Spiritual Movies

It’s a Wonderful Life—Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed, directed by Frank Capra—It will make you laugh. It will make you cry. It’s the feel good movie of the century. If you haven’t seen it, where have you been? But better late than never.

Groundhog Day—Bill Murray, Andi MacDowell, directed by Harold Ramis—this is a near perfect movie. Perfect script, perfect cast all the way down to the extras, and perfect, no frills direction. It’s funny and romantic and true and gets its message across without hitting you over the head. I’ve seen it all or in part over 100 times and I still enjoy it.

Defending Your Life—Albert Brooks, Meryl Streep, directed by Albert Brooks—I dislike Meryl Streep but I can tolerate her in this movie because it’s so good. Another movie I’ve seen a lot. Funny and true.

Strange Cargo—Clark Gable, Joan Crawford, directed by Frank Borzage—It’s about a prison break on one of those colonial island prisons, except one of the prisoners has a Christ-like quality that makes this a profoundly spiritual movie. Black & White.

The Young in Heart—Paullete Goddard, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. Janet Gaynor, directed by Richard Wallace—A movie about a family of ne’er-do-wells, who trying taking advantage of an elderly woman who is too and innocent to be taken advantage of. A really funny and sweet movie. Black and White.

A Matter of Life and Death (alternate title: Stairway to Heaven)A Matter of Life and Death—David Niven, Kim Hunter, Directors, Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger—An incredible movie about a WWII pilot who jumps out of a burning plane and lands in the English Channel and lives (or does he). It’s one of the most romantic movies ever made and one of the most intriguingly spiritual.

Horn Blows at Midnight—Jack Benny, Alexis Smith, Directed by Raoul Walsh—This movie is more funny than spiritual but I’ve always loved it. Jack Benny plays an angel who has to come down from heaven to destroy the earth. Black and White VHS only but plays occasionally on TCM.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind—Richard Dreyfuss, Teri Garr, directed by Steven Spielberg—Science fiction movies often pack more spirituality than movies with rabbis, priests or nuns and this is one of them. It’s the experience of being touched by something bigger than you are and not being able to let it go.

PowderJeff Goldblum, Sean Patrick Flanery, directed by Victor Salva—An odd kid has special powers. It’s very well done and really touching in more ways than one.

Me & The Colonel—Danny Kaye, Curd Jurgens, directed by Peter Glenville—Danny Kaye plays a serious role her, although the movie is filled with wry, gentle humor. A Jewish man has to escape France with an anti-semitic Polish colonel with surprising results. Black and White VHS only.

Here Comes Mr. Jordan—Robert Montgomery, Claude Rains, directed by Alexander Hall—A classic. If you haven’t seen it, see it. Trust me on this. Black and White.

Heaven Can Wait—Warren Beatty, Julie Christy, directors Warren Beatty & Buck Henry—This movie is a remake of Here Comes Mr. Jordan and as remakes go, it’s a pretty successful one. One of the few cases where it’s worth seeing the original and the remake.

The Mighty—Sharon Stone, Kieran Culkin, directed by Peter Chelsom—It’s a sweet tear jerker with more depth than usual and a nice performance from Sharon Stone.

Seven Faces of Dr. Lao—Tony Randall, Barbara Eden, directed by George Pal—While this is an odd movie, it does ask some serious questions in a humorous and provocative way.

Angel & The Badman—John Wayne, Gail Russell, directed by James Edward Grant—This is one of John Wayne’s best movies and certainly the most heartwarming. It’s about a wounded gunfighter cared for by a Quaker family who naturally have a beautiful daughter. Yes, love is a lot more powerful than a gun. Black and white.

Angel on My Shoulder—Paul Muni, Anne Baxter, directed by Archie Mayo—A dead criminal, residing in hell has an opportunity to live again and take revenge on his enemies. But that isn’t quite what happens. Black and white.

The Last Mimzy—Chris O’Neil, Rhiannon Leigh Wryn, directed by Robert Shaye—This movie starts out as if it’s going to be one of the best kid’s movies and all-time spiritual movies ever. Unfortunately, it loses steam about halfway through but it’s still well-worth watching.

We’re No Angels—Humphrey Bogart, Aldo Ray, Peter Ustinov, directed by Michael Curtiz—Three criminals try to escape jail but along the way end up helping a family. It’s sweet and humorous. A definite treat.

Heaven Can Wait—Gene Tierney. Don Ameche, directed by Ernst Lubitsch—This is an entirely different movie than the other movie listed here with the same name, although it’s equally worth seeing. This is the movie of a life long relationship between a husband and a wife and it’s very endearing.

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