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Greatest Classic Religious Characters: 5 Roles That Live On Through the Big Screen

Image: Greatest Classic Religious Characters: 5 Roles That Live On Through the Big Screen
Charlton Heston as Moses in The Ten Commandments, 1956. (imdb.com)

By    |   Saturday, 02 May 2015 11:16 AM

From the beginning of recorded history, religion has played a role in everyday life. As a result of so many people being religious, there are many religious themed movies that have been released since the early days of movie making.

As one would expect, religion appears throughout history as a major influence and theme in stories, literature, plays, movies, and many more. There is certainly a big audience for religious themed movies. According to a recent Gallup poll, the most popular religions are: Protestant/other Christian (51.9 percent), Catholic (23.3 percent), Mormon (2.1 percent), Jewish (1.7 percent), and Muslim (0.6 percent). In total, these religions compose almost 80 percent of the American population.

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Most of these religious themed movies contain classic characters from the Bible, or other religious books and movements. Here's a look at five roles that stand apart from the rest.

1. Moses (Charlton Heston) , “The Ten Commandments” (1956)

The story of Moses and the Ten Commandments is one of the most famous Biblical stories that many people are familiar with. As a result, there have been multiple movies produced with the same title, released in 1923, 1956, 2006, and 2007. The most popular version of the film was released in 1956.

Charles Heston as Moses is a striking and powerful figure the entire movie. Heston was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Actor – Drama in 1957, IMDb.com says.

2. Mahatma Gandhi (Ben Kingsley), “Gandhi” (1982)

Although when most people think of religious themed movies, they think of biblical stories, but Mahatma Gandhi was an incredibly important religious leader in the Indian independence movement.

IMDb.com says “Gandhi” won eight Oscars total and Kingsley took home the award for Best Actor in a Leading Role.

3. Jesus (Max von Sydow), “The Greatest Story Ever Told” (1965)

It would be hard to create a list of classic religious themed characters without including a representation of Jesus Christ. “The Greatest Story Ever Told” was nominated for five Oscars, and von Sydow led the film to a top 10 placement on the National Board of Review's list of best films of 1965.

4. Judah Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston), “Ben-Hur” (1959)

Considered one of the greatest classic religious themed movies ever, “Ben-Hur” won 11 Oscars, with Charles Heston starring in the title role. Heston went on to win Best Actor in a Leading Role” for his performance at the Academy Awards in 1960.

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5. Delilah (Hedy Lamarr), “Samson and Delilah” (1950)

In a surprising reception for a religious themed movie, “Samson and Delilah” was the highest grossing box office film of 1950 when it was released in America. Much of this success was due to Lamarr and her role as Delilah, who is seeking vengeance for her unrequited love for Samson.

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From the beginning of recorded history, religion has played a role in everyday life. As a result of so many people being religious, there are many classic religious themed movies and characters that have been released since the early days of movie making.
classic, religious themed, characters, movies, films
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2015-16-02
Saturday, 02 May 2015 11:16 AM
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