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10 Movies That ... Deal With Coveting - 10th Commandment

10 Movies That ... Deal With Coveting - 10th Commandment

Reformation Rush Hour

So you like movies? Here's a list of 10 movies that deal with Coveting. Listen to Pastors Ted Giese and Craig Donofrio talk about their picks on the Reformation Rush Hour program on KFUOam radio. Also these 2 lists of 5 movies are not movie recommendations, generally speaking this is a conversation about movies that delve into the 10th Commandment from Luther's Small Catechism many/most of these movies are not salutary or beneficial.   

Watch the film trailers and film clips for these 2 lists of 5 movies here and click here to listen to Donofrio and Giese's conversation about these films. The whole hour is dedicated to the 10th Commandment and the movies. Also there's a bit of a running gag about how movies are rated in Quebec. 

The 10th Commandment 

You shall not covet your neighbour's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour. What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not entice or force away our neighbour's wife, workers, or animals or turn them against him, but urge them to stay and do their duty. Get the app! Get the book

Giese's List of 5 Picks

5) A Simple Plan (1998) Rated R for violence and language

Hank, played by Bill Paxton, talks about contentment, the 10th commandment is actually about happiness and contentment, coveting gets in the way of that,  "When I was still just a kid, I remember my father telling me what he thought that it took for a man to be happy. Simple things, really. A wife he loves. A decent job. Friends and neighbours who like and respect him. And for a while there, without hardly even realizing it, I had all that. I was a happy man." In A Simple Plan Sam Raimi does a masterful job of depicting how coveting ruins lives. Paxton does a great job in this movie and at the end of talking about A Simple Plan Donofrio asks Giese what his favourite Bill Paxton movie is, Giese mentions him recently being in MARVEL'S Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and then recalls his fine performance in the movie Frailty (2001), Donofrio's favourite Bill Paxton performance is from the screwball comedy Weird Science (1985).  

4) The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) Rating PG

In The Treasure of the Sierra Madre the old prospector Howard, played by Walter Huston, says,  "Aah, gold's a devilish sort of thing, anyway. You start out, you tell yourself you'll be satisfied with 25,000 handsome smackers worth of it. So help me, Lord, and cross my heart. Fine resolution. After months of sweatin' yourself dizzy, and growin' short on provisions, and findin' nothin', you finally come down to 15,000, then ten. Finally, you say, "Lord, let me just find $5,000 worth and I'll never ask for anythin' more the rest of my life." One of the bums chimes in, "$5,000 is a lot of money." Howard continues, " Yeah, here in this joint it seems like a lot. But I tell you, if you was to make a real strike, you couldn't be dragged away. Not even the threat of miserable death would keep you from trying to add 10,000 more. Ten, you'd want to get twenty-five; twenty-five you'd want to get fifty; fifty, a hundred. Like roulette. One more turn, you know. Always one more"

Here's the famouse scene from the film ... "Badges! We don't need no stinkin' badges" 

3) The Great Gatsby (2013) Rated PG-13 for some violent images, sexual content, smoking, partying and brief language

hummm ... coveting your neighbours wife... we've never heard that one before, "It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king's house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her"  (2 Samuel 11:2-4 ESV)

2) Elysium (2013) Rated R for strong bloody violence and language throughout

The rich in a space station, the poor left on earth to rot and die ... nothing bad could possible happen. One of the big themes in Elysium is coveting good health. There are two Bible verses, one from early in the Bible and one from near the end of the Bible, that link up nicely together to show the dangers of sin, how one sin can lead to another sin. The first verse is from the spot where The LORD speaks to Cain, not long before Cain kills his brother Able, it's from Genesis 4:6-7, "The LORD said to Cain, 'Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.'" The second is from James 1:15, "Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death." These verses help a person see how coveting, as an example, by itself usually leads to the next thing - that's why A Simple Plan and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre end up being about theft and murder, and The Great Gatsby ends up being about adultery and likewise in Needful Things stuff happens because of the coveting. Often coveting is the entry point into the story and then a good drama will take coveting somewhere else in the plot. What makes a good drama for a film and what makes a happy life are two different things because if you fall into the pit of coveting and then you start acting out on that you can get into lying and stealing and adultery, and all these other things that can come out of the initial coveting ... this is what you find in Elysium it starts out with a general premise which includes coveting and greed but then along the way gets into other things like extreme violence and murder.    

1) The Maltese Falcon (1941) Rating PG

In 1539, the Knight Templars of Malta, paid tribute to Charles V of Spain, by sending him a Golden Falcon encrusted from beak to claw with rarest jewels ...  but pirates seized the galley carrying this priceless token and the fate of the Maltese Falcon remains a mystery to this day ... and man wouldn't they all love to get their hands on that bird! Humphrey Bogart as detective Samuel Spade has to deal with a rouges gallery of covetous backstabbing murderers all looking for a piece of that bird, if they can get their hands on it.


Donofrio's List of 5 Picks

5) Needful Things (1993) Rated R (Restricted) for violence and strong language

Clearly one of Donofrio's favourite movies! Last time we talked about Needful Things we looked at it from the devil side of things - this time we look at it from the human coveting end of things. This movie has both the tempter and the ones being tempted pitted against each other in this popular adaption of the Steven King novel of the same name.    


4) Wall Street (1987) Rated R 

Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko gives the Greed is good speech from the movie Wall Street, "Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures, the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge, has marked the upward surge of mankind and greed, you mark my words, will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the U.S.A." Is greed good? The 10th Commandment doesn't think so.  Capitalism is one thing, greedy capitalism is something else. 


3) The Great Gatsby (2013) Rated PG-13 for some violent images, sexual content, smoking, partying and brief language

Donofrio says, "This movie creeps me out on several leveles ... I live by the Bro Code, you know! You don't go after another mans wife or grilfriend even if you have a mad crush on her." Watch out for that green light! Green is the colour of greed and not just becasue American money is green. 


2) Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) Rated G

The Evil Queen asks, "Magic Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?" The Magic Mirror answers her question saying, "Famed is thy beauty, Majesty. But hold, a lovely maid I see. Rags cannot hide her gentle grace. Alas, she is more fair than thee." In vexation the Queen cries out, " Alas for her! Reveal her name." The Magic Mirror says, "Lips red as the rose. Hair black as ebony. Skin white as snow." Knowing who the mirror speaks of with malice the Queen responds, " Snow White!" The Evil Queen is driven by her coveting of Snow White's beauty. 


1) Amadeus (1984) Rating PG

This film gets at the "or anything that belongs to your neighbour" part of the explanation of the 10th Commandment as Antonio Salieri covets Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's great talent. Amadeus was a huge movie in 1984 it won 8 Oscars and 42 other awards so just for fun lets end this blog post with a couple videos that were inspired by the movie. First the Euro-Pop-Rocker Falco's "Rock Me Amadeus" and then the YouTube loop of a break dancing cartoon man in a orang-utan costume from The Simpson's Planet of the Apes Broadway musical anthem "Dr. Zaius! Dr. Zaius!" Enjoy!    

Here's a list of 10 Movies That ... Deal With Angles
Here's a list of 10 Movies That ... Deal With The Devil.
Here's a list of 10 Movies That Intentionally Or Unintentionally Express The Gospel


For current movie reviews of films in the theatre right now by Pastor Ted Giese check out,Where Christianity Meets Culture IssuesEtc!