy Garland (5), Fred Astaire (2), Kevin Smith (1), Nicholas Ray (1), James Dean (3), Spring Equinox (2), Spring (6), Film (202), Easter (8), Telly Savalas (2), Charlton Heston (1), Roddy Mcdowall (3), Audra (41)