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Peter T Chattaway

Films referencing Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Lot

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A few months ago, MattPage asked for help coming up with films that reference King David.

 

I've got to do something similar now on the book of Genesis, not counting the primeval history (so basically everything but the first 11 chapters).

 

I've got the actual *Bible* adaptations pretty well covered (and for now I'm not counting Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat because no one's ever made a proper *film* of that, though who knows, given the existence of DVD performances of the musical, I may have to change that), but what I'm looking for now is non-biblical films that *reference* the story.

 

So far, I have:

 

-- Abraham: references to "the binding of Isaac" in Bigger Than Life (dir. Nicholas Ray, 1956), Frailty (dir. Bill Paxton, 2001), The Believer (dir. Henry Bean, 2001), The Wrestler (2008), Noah (2014) and Jesus, the Spirit of God (dir. Nader Talebzedah, 2007). (Yes, the last two films on that list are Bible movies of a sort, but they are not adaptations of the Abraham story; they do, however, incorporate or refer to elements of "the binding of Isaac".)

 

-- Lot and Sodom & Gomorrah: references to Gomorrah (with or without Sodom) in The Scorpion King (dir. Chuck Russell, 2002), Gomorra (dir. Matteo Garrone, 2008).

 

-- Jacob: the titular ladder in Jacob's Ladder (dir. Adrian Lyne, 1990), Esau selling his birthright in A Place in Heaven (dir. Joseph Madmony, 2013).

 

-- Joseph: ... actually, I'm drawing a blank on this one. The unjustly imprisoned guy who rises back up to social prominence has its counterparts in stories like Ben-Hur and The Count of Monte Cristo, I guess, but apart from that...?

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-- Abraham: Days of Heaven (Terrence Malick, 1978)

 

-- Jacob: Rectify, Season One, Episode 5 (Ray MacKinnon, 2013), Shenandoah (Andrew V. McLaglen, 1965)

 

-- Joseph: Audience of One (Mike Jacobs, 2007)

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Ryan H.: Thanks!

 

J.A.A. Purves: Days of Heaven, of course! I remember noting that the last time I saw the film, but that was a while ago. Also, thanks for the reminder re: Audience of One. I am unfamiliar with Rectify and Shenandoah, and my reading of the latter's plot synopsis at Wikipedia doesn't give me any hints as to how it fits with the Jacob story. (Seeing your reference to the TV show, though, reminds me that there was an episode of House of Cards called 'Rachel and Jacob'.)

 

Mike_tn: Forgive me if I'm missing something, but how does Mean Streets connect to the stories of these particular characters?

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