Film Fanatics: Best movies for the eclipse

The solar eclipse-born plant Audrey II causes terror. Photo courtesy of IMDB


The solar eclipse has frequently been associated with apocalyptic events and unexplained magic. So, naturally, many movies have taken advantage of that eerie association and incorporated the event into their plot. These movies vary from comedy to romance to musical, but they all have their own take on the eclipse. Now, on the other side of the solar eclipse, knowing that the apocalypse did not come, it is time to explore these cinematic interpretations of this fascinating phenomenon. 

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” (1949) directed by Tay Garnett

This adaptation of Mark Twain’s book of the same name brings the classic story to the musical soundstages of the American ’40s and ’50s. Hank Martin — portrayed by Bing Cosby — gets hit on the head and wakes up in the land of King Arthur — portrayed by Sir Cedric Hardwicke

Hank uses his superior knowledge as a man of the future to gain favor with the king and stay alive. One of the most pivotal of these instances is the correct prediction of the total solar eclipse based on “The Farmer’s Almanac” which was transported back in time with him. 

This movie follows the same basic plot as the original book, but it adds several songs, the most popular of which is “Once and For Always” sung by Crosby. The addition of songs, combined with the over-the-top performances, make this movie a fun, campy watch. It has not earned critical acclaim, with a 44% Rotten Tomatoes score and a 6.5 out of 10 on IMDB, and it does not have the satirical tone of the original book. However, the satire is replaced with loads of humor and Old Hollywood charm that create a light-hearted viewing experience. If one is looking for a fun movie featuring the eclipse, this adaptation is a great choice. 

This movie is available for streaming on Tubi

Little Shop of Horrors” (1986)  directed by Frank Oz 

Comedic legend Rick Moranis stars in this movie as the plant shop employee Seymour. Seymour purchases an unusual plant during a total solar eclipse, which he names “Audrey II” after his crush and fellow employee Audrey — portrayed by Ellen Greene

The plant begins to show strange behavior, which can be attributed to the solar eclipse, and Seymour finds out that it feeds on human blood. The movie centers on Seymour’s journey trying to feed Audrey II while also navigating his burgeoning romance with Audrey. 

Other highlights of the film include a disturbingly funny performance from Steve Martin as Orin, the sadistic dentist, as well as the many catchy songs like “Grow for Me” and “Suddenly, Seymour”. With satirical elements of horror movies, catchy songs and ironic humor, this movie combines many genres and tastes to create a truly unique story that anyone can enjoy — and a perfectly ridiculous plot with the solar eclipse! 

This movie can be streamed on Amazon Prime Video. The Indiana Repertory Theatre will also be putting on the musical version from April 17 to May 19. 

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” (2010) directed by David Slade 

This iconic third installment of the “Twilight” franchise barely needs an introduction. While this movie may not feature an eclipse, no eclipse-themed list would be complete without this campy classic.

Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner reprise their roles as Bella, Edward and Jacob, respectively. Bella contemplates her love for Edward and the end of high school, all while a rival vampire begins killing humans in their area to create an army and get revenge on Edward. This movie is the peak of the Bella, Edward and Jacob love triangle. Bella begins to fall in love with Jacob as well, but she must make a choice. 

Even though this movie may not feature a literal eclipse, that inaccurate title just adds to the outlandish tone that audiences love about this franchise. For anyone wanting to relax and not take things too seriously, this movie will do the trick. 

This movie is available for streaming on Hulu

Whether watching these movies or others featuring the solar eclipse, they are a perfect way to enjoy this eerily exciting time. Don’t burn your retinas — watch a movie instead! 


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