Movies/Scenes Representing Call

bullet Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
  • The Lord of the Rings is a movie which in following the book well enough, addresses many issues pertaining to emotions, faith, hope, pity, call, confronting evil, discernment, and many many more themes. This movie is rich to bursting with possibilities, as it follows the book which was written around a mythical and religious basis. (Michael K. Doran)
  • Frodo the hobbit receives a "call" to destroy the evil "one ring" before its power is able to corrupt and destroy all of Middle Earth. This call involves a long and extremely dangerous journey, and the likelihood that Frodo will not return alive. In one scene, Frodo expresses his fear and his wish that the ring had never come to him. Gandalf the wizard tells Frodo, "We cannot choose the time we live in. We can only choose what we do with the time we are given." (Pat Raube-Wilson, Auburn/Union Theological Seminary)
bulletKeeping the Faith (2000)
  • Edward Norton talks about how even as young children, he and his friend (the old Catholic priest and the Rabbi line) knew that they were called to their ministries. (Jenn. Stiles Williams Jax, Fl)
bulletMission Impossible 2 (2000)
  • At the beginning of the movie, Ethan Hunt is climbing a mountain. At one point, he hangs facing out from the cliff face, arms spread as though he were being crucified. He makes it to the top of the mountain, and stands looking out in a moment of exhilaration. Almost immediately, he is presented with the latest impossible mission, which will send him out to potential rejection and death -- "the secretary will disavow all knowledge..." (FUMC, Natchitoches, LA)
bullet The Patriot (2000)
  • Halfway through the movie, the son walks into a church to recruit for the militia. Very moving as the plea is initially rejected, then a girl speaks up. Men begin standing, the music builds, a basic tear jerker. (Erin Baggett)
bulletThe Green Mile (1999)
  • Tom Hanks' character is "called" from his accepted (and societally acceptable) role as head honcho for Death Row to the cause of grace in the unlikely person of his enormous black inmate at the time of his being grasped through the bars by the compassion of his prisoner and healed of his terrible urinary tract infection, of all things. He is, as are we all when touched by the hand of God, irrevocably called and committed to a cause, a person, well beyond the pale of his previous existence. (Katherine Merrell Glenn, Alamosa Colorado)
bulletThe Confession (1999)
  • Bleakie is influenced toward morality and relationship with God through the lives of Fertig and Mel as much as through their words/preaching.
bulletGalaxy Quest (1999)
  • The aliens come to the Galaxy Quest convention and then to Jason's house, asking him to accompany them.
  • Jason collects his cast-mates to show them the Real Thing.
  • Brandon is called (literally!) to assist the Galaxy Quest cast in their attempt to save the ship.
bulletThe Matrix (1999)
  • Neo receives a "call" literally, by cell phone no less. (Mike Clark, Hamilton Canada)
  • "Discovering your Destiny"/"Dealing with Fatalistic Thinking" - Matrix-
    Neo is struggling to come to terms with his destiny. Morpheus asking him if he believes in fate- he doesn't because he likes to be in control of his own life. His visit with the Oracle reinforces this- she comments that he seems to be waiting for something instead of moving forward and that he doesn't believe in "all that fate crap". He finally comes to terms with who he could be at the end of the movie- great action stuff. (Mike Simpson)
bulletDogma (1999)
  • The angel appears to Bethany - a non-practicing Catholic who runs an abortion clinic. (see review at Hollywood Jesus)
bulletCider House Rules (1999)
bulletThe Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (1999)
  • Joan is driven by what she is convinced is the voice of God to lead her people in revolt against English aggression. (Dennis L. Zimmerman)
bulletThe Phantom Menace (1999)
  • Anakin is called to the Jedi Council, called to become a Jedi.
  • The cute little boy is called [by the Emperor] to become Darth Vader! (Bill Mosley, Frelsburg TX)
    • is he ignoring his true call as he turns to the Dark Side?
bulletSimon Birch (1998)
bulletPatch Adams (1998)
  • nothing will deter him from his heterodox practice of medicine and his love interest in the move is killed simply because she chooses to live with the new idea of medicine. (Amy Wharton)
  • responds to the urge within him to treat the whole person rather than the disease, in spite of the cost of this professionally? (Marie Loewen)
bulletDark City (1998)
  • John answers a phone call at the beginning of the movie. The call is from
bulletThe Mask of Zorro (1998)
  • Diego calls a thief to take his place and save the peasants from oppression, by being transformed. (Bill Mosley, Frelsburg TX)
  • In any Zorro - Diego's father calls him home because there is trouble, but how is he to fight it? By being transformed! (Bill Mosley, Frelsburg TX)
bulletContact (1997)
  • Ellie's call to study and then to experience the alternate reality.
bulletThe Apostle (1997)
  • Pentecostal pastor Eulis "Sonny" Dewey, using the name The Apostle E.F., enlists three people to help him start an interracial church in a Southern small town. First he goes to a retired African American pastor, asking to use an abandoned church building. Then he convinces a radio station owner to give him air time, as long as he doesn't speak in tongues. Lastly, he recruits a young mechanic to help fix up the church building. They become the core of the new church. (David K. Miller)
bulletMen in Black (1997)
  • More an audition than a call!
bulletSling Blade (1996)
  • Karl's call to give up his freedom and his soul in order to help Frank and his mother.
bulletThe Spitfire Grill (1996)
bullet Big Night (1996)
  • Two Italian brothers who own a good but struggling restaurant are supposedly helped by the owner of the hopping Italian restaurant in town.  His help is that he is going to send Louis Prima and his entourage to this struggling restaurant.  The formal publicity and "the buzz" created by Prima's presence will be the spark needed to get the restaurant going. The film becomes about all the preparation, excitement and anticipation of this visit.  They plan a huge party for him, but he never arrives.  The successful restate fabricated the whole story. Yet in the midst of disappointment, they rejoice and understand that in the preparation, excitement and anticipation, they created wonderful night. I think of this story as I consider Luke 10 and the 70 who proclaimed the Gospel without immediate results. (Alfred Bakewell)
bulletDolores Claiborne (1995)
bulletLegends of the Fall (1994)
bulletThe Stand (1994)
  • Mother Abigail's prayer (DVD pt 2, ch 7) (she is reluctant to follow)
  • Mother Abigail ("good") and Randall Flagg ("evil") each call their own chosen ones through dreams.
bulletThe Pelican Brief (1993)
bulletThe Sandlot (1993)
  • Scotty finally goes into the junkyard after the ball.
bulletBuffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)
  • Clip begins in the locker room after school, where buffy is about to go to practice.  Merrill appears, and admonishes her for not having met him.  Following is a wonderful dialogue about being gifted, called and chosen.  PERFECT LINE:  "Don't you get it?  I don't WANT to be chosen!"  After Merrill throws a knife at Buffy to prove to her that she is the chosen (apparently those with this gift have the capacity to catch knifes thrown at them!) she punches him in the nose.  stunned at her own behavior, she says, "I've never hit anyone before."  With hand over face, Merrill says, "Well, you did it very well!"  Scene ends with Buffy saying, "And I didn't even break a nail!" (Paul Wiberg)
bulletA River Runs Through It (1992)
bulletMy Cousin Vinny (1992)
bulletHero (1992)
  • Bernie tries to walk away from airplane crash and is called back to rescue other passengers.
bulletRed Rock West (1992)
  • Michael tries to escape with the money he's taken while pretending to be the hit-man hired to kill Suzanne. No matter what he tries to do to get away from town, he continues to be drawn back by one fate or another until he confronts Suzanne and the real hit man.
bulletThe Fisher King (1991)
  • This excellent movie is an exploration of the way in which the central character , a shock-jock radio host, seeks for forgiveness , having unwittingly incited a man to commit a massacre in a restaurant. He meets someone who has suffered a breakdown as a result of witnessing the massacre and tries in all sorts of ways to free himself of his own sense of guilt. The man he has met (played by Robin Williams) is convinced that the DJ has been sent to bring him a silver cup ( actually a sporting trophy ) which he thinks is the Holy Grail. The Robn Williams character repeatedly calls him to this task, but he dismisses it as ridiculous . Finally, though , when Robin Williams falls into a catatonic state, he realises that , simply because he needs the 'grail' to get better he will retrieve it. It strikes me as relevant to the theme of 'call' because of the way in which it is circumstance which compels him, eventually, to do something only he can do. The act he is called to is ridiculous, but it is the doing of it which is really important. In fullfilling his 'call' , by doing something out of simple love, he not only heals someone else, but finds the freedom he has been seeking for himself. 
bulletThe Silence of the Lambs (1991)
  • Clarice's summons from Jack Crawford - the "call" from her dead father to follow in his footsteps.
bulletCity Slickers (1991)
  • When "Curly" and the character played by Billy Crystal are riding alone to round up some stray cattle. Curly then explains that all the rest of the stuff in life "don't mean nothing" if you know the one thing that is the meaning of life. The Billy Crystal character asks what that one thing is. Curly tells him he has to find that out for himself. I used this in a service that asked the question, "What is it that is the basic focus of our lives?" The one thing (person) we need is Jesus Christ and all the rest of our life falls into place. (Vern Gauthier, Summit Hill, PA)
bullet Glory (1989)
  • Glory was the true story of first Black combat regiment, the 54th Massachusetts, to fight in the Civil War. The commander (by law the officers had to be white) was the young, Harvard-educated, son of wealthy Boston abolitionists, Col. Robert Gould Shaw, played by Matthew Broderick. In addition to Broderick, the cast included Denzel Washington (who won an Oscar for best supporting actor), Morgan Freeman, and Cary Elwes. It definitely touches on themes of call and courage - Shaw knows what he has to do, and ultimately that it will cost him his life. It also speaks well of race relations (in that time). This is a great film. (Richard S. Hong)
bulletField of Dreams (1989)
  • An Iowa farmer hears a mysterious voice borne on the wind blowing through his corn field, "If you build it, he will come!"  The voice becomes more insistent, until he gives in and builds a baseball diamond, complete with lights for night games and bleachers for spectators.  A host of long-dead ball players come out of the night fog of the corn to play on the ball field, one asking, "Is this heaven?"  To which, the farmer responds, "It's Iowa."  But the real "He" who was to come is the farmer's long estranged and now dead father.  In a simple game of "catch" on the field they have a chance to talk, see life from the other's point of view, and experience forgiveness and a restored relationship. (Mark D. Johns, Instructor of Communication/Linguistics, Luther College, Decorah, Iowa)
bulletJesus of Montreal (1989)
  • The decision to do the play and the summons of each of the actors.
bulletDead Poets Society (1989)
  • Todd, Neil and the other students are "called" by Prof Keating to "seize the day" and they reform the Dead Poets Society.
bulletJourney to Spirit Island (1988)
  • Maria, a young member of the Makah Indian Tribe, living in the Pacific Northwest, is caught in a struggle on her reservation between tradition and enculturation into the dominant culture. Maria and her brother host two white visitors from the city and find themselves in the midst of a marvelous adventure. Maria experiences call in her dreams and visions. Excellent. I have used this for several years in Confirmation Classes when talking about calls to ministry and service. (Sharee Kelly)
bulletMidnight Run (1988)
bulletLast Temptation of Christ (1988)
  • Jesus experiences the call of God as a big headache until he accepts the call and feels free.
bulletBabbette's Feast (1987)
  • inviting the town to the meal - the varied responses.
bulletForrest Gump (1987)
  • Forrest runs across US "for no particular reason". He gains many followers. Start cue: on verandah and starts to run. End cue: "I think I?ll go home now, I?m tired." (Luke Whiteside, Youth Alpha Australia)
bulletI've Heard the Mermaids Singing (1987)
  • The very last scene of "I've Heard the Mermaids Singing". "Come and See" I can't even begin to describe the event, it has to be seen. (I confess that this is one of those movies that men and women see VERY differently. For many women it is an emotional, almost religious experience. many men finish the movie saying, "What the hell was that?") (Gayle Bach-Watson)
bulletThe Mission (1986)
bulletExcalibur (1981)
  • There's a terrific development of call in Excalibur. First the sword in the stone bit, then the sealing of the call after Arthur's first battle. He has subdued his enemy, a nobleman, and they are standing together in a moat. People shout to have Arthur made king, but the noble (is he played by Patrick Stewart?) he can't be king--he's not even a knight. So Arthur gives the disarmed knight his own sword and, kneeling and offering his head and neck, says, "Then knight me." Great scene. (Michael Hudson, Cullowhee NC)
bulletThe Blues Brothers (1980)
  • scene where Jake & Elroy visit the Black church, and see the light. End cue: Elroy" The Band!....." (Luke Whiteside)
  • the "call" of various members of the band
bulletThe Shining (1980)
  • Hallorann is called from his vacation in Florida, to drive to the Overlook, despite his premonition that he will be killed there. 
bulletStar Wars (1977)
  • Luke is called to trust the force. (submitted by Bill Mosley, Frelsburg TX)
bulletClose Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
  • For Call Scenes... or possibly the theme of election, I remember toward the end of Close Encounters, a group of astronauts has been prepared and are ready to go off in the alien spacecraft. However, when the little aliens appear, the astronauts are ignored in favor of Roy who has been "struggling with his sense of call," if you will. The astronauts are left behind as the rejected one (Roy, previously thwarted by the government) is taken aboard the ship. (Jim Gooch)
bulletOh, God! (1977)
  • The link is with Jeremiah's call, Jer 1:4-10 - the hero, Jerry, a supermarket assistant manager, is entirely unequal to the task God puts on him (unfortunately, so's God). (Leslie Lewis)
bulletBrother Sun, Sister Moon (1973)
  • The call of St. Francis of Assisi
bulletThe Exorcist (1973)
  • Father Merrin and Father Karras are called to what they both seem to know will be their deaths in order to confront the demon.
  • Father Karras' call/immediate decision to sacrifice himself in order to keep the demon from killing Regan.
bulletThe Poseidon Adventure (1972)
  • The young priest calls the others to follow him. "I found it! I've been too the engine room, and we're going to go there! This Way!"
bulletFiddler on the Roof (1971)
  • "I know. I know. We are your chosen people. But, once in awhile, can't you choose someone else?" (Tevye)
bulletButch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
  • "Who are those guys?" (About the men who are tracking them.) Leap off the cliff into water. (May be an expletive here!)
bulletMission Impossible (television, 1966-1973)
  • A call/mission was always presented, and then the famous words, "should you choose to accept it!" .
bulletA Man for All Seasons (1966)
bulletBecket (1964)
bulletTo Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
bulletThe Night of the Hunter (1955)
  • "Rev Harry Powell" uses religious language and the disguise of a preacher to describe his "call" to find another woman to rob and murder. (Not all "call" are genuine, either those perceived or those expressed.)
bulletThe Wizard of Oz (1939)
  • Dorothy gathers disciples for the Wizard (Bill Mosley, Frelsburg TX)


Index of Movie Titles

Index of Movie Themes