Classic Movie Miracles

The last couple of times in this space, I indulged in some more “commercial” thinking about the season by trying to steer you towards ideas on how to stuff your favorite movie collector’s Christmas stocking, here and here. But now let’s turn our attention to matters…more divine. By that I don’t mean we’re about to have an extended disquisition on the merits of Jesus Movies throughout film history (I covered that hallowed ground some time ago); no, we’re going to take some time now to check out some Classic Movie Miracles!

I stayed away from that sturdy sub-genre of Biblical epics, feeling the acute pain of the “obvious.” That is not to say that this brief survey is free of cinematic miracles we might credit to agents of an emphatically religious nature; to my mind, it would be significantly less interesting, and at an even more basic level, less appropriate to the use of the word, to ham-fistedly restrict our look back at Classic Movie Miracles to an entirely secular amalgamation of extraordinary filmic plot points…however well or poorly that might have been fudged.

Let’s meet back here after you have a look at these five favorites of mine. Careful with the volume, now. We start with a bang:

Now, it would be pretty easy to pick your parting-of-the-Red-Sea and water-into-wine and Lazarus-from-the-dead and so on. Maybe nothing really does it for you quite like Charlton Heston drowning the Egyptian army, or the cheeky grin we get from Willem Dafoe when he turns water into wine; do tell in the comments below.

And sure, feel free to let us know you find the box office appeal of Jerry Lewis to be a miracle, or cite the divine circumstances that kept you from seeing a single Twilight film, or brand the fact that you managed to watch a movie in the theater this year that wasn’t part of a “shared universe” of other movies as a miracle, or other such drolleries. Make your contribution a rip on your least favorite moment of deus ex machina, be my guest. But also keep your movie memories alert to thoughts of those unusual or challenging Classic Movie Miracles, and tell us all about what makes those moments so awe-inspiring to you.