The IMDb for The Lavender Hill Mob sent me to this most Eminent List, the High Holy List of the Vatican’s Most-Favored movies.
The Vatican’s List of Top 45 Films is divided into three categories: Religion, Values, and Art.
- Andrei Rublev (1966) … never heard of it in my state of sin
- Babette's Feast (1987) … have heard of it, wanted to see it, never did. Sin of omission.
- Ben-Hur (1959) … overly loooooong. Good chariot race.
- The Flowers of St. Francis (1950) … never heard of it, cult film I suppose
- Francesco (1989)… never heard of it, must be Italian
- The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1966) … never heard of it, read the book
- La Passion de Notre Seigneur Jesus-Christ (1905) … never heard of it, French
- A Man for All Seasons (1966) … love this movie! Well, loved the play. Haven’t actually seen it.
- The Mission (1986) … the trailer for this scared me off in the 1980s.
- Monsieur Vincent (1947) … really no idea. Supposedly features the Black Death.
- Nazarin (1958) … never heard of it, but it’s a Vatican-approved satire? Intriguing.
- Ordet (1955) … this is not even a word.
- The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) … I think I’ve seen clips.
- The Sacrifice (1986) … another 1986 movie. Pope was up for the movies this year.
- Therese (1986) … that’s three movies from 1986. Was the Pope dating?
- Au Revoir les Enfants (1988) … French!
- Bicycle Thieves (1949) … is this the sequel to The Bicycle Thief? Oh! It’s the same movie. Odd.
- The Burmese Harp (1956) … Burmese!
- Chariots of Fire (1981) … I did see this, with, Mom, just out of high school.
- Dekalog (1988) … also not a word
- Dersu Uzala (1975) … a space alien word
- Gandhi (1982) … tried twice to watch this and gave up after an hour each time
- Intolerance (1916) … okay, I liked this one.
- It's a Wonderful Life (1946) … okay, everyone likes this one, except Mom, who could never make it past the scene with the lost money.
- On the Waterfront (1954) … another one I’ve given up on halfway through. Clearly the Pope is more patient than I. This makes sense.
- Rome, Open City (1945) … hometown favorite for the Pope.
- Schindler's List (1993) … you bet I liked it. Pope and I give it two thumbs up.
- The Seventh Seal (1957) … another Black Death movie.
- The Tree of Wooden Clogs (1978) … never heard of this either.
- Wild Strawberries (1957) … I think I had a perfume in junior high named Wild Strawberries.
- Citizen Kane (1941) … what? Charles Foster Kane has an affair for half the movie. I guess that’s why this is in the Art category and not the Values category.
- 8½ (1963) … I confused this with 9 1/2 Weeks at first. Still, this is a Fellini movie. Unexpected.
- Fantasia (1940) … Sorcerer’s Apprentices! Film of the Devil!
- Grand Illusion (1937) … I begin to realize I have seen very few of these movies. I do not have the same taste as the pope.
- La Strada (1954) … another Fellini movie. Still unexpected.
- The Lavender Hill Mob (1951) … good choice, still a little fluffy for the Pope’s list.
- The Leopard (1963) … lukewarm reception in the US and prize-winning everywhere else. I never heard of this either. I live in a tighter bubble than the Pope.
- Little Women (1933) … is this the one with Katherine Hepburn as Jo? Good choice.
- Metropolis (1927) … I’ve seen the sexy outfit the robot woman wears. Surprising.
- Modern Times (1936) … I concur. We all love the Little Tramp.
- Napoleon (1927) … I wonder if this was before or after the big restoration of the movie.
- Nosferatu (1922) … what the hell. What. The. Hell.
- Stagecoach (1939) … should have watched it, no excuse.
- 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) … HATED it.
- The Wizard of Oz (1939) … the Pope sees your sorcerers and raises three witches!
I should stop ragging on the pope, he may well have had his PR cardinal make this list. Still 45 movies and I’ve seen 11. Very low percentage. I am a bad Catholic. I need to watch 8 1/2 as penance.