Hail, Caesar! and other movies about making Bible movies

hailcaesar-crucifixion

Hail, Caesar!, the newest film from the Coen brothers, opens this Friday. The film is set in 1950s Hollywood, and one of its central plot elements is a movie-within-the-movie — also called Hail, Caesar! — that depicts the crucifixion of Jesus. This got me wondering, how many other films have depicted the making of a Bible movie?

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How many Star Wars actors have also been in Bible movies?

nativitystory-maryjoseph

If you’re a Bible-movie buff and a space-movie buff like me, then you can’t help but notice how the two genres sometimes overlap.

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Two “Pythonesque” French comedies with a biblical hook

deuxheuresmoinslequart-a

Two completely unrelated yet strikingly similar-sounding movies — both French, both comedies, both set partly in biblical times — came to my attention recently.

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Life of Brian and the Jesus film were distributed by the same company to the same theatres at the same time.

jesus-lifeofbrian

Last year, I commented on the fact that there were two movies playing in theatres at the same time — Son of God and Noah — that both began with images of Eve plucking the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden: a moviegoer could see one film in the multiplex, then walk down the hall and catch the other film in the same theatre.

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Jesus movies and, um, rude bodily noises

Warning: This post includes a few irreverent images from irreverent films.

ben-hur-belch

Years ago, I used to say that if I ever made a movie about Jesus, I would include a scene in which he excuses himself to use the facilities (whatever they might have been in the first century), just to show that his humanity extended even to his “lower” bodily functions. I was reminded of that the other day when Bilge Ebiri, one of the critics who caught the Last Days in the Desert premiere at Sundance this week, wondered on Twitter if this was the first Jesus movie to have a “fart joke”.

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Christian Bale on the “very mercurial” God of the Bible and how Monty Python inspired his take on Moses

exodus-facebook-140930-2Tonight — the night before 20th Century Fox releases its second trailer for Exodus: Gods and Kings — the studio hosted a screening of roughly half-an-hour of footage from the film, followed by a Q&A with the movie’s star, Christian Bale.

The Wrap is the only outlet I’ve seen so far that has any details from the event, and they mention some interesting things, both about the content of the footage and the comments Bale made about his approach to the character — and the movies he turned to for inspiration.

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