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List of films featuring eclipses

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There is a body of films featuring stellar eclipses and eclipses of natural satellites. Compared to other astronomical events featured in films, such as full moons and asteroid strikes, solar eclipses are less commonly seen. When they have featured in films, they often drive the plot and have a portentous presence.[1] NPR's Glen Weldon said that films use eclipses "to signal to audiences that the normal rules have temporarily lifted, and things are about to get weird". The first film to feature a solar eclipse was the 1907 silent film The Eclipse, or the Courtship of the Sun and Moon that featured a solar eclipse as a fantastical consummation between the sun and the moon.[2] Eclipses have been seen as bad omens throughout history, so filmmakers leverage that belief "as visual cues or key plot points", according to The Oregonian's Amy Wang.[3] The most accurate depiction of a solar eclipse in film is seen in the 1961 religious epic film Barabbas due to the filming of an actual solar eclipse during its crucifixion scene (see solar eclipse of February 15, 1961).[4]

List of films

Film Year Description
2001: A Space Odyssey 1968 The American science fiction film's opening sequence shows an eclipse of the Sun by both the Earth and the Moon. The three bodies and the camera (which is farther out in space) are aligned; the sequence starts with the Sun fully eclipsed to the camera, and shows the eclipse ending and the Sun becoming visible past the Earth and Moon.[3][4]
Almanach 1999-2000 1999 The Canadian documentary film explores divination in a humorous way and includes eclipses as part of its subject matter.[5]
Apocalypto 2006 The Yucatec Mayan-language action-adventure film, set in pre-Columbian Yucatan and Guatemala around the year 1511, Mayan leaders take advantage of a solar eclipse as a sign of an angry god whose blood thirst is satisfied by the leaders.[5][1][6][2][7][8][9][10][3]
Barabbas 1961 In the religious epic film about Barabbas, a solar eclipse takes place during a crucifixion scene. A real eclipse was filmed for the scene (see solar eclipse of February 15, 1961).[5][1][6][2][8][3][4]
Bloody Birthday 1981 In the American slasher film's opening, three children are born during a solar eclipse, which leads them to grow up with violent personalities.[1]
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court 1949 The American film, based on Mark Twain's 1889 novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, features an American protagonist from 1912 who wakes up in Arthurian Britain in AD 528 and uses his knowledge of an upcoming solar eclipse to his advantage.[5][1][2][3]
Darkness 2002 The English-language horror film features a house that was built for a supernatural ritual to sacrifice seven children for a solar eclipse that happens every forty years.[5]
Dolores Claiborne 1995 In the American psychological thriller film, a housekeeper is sent home by her boss to witness a solar eclipse. In the midst of the eclipse, she confronts her abusive and alcoholic husband.[5][1][2][7][9][3]
Dragonslayer 1981 The American fantasy film features the climactic battle with a dragon during a solar eclipse.[5][2][8]
Eclipse 1994 The Canadian drama film features a kid who films a documentary about an upcoming solar eclipse.[5]
The Eclipse, or the Courtship of the Sun and Moon 1907 The American silent film shows a solar eclipse resulting from a consummation between the Sun and the Moon.[5][6][2][8][4]
Fantasia 1940 In one of the segments of the American animated film, a solar eclipse takes place after dinosaurs go extinct, and the landscape is changed into a sea.[6]
Farinelli 1994 The biographical drama film, set in 18th-century Europe, features a scene of singing during a solar eclipse.[11]
Gerald's Game 2017 The American psychological horror film, based on Stephen King's novel Gerald's Game, features a solar eclipse in a memory flashback in which the female main character, a preteen at the time, is sexually assaulted.[12]
Hellboy 2004 In the American superhero film, Hellboy has to open a gate to hell during a lunar eclipse.[5][10][3]
The House of the Devil 2009 The American horror film, set in the 1980s, features a small-town university student who is hired to stay at a house in the middle of nowhere to take care of an old woman on the night of a full lunar eclipse.[13]
Judy Berlin 1999 In the American drama film, the town of Babylon, New York experiences an hours-long solar eclipse, and it affects the world of the characters who wander the streets in memory and in search of meaning to their suburban lives.[6][2]
Arctic Blast 2010 An Australian-Canadian disaster film, the plot is centered on a colossal blast of heavily chilled mesosphere air spreading over the Earth after a solar eclipse
The Kid Who Would Be King 2019 The English-language fantasy film features a solar eclipse that fully empowers the wicked sorceress Morgana.[14]
King Solomon's Mines 1937 The British adventure film features in its climax one of the protagonists predicting a solar eclipse to their advantage.[5][8]
A Knight in Camelot 1998 The American television film features a scientist who is zapped back to the time of King Arthur, and she predicts a solar eclipse to avoid being burned at the stake.[10]
Ladyhawke 1985 In the American fantasy film, set in 13th-century Europe, a solar eclipse occurs and is taken to have religious meaning, to ensure forgiveness and end a curse.[5][1][6][8][3]
Little Sinner 1935 Episode of the Our Gang series. When a solar eclipse creates confusion, two white boys escape church to go fishing. They come across a black church revival whose members are also confused, and afraid. Professor Lisa Yaszek said of the racist depiction, "Apparently somehow these black Americans don't know what an eclipse is, so they have that very stereotypical reaction of confusion and fear, which causes chaos for the boys... the way it plays out is so stereotypical and really horrible."[4]
The Land Before Time X: The Great Longneck Migration 2003 The American animated family film about dinosaurs features a solar eclipse whose occurrence scares off predators.[10][3]
Perfect Strangers 2017 The Spanish dark comedy film features a dinner party that takes place on the night of a lunar eclipse.[15]
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider 2001 The English-language action-adventure film features a solar eclipse as part of a rare planetary alignment that allows access to a relic that can control space and time.[8][3]
Little Shop of Horrors 1986 In the American horror comedy film, the monstrous houseplant Audrey II is born as a result of a solar eclipse.[1][6][2][7][8][3]
Pitch Black 2000 In the American science fiction film, a criminal and other people trapped on a desert planet have to evade underground predatory creatures who go above ground when an eclipse occurs.[5][2][8][10][3][4]
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story 2016 In the Star Wars film, the spherical space station the Death Star eclipses the star from the view of the holy city on the moon of Jedha before the Death Star fires upon the city.[3]
The Seventh Sign 1988 The American horror film, which focuses on the Book of Revelation and a battle over an unborn child, features a solar eclipse as a key plot device.[1]
Verónica 2017 In 1991 Madrid, while the rest of her classmates watch the solar eclipse of July 11, 1991, a teenager becomes possessed by a demon after using an Ouija board.[16] In reality, the eclipse was not visible anywhere in Europe.
The Watcher in the Woods 1980 The American young-adult horror film features the mystery of a girl who disappears in the woods of New England decades ago and concludes with a climactic scene featuring a solar eclipse.[1][6][3]
The Wild Thornberrys Movie 2002 The American animated family film features a solar eclipse at the film's climax.[5]
Wolf Creek 2005 In the Australian horror film features a solar eclipse during a serial killer's pursuit of a victim. Peter Shelley wrote in Australian Horror Films, 1973-2010, "The solar eclipse that is shown adds a yin-yang element to the treatment. The shadow over [the victim] Ben and a dark profile of the Swedish backpacker wearing a Mick-type hat creates the expectation of [the serial killer] Mick finding him."[17]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Hickman, Matt (August 8, 2017). "9 movies starring solar eclipses". MNN. Mother Nature Network. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Weldon, Glen (August 17, 2017). "In Movies, A Solar Eclipse Means Change Is Coming". NPR. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Wang, Amy (August 6, 2017). "15 movies that include eclipses (not always accurately)". The Oregonian. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e f White, Amy (August 18, 2017). "Solar eclipses have been a science fiction theme for thousands of years". Vox. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Bakich, Michael (August 18, 2014). "15 movies that feature eclipses". Astronomy. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Salazar, Doris Elin (August 20, 2017). "Our Favorite Total Solar Eclipses from Movies and TV". Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  7. ^ a b c Holub, Christian (August 21, 2017). "5 of the most meaningful eclipses in movies and TV". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i Spry, Jeff (August 22, 2017). "10 sci-fi, fantasy and horror films featuring a total eclipse". Syfy. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  9. ^ a b Spata, Christopher (August 18, 2017). "Five great solar eclipse moments from movies and TV, from 'Mad Men' to 'The Simpsons'". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  10. ^ a b c d e Kaufman, Mark (May 26, 2017). "Eclipses in Movies Are Ridiculous and Terrifying". Inverse. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  11. ^ Dupont, Joan (December 16, 1994). "The Movie Guide: Farinelli". The New York Times. Retrieved September 14, 2019.
  12. ^ Romano, Aja (September 30, 2017). "Netflix's Gerald's Game is a graceful, mold-breaking Stephen King adaptation". Retrieved December 18, 2017. But there’s still a touch of magical realism present, particularly in the couldn’t-be-timelier element of a solar eclipse that occurred the day of Jessie’s past assault... Thanks to the director’s surreal solar eclipse filter, we see the world through blood-colored glasses.
  13. ^ Honeycutt, Kirk (October 26, 2009). "The House of the Devil -- Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  14. ^ DeFore, John (January 12, 2019). "'The Kid Who Would Be King': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  15. ^ Holland, Jonathan (December 8, 2017). "'Perfect Strangers' ('Perfectos Desconocidos'): Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 14, 2019.
  16. ^ Whalen, Andrew (March 2, 2018). "Is 'Veronica,' the New Netflix Horror Movie, a True Story?". Newsweek. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
  17. ^ Shelley, Peter (2012). Australian Horror Films, 1973-2010. McFarland. p. 203. ISBN 978-0-7864-6167-7.
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List of films featuring eclipses
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