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MARTIN CHEMNITZ PRESS

A MIGHTY FORTRESS LUTHERAN CHURCH

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson, Ph.D.

6421 W. Poinsettia Drive

Glendale, Arizona 85304-2419

 

Movies To Watch: First Installment

 

One pastor has asked me to write up good movies to watch. Most are available on videotape, DVD, or on cable TV. American Movie Classics and Turner Classic Movies both offer great selections.

 

“The Long, Gray Line”

Tyrone Power stars as Coach Marty Maher at West Point, a long career that included training Ike, George Patton, and many other heroes. Maureen O’Hara is his wife. Donald Crisp is Marty’s crusty Irish dad. When Notre Dame beat Army in 1913, Marty lost a large bet to his father, who said, “That will teach you to bet against Holy Mother Church.” The film is a true story, filled with many touching scenes. Coach Maher is portrayed as a man of honor who is loved by his students. Some famous members of the cast are: Betsy Palmer, Ward Bond, Peter Graves, and Martin Milner. All ages should enjoy this film, which encourages patriotism, duty, honesty, and traditional family values.

 

“The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”

(C. S. Lewis)

This animated feature portrays Christ as Aslan the Lion. Lewis found that children always knew who Aslan was, but adults did not. One adult said to me, “Why would you show this movie at a church gathering?” So I explained it to her. “Oh.” One might say that this is a film children should explain to children.

 

“Pilgrim’s Progress”

(John Bunyan)

In the old days, every child read Pilgrim’s Progress and knew all the characters. Christian News sells this videotape, which is a good way to begin reading the book. The animation is well done and faithful to the book. Pilgrim’s Progress is a great book for the head of the household to read to his family. Christian, the pilgrim, heads toward eternal life, with many pitfalls along the way, including the Slough of Despond, the Castle of Despair, and righteousness through works. The film and the book are filled with Biblical lessons. Bunyan read Luther’s Galatians commentary almost as much as the Bible. He spent much of his adult life in prison for preaching as a Dissenter. This allegory makes it easy to discuss Christian doctrine with the vivid images of the original work. My favorite part is poor Christian locked in an dungeon in the Castle of Despair, while the giant in charge of the castle discusses loudly how he will dispatch the poor soul in the morning. Christian finds the keys to the door in his pocket – the promises of God.

 

“Stuart Little”

E. B. White

This current movie hit is the most amazing accomplishment in terms of making a mouse into a person and having cats talking. (I still remember “Chatter,” a series where a talking human mouth was pasted on a chimp.) A human couple adopts Stuart, a mouse, from an orphanage. The jealous pet cat conspires to get rid of him. The couple’s son also dislikes Stuart. Two mice show up to claim Stuart as their son, but they are in cahoots with the cats. Kids and adults love the show.