Something to watch after the Ham
This Sunday, April 9, millions of people around the world will celebrate Easter. A Christian holiday honoring the belief in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. However, both religious and non-religious people celebrate Easter. The Easter Bunny has nothing to do with religion. Equally, dying Easter eggs for the big hunt. From sunrise service and singing the Hallelujah Chorus, to brunch in a crowded restaurant and then watching the kids scurry through the bushes, ending up crying that Princess found the most eggs. Who doesn’t need a good Easter movie to cap off the day?
Easter Parade (1948)
Arguably the most famous of all the Easter movies, this lavish MGM musical starring Fred Astaire and Judy Garland is a classic. A throwback to the days when actors had to be triple threats to headline movies in the 1940s and 50s. Originally starring Gene Kelly. who broke his ankle just prior to production, Astaire had already announced his retirement from films. He was coaxed by Kelly to replace him. New York City still has an Easter Parade annually complete with outlandish hats that begins from St Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue at 10a. Fred Astaire and Judy Garland from The Easter Parade. “A couple of swells.”. (Available on most streaming services. Hulu, Amazon Prime, TCM, Google Play etc.)
It’s The Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown (1974)
With a running time of only 25 minutes, it could hardly be considered a movie, but this Charles M. Schultz comic strip-based animated special was his 12th to air in primetime. Winning the Emmy for Outstanding Children’s special in 1975, if you have Apple TV+ (subscription) you can watch Linus try to convince the gang that the holiday is all a waste of time and that it’s all about the Easter Beagle. This egg coloring scene between Peppermint Patty and Marcy is hilarious. Peppermint Patty and Marcy coloring eggs. It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown.
The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)
Thought provoking and highly controversial among some in the religious community, The Last Temptation of Christ is hailed as one of director Martin Scorsese’ “greatest cinematic achievements.” Significantly casting Willem Dafoe as Jesus, Harvey Keitel as Judas and David Bowie as Pontius Pilate, the film earned Scorsese an Academy Award nomination for Best Director and rave reviews from critics and the entertainment community. A devout Roman Catholic, Scorsese angered the Christian right with his portrayal of a newly married Jesus and Mary Magdalene having sex. (Available on Prime Video and Apple TV+)
The Ten Commandments (1956)
Cecil B. DeMille directed both the 1923 and 1956 films billed as an “epic religious drama.” The Ten Commandments has an all-star cast full of Hollywood legends. Charlton Heston, Yul Brenner, Edward G. Robinson, Anne Baxter, Yvonne de Carlo and Vincent Price among others. When I was a kid, it was an annual event on ABC. Fittingly, when I became a tour guide at Universal Studios as a senior in high school, I took countless tram tours through the ‘parting of the Red Sea’. But only if my guests would yell in unison, “Part The Waters!” Nominated for 7 Academy awards in 1957. (available on Fubo TV and Hulu)
Easter Sunday (2022)
Hilarious comedian Jo Koy plays a man who returns home to celebrate Easter with his riotous, bickering, eating, drinking Filipino family in Easter Sunday. Admittedly, when I saw the film, I thought the trailer was the best part, but it is good for some laughs. Conversely, I find Jo Koy to be one of the funniest comedians out there. Click here to check out some of his stand up comedy. Best of Jo Koy. Viewer discretion. (Amazon Prime, Redbox, Apple TV+)
The Prince of Egypt (1998)
Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey collaborate on the memorable “If you believe” song from the animated musical The Prince of Egypt. An epic adventure in the retelling of the Book of Exodus, Dreamworks enlisted the voices of Val Kilmer, Ralph Fiennes, Steve Martin, Sandra Bullock, Martin Short and many others. A smash at the box office, with a budget of $70 million and yielding $218.6 million. (Peacock)
When Juliette Binoche opens a chocolate shop just in time for Lent, in a tranquil French town in 1959, sexiness and hilarity ensue in the Lasse Hallstrom classic, Chocolat. Johnny Depp and Lena Olin (Lasse’s wife in real life) ooze sensuality and Dame Judy Dench and Alfred Molina round out the cast. Interestingly, Depp was allergic to chocolate at the time of filming. Apparently, he recovered to play Willy Wonka, the chocolatier, years later.
Michael Keaton in SNL Easter comedy sketch (viewer discretion)
Americans spend $1.6 billion annually on Easter candy. 70% of that being chocolate. Families gathering. A day of eating. With the world in turmoil, a day of reflection presents a bevy of opportunities. To count one’s blessings. To appreciate the little things and reflect on how so many have so much less. To call or message someone you haven’t spoken to in awhile. I mimic my parents now when I’m in that scene. “Hello?” Oh my goodness how are you?” It’s nice to hear your voice.” How many times did I hear that? Countless. Although, these days, most phones have caller ID, so you know who’s calling. Remember those days? Reflect. Relax. Breathe. Eat. Watch a movie and have a wonderful Easter Sunday. Thanks for reading.
Chris, you are a load of info that have enlightened so many with details I never would have experienced. Keep it up. Uncle Floyd.
Thanks Uncle Floyd! Happy Easter!
Happy Easter to you and your family 🐣. Whenever I receive your emails, it’s like opening a gift!
Thanks Sandy! So supportive! Happy Easter!
Birt! Thanks for reminding me !!! This writing made me reflect on the many many Easter memories I have retained! Lol! Good ones as most of the family are gone now! Reflections are good for the soul my friend! Happy Easter to U! 😊 🙏