There I was in front of my computer, wondering what were the most popular films of all time. This is the sort of question for which Google never fails me, but this time the master searcher left me scratching my head.
I found lots of lists of the “most popular” films, but none of them matched. What made the top 10 (or 20, 50, 100, 17 or 83) depended on whether you adjust for inflation, include home sales, foreign sales, sales of colorized versions of black & white movies or sales to left-footed members of nomadic tribes.
To be sure, there were some titles that turn up on nearly all the lists: Gone With the Wind, various incarnations of Star Wars and The Sound of Music, for example.
However, despite the inconsistencies, the prevalence of heroes in the most popular films is undeniable. In virtually every film that has thrilled audiences in massive numbers, there are individuals who have done remarkable things in pursuit of God, family or country (and sometimes all three).
These heroes often succeed because they have some sort of “super power” – but you may be surprised that the power usually involves faith in something greater than themselves. Oh, it might be called “the force,” as in Star Wars. Or, as in “The Ten Commandments and Ben Hur it might be called “God.”
In either case, movie heroes seem to need not just rippling muscles and the ability to leap tall buildings with a single bound, but the willingness (we could call it faith) to tap into a strength beyond their own, flawed means.
For those of us living apart from the magic of Hollywood, lacking bulging muscles and bionic implants, we’re going to have to use a power greater than ourselves that comes in the form of faith – in God.
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