Catholic movies with Catholic themes, and some are based upon Catholic novels:
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The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965)
Charlton Heston and Rex Harrison portray two of the Renaissance’s most colorful figures in this historical drama based on Irving Stone’s best-seller set in the early 16th century. When Pope Julius ll (Harrison) commissions Michelangelo (Heston) to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, the artist initially refuses.

Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)
Gangster Rocky Sullivan (James Cagney) returns from prison to make a name for himself in the crime world. He’s soon discovered by the Dead End Kids, who idolize him, and childhood pal Father Jerry Connolly (Pat O’Brien). The good Father has taken a different turn from Rocky and is struggling to bring the Kids around; while still friends with Rocky, he tries to persuade him to steer clear of the gang of urchins.

Barabbas (1962)
Richard Fleischer’s inspirational tale of the vicious murderer that Pontius Pilate spared so that Jesus could be crucified in his place.

Becket (1964)
O’Toole and Burton are simply mesmerizing in their performances as a pair of rogues in power over England.

Bella (2006)
A handsome international soccer star is on his way to sign a lucrative contract, when something happens that brings his career to a sudden end. Meanwhile, a beautiful but struggling waitress discovers something about herself that she’s completely unprepared for.

Ben-Hur (1959)
Charlton Heston brings a muscular physical and moral presence to his Best Actor Oscarr-winning role of Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish nobleman in Palestine whose heroic odyssey includes enslavement by the Romans, vengeance against his tormentors during a furious arena chariot race and fateful encounters with Jesus Christ.

Bless the Child (2000)
Maggie O’Connor is a single woman whose life revolves around her career as a nurse–until the surprise appearance of her sister Jenna (Angela Bettis) and Jenna’s newborn baby girl, Cody.

The Cardinal (1963)
Youthful pride. Yearnings of the flesh. Moments of doubt. The courage of conviction. All enter into a dedicated American’s decades-long rise from priesthood to the leadership elite of the College of Cardinals.

The Detective (1954)
A Father Brown Mystery

Captain from Castile (1948)
Forced to flee his home during the Spanish Inquisition, nobleman Pedro De Vargas escapes with a beautiful peasant girl and joins Cortz on his dangerous expedition to conquer Mexico, as the young couple fall deeply in love, Pedro’s great courage brings his leader honor and glory with every challenge, even as an evil officer threatens the success of the entire expedition.

Come to the Stable (1949)
Determined to fulfill a promise made to God for saving a hospital from destruction during World War II, Sister Margaret (Loretta Young) and Sister Scolastica (Celeste Holm) arrive in Connecticut with the dream of building a children’s hospital. All they need is land and money. They already have the most essential ingredient–faith.

Conflict (1973)
This movie is also known as Catholics:

In the near future, the Catholic church has joined with other western religions in an ecumenical movement that has washed out much of the original message of the religion. A group of Irish monks have begun saying the Mass again in Latin and have begun to have an international following. Martin Sheen is sent from Rome to bring them to task and they must confront what is truly essential in their worship and what is not.

The Bells of St. Mary’s (1945)
Crosby revisits his role of the affable priest Father O’Malley, who takes a position at a parochial school in financial shambles and finds his style of leadership conflicting with the Sister Superior.

Boys Town (1938)
Spencer Tracy and Mickey Rooney both won Oscars(R) in 1938 for their work in this touching and inspirational story of Father Flanagan and his young, delinquent charges.

The Detective (aka “Father Brown”) (1954)
Join Father Brown, a priest detective, in this adaption of G.K. Chesterton’s short story “The Blue Cross.”

The Diary of a Country Priest

The End of the Affair (1955)
From the Graham Greene novel, the story of star-crossed lovers whose short affair begins and ends as tumultuously as the war that is its backdrop.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)
A thrilling horror film about a lawyer (Linney), who takes on a negligent homicide case involving a priest (Wilkinson) who performed an exorcism on a young girl.

The Fighting Sullivans (1944)
The story follows the lives of the five Irish-American Sullivan brothers, who grew up in Iowa during the days of the Great Depression and served together in the United States Navy during World War II.

Going My Way (1944)
Winner of seven Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director, the unforgettable classic Going My Way lights up the screen as it warms the heart. Best Actor winner Bing Crosby shines as Father O’Malley, a young priest new to an established but financially flailing parish. When his philosophies conflict with those of curmudgeonly Father Fitzgibbon (Best Supporting Actor winner Barry Fitzgerald), the result is a timeless story of patience, compromise and – just maybe – understanding.

Green Dolphin Street (1947)
Set in 19th-century Europe and New Zealand, this sweeping romance tells the story of two beautiful sisters, one headstrong (Turner) and one gentle (Donna Reed), and of the man (Richard Hart) who marries one even though he loves the other.

For Greater Glory (2012)
What price would you pay for freedom? In the exhilarating action epic FOR GREATER GLORY an impassioned group of men and women each make the decision to risk it all for family, faith and the very future of their country, as the films adventure unfolds against the long-hidden, true story of the 1920s Cristero War

Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957)
While hiding from a Japanese military offensive on a desolate Pacific Island, a marine sergeant (Mitchum) and his only fellow survivor, an Irish Roman Catholic novitiate on a humanitarian mission (Kerr), search for food and engage in philosophical sparring.

I Confess (1953)
A priest cannot reveal what has been told to him in the confessional, even to save his own life.

It’s a Wonderful Life (1947)
An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would had been like if he never existed.

The Jeweller’s Shop (1989)
Based on Pope John Paul II’s best-selling book, it tells of the struggles and triumphs in the marriage of three couples.

Joan of Arc

The Keys of the Kingdom

The Left Hand of God

The Lion in Winter

A Man for All Seasons


The Miracle of the Bells

Miracle of Marcelino

The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima

Miracle in the Rain

Molokai: the Story of Father Damien

Monsieur Vincent

The Nun’s Story

On the Waterfront

October Baby

The Passion of the Christ

Prince of Foxes

The Prisoner

The Quiet Man

Quo Vadis

The Reluctant Saint

Return to Me

The Robe

Saintly Sinners

The Scarlet and the Black

The Shoes of the Fisherman

The Silver Chalice

The Staircase

The Song of Bernadette

The Spiral Staircase

The Sound of Music

The Ten Commandments

Thérèse: The Story of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux (2006)
The inspiring story of a young girl who fell in love with Jesus Christ and demonstrated a path of spirituality through the actions of unconditional love, human compassion, and her “Little Way” to the modern world.

The Trouble with Angels (1966)
Two mischievous students turn a convent school upside-down with their pranks. Just when there appears to be no hope for the school’s two most incorrigible students, they get a little help from Sisters Celestine and Constance.

We Were Soldiers (2002)
The harrowing story of courage and sacrifice in the Valley of Death where 400 American troops faced 2000 North Vietnamese soldiers.

The Wizard of Heaven: The Life of St. John Vianney (1949)

On a cold winter day, a young priest, barely ordained, was banished to a tiny, remote, impoverished village that had lost its faith and morals. It was clearly a recipe for failure…but God had something else in mind.

Know of a good Catholic movie? Please suggest it so we can list it here!
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8 thoughts on “Movies

    • Hi Kate,

      Thanks for your kind comment and your excellent suggestion–I’ll get right on that and add “Bella” today!

      This site is a work in progress, so I truly appreciate all relevant recommendations that will help improve and expand the site.

      Thanks again,

  1. How about “Guardian Angels” by Family Theater Productions? It’s about a newly orphaned boy named Josh who imagines he is now being protected by two new guardian angels his parents picked out for him, and the two guardian angels go to his school and try to fight an evil force.

    Honestly, I didn’t see this movie myself, but it is made by the Holy Cross Family Ministries, so it is definitely a Catholic movie.

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