I wanted to include one film in the final chapter of the reception history of the parables book, and Godspell is certainly not the one I had in mind. I actually had never seen the film before, and I looked at a number of other films before settling on Godspell. Son of Man, a very interesting Jesus film out of South Africa was the first one I explored, but there simply was not enough on the parables to make it work. Also, after attending one day of the Life of Brian conference at King's College London last summer, I considered Life of Brian. In that film, however, there is only one real attempt to engage the parables:
BRIAN: Ohh. Look. There was this man, and he had two servants.
ARTHUR: What were they called?
ARTHUR: What were their names?
BRIAN: I don't know. And he gave them some talents.
EDDIE: You don't know?!
BRIAN: Well, it doesn't matter!
ARTHUR: He doesn't know what they were called!
BRIAN: Oh, they were called 'Simon' and 'Adrian'. Now--
ARTHUR: Oh! You said...
ARTHUR: ...you didn't know!
BRIAN: It really doesn't matter. The point is there were these two servants--
ARTHUR: He's making it up as he goes along.
BRIAN: No, I'm not! ...And he gave them some ta-- Wait a minute. Were there three?
EDDIE: Oh, he's terrible!
ARTHUR: He's terrible.
BRIAN: There were three.
BRIAN: They were-- they were st-- stewards, really.
ELSIE: Aww, get off!
BRIAN: Ooh! Eh, uh, b-- b-- now-- now hear this! Blessed are they...
BRIAN: ...who convert their neighbor's ox, for they shall inhibit their girth,...
BRIAN: ...and to them only shall be given--to them only... shall... be... given...