This post originally appeared in March 2013.
The Easter long weekend is here and whether you’re religious or simply love chocolate, there’s no better way to get into the spirit of the holiday than with a home film festival. Here are five suggestions:
It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown (1974)
This animated TV special features the whole loveable Peanuts gang getting ready for Easter while Linus tries to convince them the Easter Beagle will take care of everything. While the old-school animation might bore CGI-jaded kids, this is family entertainment that has stood the test of time.
Easter Parade (1948)
A dancer (Fred Astaire) tries to turn a chorus girl (Judy Garland) into his dance partner in time for the annual Easter parade. Parents will love the movie’s legendary stars while younger viewers will enjoy the dance numbers. A classic!
The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)
This epic film tells the story of Jesus Christ (Max von Sydow) right up to the Resurrection. There is an all-star cast — including Charlton Heston, Telly Savalas, Martin Landau, Roddy McDowall and a cameo by John Wayne — and Oscar-nominated costumes and score. Believers will love the story; everyone else will delight in the retro acting and visual effects.
The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)
A slightly more controversial selection, The Last Temptation of Christ is decidedly not based on the Gospels. Directed by Martin Scorsese (who earned a Best Director nomination at the Oscars), the film stars Willem Dafoe as Jesus, Harvey Keitel as Judas and Barbara Hershey as Mary Magdalene.
This live-action/animated combo is about a rabbit named E.B. (voiced by Russell Brand) who would rather be a drummer than take over Easter Bunny duties from his dad (voiced by Hugh Laurie). After running away to Hollywood, he meets Fred O’Hare (James Marsden), an unemployed dude who wants the Easter Bunny gig. It’s a cute flick for the whole family (and stay tuned to the end of the credits for a bonus scene).
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