Welcome to yet another pagan holiday mercilessly plundered by the mainstream religious groups! Yes, all the stuff about rabbits, eggs, hot cross buns, etc. was doing the rounds way before that guy was nailed to a plank for saying it would be a neat idea if we all started being nice to each other. But despite it being one of the main Christian holidays, arguably on a par with Christmas, there are surprisingly few films about it. Rest assured, dear reader, that I have my own theory why this is the case.
Firstly Christmas is made up of three contiguous days; Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day. Easter also has three holiday days but they are split up; there’s Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and Easter Monday with a random Saturday stuck in there. The other, probably bigger problem with Easter is that it changes dates. Well, actually, it is always on the same day; Easter Sunday is the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox. In essence, between 22nd March and 25th April.
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Anyway, let’s take a look and see what there is in the wonderful world of cinema that is set on or about Easter.
1934 – Funny Little Bunnies – An early Disney short about the Easter Bunnies.
1943 – The Egg Cracker Suite – Oswald The Lucky Rabbit sorts out the Easter eggs.
1947 – Easter Yeggs – Bugs Bunny stands in for the Easter Bunny.
1958 – Happy Go Ducky – Tom and Jerry get in on the Easter act.
1974 – It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown – The Peanuts crew are back together for another holiday outing in this animated TV short.
2004 – Springtime With Roo – Also with Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, and Eeyore.
2011 – Hop – The next in line to the title of Easter Bunny wants to be a drummer instead!
2012 – Rise Of The Guardians – Dreamworks looks at the various holiday mythologies.
1948 – Easter Parade – An Irving Berlin musical with Fred Astaire and Judy Garland.
1973 – Jesus Christ Superstar – A film version of the stage musical.
1980 – The Long Good Friday – Gangsters having a bad Easter
1984 – Joyeuses Pâques – A French comedy released as Happy Easter.
1994 – North – Rob Reiner directs and Scarlett Johansson debuts.
1999 – Baby Huey’s Great Easter Adventure – Straight to video holiday nonsense.
2000 – Chocolat – Love, lust, and chocolate during Lent in 1950’s France.
2006 – Easter Bunny, Kill! Kill! – An Easter slasher film.
2008 – Hank And Mike – Two working class Easter Bunnies get fired.
2014 – Beaster Day: Here Comes Peter Cottonhell – A holiday comedy horror.
2014 – The Dog Who Saved Easter – A clever dog saves the day!
2016 – Holidays – A horror anthology set at Easter, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Christmas, etc.
2016 – The Passion – Tyler Perry’s take on the classic Passion Play, modernised and set to popular hits.
2022 – Easter Sunday – Struggling comedian tries to balance work and family at Easter.
2023 – Jesus Revolution – More Jesus than Easter but, well…
2000 – The Miracle Maker – A British/Russian/American stop motion animated telling of the story of Jesus.
1906 – The Birth, the Life and the Death of Christ – A French silent short.
1916 – Intolerance – DW Griffith’s epic silent film was, originally, three and a half hours long. Unfortunately fifteen minutes have been lost.
1923 – I.N.R.I. – Another silent film, this time from Germany.
1927 – The King of Kings – Cecil B DeMille takes his turn at the silent biblical epic.
1935 – Golgotha – French telling of the story released as Behold The Man in English speaking countries.
1953 – Barabbas – A Swedish version of the one that got away.
1953 – The Robe – A telling of the story from the viewpoint of the Roman military tribune commanding the unit responsible for the crucifixion.
1961 – King of Kings – A more up to date version of the epic tale.
1961 – Barabbas – Anthony Quinn in the title role.
1964 – The Gospel According to St. Matthew – Italian neorealist version of the story.
1965 – The Greatest Story Ever Told – An American epic available in versions from over two to over four hours long.
1973 – Jesus – An Indian film telling the story of Jesus in the Malayalam language.
1979 – Jesus – An American version of the story, this time based on the Gospel of Luke.
1980 – The Day Christ Died – American made for TV film
1981 – Peter and Paul – Two part TV miniseries starring Anthony Hopkins.
1988 – The Last Temptation of Christ – Martin Scorsese’s controversial “What If…?” Take on the life of Jesus.
1993 – The Visual Bible: Matthew – A word for word adaptation of the New International Version of the Bible.
1996 – Kristo – And now a Filipino telling of the story.
2003 – The Gospel of John – A word for word adaptation of the American Bible Society’s version of the Good News Bible.
2004 – The Passion of the Christ – A realistic look at the story of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
2012 – Barabbas – Billy Zane in an Italian American TV film.
2014 – The Gospel of John – Netflix and gospel?
2014 – Son of God – An adaptation of a ten hour miniseries made by the History channel.
2015 – Killing Jesus – A National Geographic production and part of a three part series. The other two, non fiction, episodes are Killing Lincoln and Killing Kennedy.
2016 – Risen – Roman soldiers search for the missing body of Christ.
TBA – The Resurrection of the Christ – Planned sequel to 2004’s The Passion of the Christ.
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Former teacher, lecturer, homelessness administrator, pharmacy dispenser now happily retired, happily married, and a very happy granddad. I live next to the Mersey but on the side Daniel Craig and Taron Egerton come from rather than the side the Beatles came from!