Friday, August 14, 2009

Christian movie classics

Today while doing chores I watched The Robe for the first time. It's commonly featured on lists of the "best Christian films," so I had been curious about it.

The Robe (1953) reminded me a lot of Spartacus (1960) and Ben-Hur (1959), which makes sense, given they were produced in the same decade. I love the 1950's style and the way that it makes togas seem attractive. :)

The account of early Christians in The Robe is fictional enough to be non-offensive. What I mean is that some books or films seem to put on an air of being "true," so that any deviance from the Bible seems to be a deception. The Robe is just a story, the same that you might find about modern (fictional) followers of Christ. Inspiring, even believable, but not pretending to be something it's not.

+/-

Of course, there are real people and events depicted in the film, but not without plenty of little historical incongruities. For example, it is mentioned several times that the followers of Jesus are "calling themselves Christians," although the term "Christian" was probably not in use yet.*

The amorous relationship between the protagonist and his lady seems to contain too much public display of affection for Ancient Rome. But like I said, the film is so obviously fictional and outdated that these details don't matter. You can just sit back and enjoy it.

My favorite part is the dialogue between key characters at the end. If you watch it, you'll see what I mean. Each argues his part cleverly, and the ending is satisfying.

*"The Robe" is supposed to take place in 34 A.D. According to Acts 11:26, the disciples were first called Christians at Antioch in 43 AD (Blue Letter Bible).

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