Christ and The War Movie Hero

Don’t get alarmed! I’m not going to be blasphemous here. I have just been wondering about this coincidence/symmetry for quite a while and would like to give you something to ponder.

In 1986 Oliver Stone did Platoon starring Willem Dafoe as one of the main characters whose death has written film history and is also depicted on the movie’s poster. The hero who sacrifices himself.

1988 Willem Dafoe played the role of Christ in Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of the Christ.

1998 one of the main characters in  A Thin Red Line, the most pensive one, is played by James Caviezel.

2004 Mel Gibson, who had  major roles in many a war movie, chose James Caviezel as Christ in The Passion of the Christ.

With regards to The Passion of the Christ one must add that there aren’t many movies out there that are more graphic, gory and bloody. One of the longest agonies in film history.

It’ s about death and dying again.

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9 thoughts on “Christ and The War Movie Hero

  1. Not sure if you’re recommending any of these movies. The only one I’ve seen is Passion of the Christ and all I can say was yeah, a lot of gore! I didn’t think it was necessary to have so much blood and gore.

    • I’m not recommending them but I think they are both attempts at trying to understand what might have really happened. There is indeed a lot of gore in The Passion of the Christ. It took me three evenings to watch it. I always had to pause it after a while. I loved the use of the original languages, especially since I know Latin and would normally never get a chance to hear it. I’m afraid it shows something we hardly ever really think about, how truly horrible it must have been. The pain, the torture, the suffering he went through. Now, if it is justified to show it like this…

  2. […] yes, I alluded to him in another post (Christ and the War Movie Hero). My favourite character is Sgt. Elias (Willem Dafoe) in Platoon. And yes, I´m sure it´s no […]

  3. […] sacrifice himself for others. In this he can be compared to Sgt Elias in Platoon. I mentioned it somewhere else, but I’ll mention it again, I don’t think it was a coincidence that Dafoe who played […]

  4. Eric Wester says:

    Thanks for your postings. I am interested in recommended films which approach faith and experiences in military service. In particular, I would like recommendations about films (dramatic or documentary) which try to get at the powerful ways military service affects identity – particularly religious sensibilities and ideas about God (absence or presence). Thank you.

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