15 movies that feature eclipses

Posted by Michael Bakich
on Monday, August 18, 2014

Not every blog you're going to read on this site is pure science. Some, like this one, are just for fun.

It was a dark and stormy night. My wife, Holley, and I were watching a movie. All of a sudden, a total solar eclipse appeared. I asked her, “Can you think of any other movies that have eclipses in them?” She came up with a few, and I came up with a few, and in the couple of weeks that followed I fleshed out the following list of 15 flicks by chatting with a few movie-loving friends. I list these in chronological order with only the briefest of descriptions. I’ll be following the “Comments” section to see if our astute readership can come up with others.

1. The Eclipse: The Courtship of Sun and Moon (1907)

The Eclipse appeared in 1907.
Not only is our first entry old, but it’s also strange with a capital S. The filmmaker viewed the eclipse as a consummation between the Sun and the Moon. My main take from this film is that I want a house like the one shown!

2. King Solomon’s Mines (1937)

This version is the first adaptation of the 1885 book. Here, a total solar eclipse plays a major role in the movie’s plot.

3. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1949)

It’s the whole court against poor Bing Crosby in this musical adaptation. At one point, Crosby demonstrates his magical abilities during a total eclipse.

4. Barabbas (1962)

Here’s the one thing you should know about this movie: Director Richard Fleischer delayed the shooting of the crucifixion scene in order to use a real total solar eclipse as background. Wow!

5. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

OK, I’m taking a bit of liberty here. The opening sequence shows a lineup of celestial bodies that I choose to interpret as an eclipse.

6. Dragonslayer (1981)

Dragonslayer is a 1981 fantasy epic.
If you’re not into fantasy epics, just fast-forward until near the end. The main characters encounter the dragon as a total solar eclipse is in progress.

7. Ladyhawke (1985)

This flick is a classic by Director Richard Donner. The total solar eclipse that occurs in it is a way to break a curse.

8. Eclipse (1994) Canada

Well, the good part is that the entire movie is about a kid who’s filming a documentary about an upcoming eclipse. The not-so-good part is how that event apparently influences certain individuals.

9. Dolores Claiborne (1995)

This film is dark, and it has nothing to do with the eclipse mentioned in it. Remember, I’m just listing — not recommending.

10. Almanach (1999) Canada

This movie’s more about the occult and the fantastic than science. Still, the director does include footage from the February 26, 1998, total solar eclipse.

11. Pitch Black (2000)

Pitch Black features an eclipse, just not one in our solar system.
Hey, I didn’t say that these movies had to include a total solar eclipse visible from Earth. Don’t look too deeply into the science of planetary motions here. Just enjoy the flick for the ride that it is.

12. Darkness (2002)

Well, the title sort of says it all. In this dark tale of satanic rituals, the eclipse represents the time when children must be sacrificed.

13. The Wild Thornberrys (2002)

This animated movie is a bit brighter than most of the rest on this list. The climactic scene occurs near the end during an eclipse.

14. Hellboy (2004)

Actor Ron Perlman plays the titular character who, near the end of the movie, has to open the gate of hell during a total lunar eclipse.

15. Apocalypto (2006)

This crazy film (all dialog is in the Mayan tongue) takes place during the Mayan empire some 500 years ago. The eclipse is part of a prophecy that implies the end of the Mayans.

NOTE: I've written three other "serious" blogs you'll want to check out about the 2017 eclipse:

A solar eclipse glossary

Two dozen tips for the August 21, 2017, total solar eclipse

25 facts you should know about the August 21, 2017, total solar eclipse

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