Feature Films

Revolutionary War

“April Morning” (1988) As a civilian minister, the town clergyman prays before a meeting of the Committee (00:19:48) then when the town militia is called up (00:43:12), he accompanies them as clergy, fulfilling the role of their chaplain, being present with them and leading them in a hymn (00:45:55), though he goes on to fight along side the militia, as many clergy of the day did.

“Revolution” (1985) There is an actor listed in the cast as portraying “chaplain” but I can’t identify where he performed in the movie. There is the presence of what appears to be a civilian minister marrying couples (waiting in line) before going off again to battle, which could be him, but he didn’t leave with the troops, so I can’t be sure if it is who is identified as the chaplain.


Civil War

“Gettysburg” (1993) (01:43:20, side a) With music playing, the chaplain is seen standing before a large number of Union troops, kneeling, then the chaplain gives the sign of the cross and a benediction before the unit marches on to Gettysburg to engage in battle.

“Gods and Generals” (2003) (00:47:30, side b) Brief shot of Jackson’s chaplain, holding a Bible, consoling a Confederate soldier about to be executed for desertion, then takes his place beside the officer reading their sentence.

“Gods and Generals” (2003) (01:04:40, side b) Jackson calls for his chaplain, introduces him to Lee, then Lee asks him for a “safe route around the enemy” to which the chaplain identifies a family he knows in the area where they may find a guide.

“Gods and Generals” (2003) (01:06:45, side b) Jackson’s chaplain prays with Jackson and his staff before the start of the battle.


World War I

“The Big Parade” (1925) (01:21:41) As the company is called to formation to move up to the front the priest/chaplain blesses/prays for for a small group of kneeling soldiers.

“Flyboys” (2006) (00:25:45) While being shown around the airfield, one of the new volunteers asks, “no chapel?”

“Flyboys” (2006) (00:34:00) Before a mission, the priest/chaplain is seen blessing the planes, applying holy water.

“Flyboys” (2006) (01:48:30) After a pilot was shot down during a mission, the priest/chaplain performs a memorial ceremony on the airfield.

“In Love and War” (1996) (01:07:56) Brief shot of Italian chaplain, wearing stole, walking through camp by the hospital tent.

“In Love and War” (1996) (01:18:03) Italian chaplain praying over graves of dead Soldiers being buried.

Joyeux Noel

Midnight on Christmas Eve, Scottish chaplain leads worship for Scottish, French and German troops in “Joyeux Noel.”

“Joyeux Noel” (2005) (5:XX) Two brothers discussing the start of the war in the presence of the parish priest, and how they will be leaving for basic training in the morning. Priest looks like he is in anguish as he realizes what is coming and decides to go with his parishioners to war.

“Joyeux Noel” (2005) (13:1516:10) Scottish priest, evidently serving as a stretcher-bearer to be near his parishioners (and still called “Father”) walking through the trenches, apparently looking for his former civilian parishioners, upon finding one, tells him they must pray for the Soldiers dead brother and all the others who died. Then priest is instructed by Lieutenant to stay with the rest of the wounded. The following scene shows the priest caring for the wounded, then hearing one calling for him from “no-man’s land,” he goes after him then another stretcher-bearer gets shot and curses the priest.

“Joyeux Noel” (2005) (24:22) Priest makes small talk with a Soldier in the trenches then is harshly reprimanded by commander for going out of the trenches the night before.

“Joyeux Noel” (2005) (42:43-45:10) Priest joins Soldiers as they celebrate in the trenches on Christmas Eve. He goes on to play a bag pipe as the Soldiers sing. (47:40) Priest plays “Silent Night” on the bagpipes accompanying a German tenor, then others continue with other carols as the tenor walks into “no-man’s land” and is joined by Soldiers from both sides. (59:35) At midnight the priest leads the three nations’ Soldiers in worship together. (1:08:20) Priest discusses the evening with the Scottish Lieutenant, including the significance of the cease-fire, including, “Tonight these men were drawn to that altar like it was a fire in the middle of winter. Even those who aren’t devout came to warm themselves. Maybe just to be together. Maybe to forget about the war.”

“Joyeux Noel” (2005) (1:25:35) While praying over a Scottish grave in “no-man’s land,” priest is approached by a German Soldier to come and pray over a German grave then continues at other graves.

“Joyeux Noel” (2005) (1:33:20-1:38:35) The priests bishop visits him at the front and reprimands him for the activities of the last two days. When told he was going back to the civilian parish, the priest answered, “I belong with those who are in pain and who have lost their faith. I belong here.” The bishop then goes on to preach a sermon at a set altar to the replacements in response to the fellowship of the previous Soldiers with their enemies during the Christmas season.

“The Fighting 69th” (1940)


World War II

A Bridge Too Far chaplain

Chaplain (CPT) Kuehl (played by John Morton) crossing the Waal River with elements of the 504th PIR in “A Bridge Too Far.”

“A Bridge Too Far” (1977) Cornelius Ryan, the author of the book this movie is based on, mentions chaplains several times. They appear in two scenes in the movie.

“A Bridge Too Far” (1977) (2:14:06) American chaplain seen in boat, a bit nervous, with companies crossing to take far side of bridge. (2:14:47) Same chaplain seen again during river crossing repeating, “Thy will be done…”  This scene struck me as odd, that a chaplain would accompany troops on a dangerous assault mission, but according to the book by Cornelius Ryan, Chaplain (CPT) Delbert Kuehl, the 504th’s Protestant Chaplain, asked to go along recalling, “The plan seemed absolutely impossible and I felt if ever the men needed me, it would be on this operation.”

“A Bridge Too Far” (1977) (2:50:09) British chaplain seen among the wounded troops left behind after the withdraw, giving Last Rites to a dying Soldier.

“Band of Brothers” (Ep.3 “Carentan”)

“Band of Brothers” (Bastogne?) Mass being celebrated on the chaplain’s Jeep.

“Battleground” (1949) (1:33:00) A Soldier tells another complaining Soldier, “Don’t tell me your problems, tell the chaplain.” After which the complaining Soldier speaks negatively about the chaplain and adapts a scripture passage to their present situation.

“Battleground” (1949) (1:35:24-1:39:00) Chaplain sets up chaplain kit on jeep while crowd gathers around, then proceeds with small talk and explains how chaplains minister to all faiths, as necessary. Finally, he gives an uplifting “patriotic” sermon as the camera pans to the chaplain’s cloth-wrapped feet.


“Battleground” (1949) (1:50:19) Chaplain among the Soldiers opening air-dropped supplies, passes up cases of Spam and K-Rations then calls for Soldiers to “come and get it” when he comes across the ammunition.

“The Big Red One” (1980) (00:16:31) As the Sergeant’s (Lee Marvin) squad is bedding down, they’re discussing rumors they’ve heard. When one says, “you know what else I heard?” The Sergeant says, “tell it to the chaplain!” Another answered, “a lot of good he does you when you’re buried alive” to which the Sergeant replied, “well maybe it’ll do him some good, huh?” This is very similar to the dialogue found in the book by Samuel Fuller (p. 43).

“Catch-22” (1970) (00:24:14-00:39:30) Multiple scenes with the chaplain visiting Yossarian, the squadron commander,  deputy commanding officer and the commanding officer who refers the chaplain to a magazine article and requests that the chaplain prepares some “nice, snappy prayers that will send the officers out feeling good.”

“Catch-22” (1970) (01:03:05) The chaplain comes up on the scene where a Soldier gets killed by another Soldier in a plane and asks if there’s anything he can do. (01:04:45) He’s then seen at a memorial service for that Soldier, and reads from the Psalms.

Chris wilson

2nd Armored Division Chaplain provided worship for Soldiers in “Fury” (photo courtesy Chris Wilson)

“Catch-22” (1970) (01:54:10) The chaplain comes in with MAJ Danby and has his last conversation with Yossarian before he leaves.

“Fury” (2014) (Deleted Scenes, Alternate Camp Entrance, 01:00) Brief shot of chaplain (played by Chris Wilson) with small group of Soldiers on their knees around him. According to Wilson, the scene that included him as the chaplain was completed in a couple of takes, about an hour on set.

“The Longest Day” (1962) (1:15:20) British chaplain searching for “communion set” in stream after airborne jump on D-Day. The chaplain portrayed in this scene, or from whose story it is inspired (Chaplain Francis Sampson), went on to become the U.S. Army Deputy Chief of Chaplains (later, the Chief of Chaplains) and directed that a more lightweight and portable chaplain kit be developed.

The Longest Day Chaplain

British chaplain finally finds Communion Kit in bottom of stream in “The Longest Day.”

“The Longest Day” (1962) (1:24:28) American chaplain clicking his cricket until found by another American Soldier.

“Lost Division” (expected release 2016) “Lost Division unfolds in 3 acts. Act one is revealed through a diary of a combat Chaplain as he details the gruesome monotony of his daily reality, the majority of which involves burying corpses. Act 2 plunges us into a chaotic world of confusion, longing, tension, heartbreak, and loss. Act 3 opens in an atmospheric, post-traumatic haze as our Chaplain goes AWOL with a head trauma GI and a shell shocked 16mm photographer, as they traverse a dense forested terrain into the unknown” (https://www.facebook.com/Lost.Division/timeline). 

“The Monuments Men” (2014) (0:16:50) Not far from the Normandy beachhead, while entering a U.S. Army camp, the Monuments Men pass a tent marked as the “chapel” (just before walking by a work detail of Soldiers making grave markers).

“The Monuments Men” (2014) (0:57:20) After bringing in a wounded Soldier they found on the side of the road, the doctor asks them to get the chaplain (doesn’t show chaplain’s arrival).

“Nuremberg” (TV Mini-Series, 2000) (2:00:25) The German prisoners attend a Christmas Eve service in the prison in Nuremberg, led by a U.S. Army chaplain. Though not stated in the film, the Army chaplain was undoubtedly Chaplain Henry Gerecke, who was assigned as the chaplain to provide religious support to the prisoners at Nuremberg.


Christmas Eve Service led by the U.S. Army chaplain in the Nuremberg Prison with the Nazi prisoners (from Nuremberg, 2000 TV mini-series).

“Nuremberg” (TV Mini-Series, 2000) (2:49:04) An Army chaplain, presumably Chaplain Gerecke, is escorted to the cells of the prisoners after sentencing had been handed down. However, the Army chaplain appears in uniform with a clerical collar, which was never regulation, nor seen by me in any photos.

“Patton” (1970) (1:09:55) On arriving at his headquarters trailer, Patton encounters two chaplains and a couple civilian clergy in theater from the States looking over the chaplains’ program for the spiritual welfare of the Soldiers. One chaplain comments on the Bible by Patton’s bed and asks if he actually finds time to read it, to which Patton replies, “I sure do, every G** D*** day.”

“Patton” (1970) (2:32:00) After discussing with his staff the difficulty the weather is causing on operations, Patton tells his chaplain he wants a prayer for good weather. The chaplain responds, “I don’t know how this is going to be received, General. Praying for good weather so that we can kill our fellow-man.” To which Patton replies, “I can assure you sir, because of my intimate relations with the almighty, if you write a good prayer, we’ll have good weather.” (2:32:52) In the next scene, Patton is seen praying the prayer the chaplain wrote. (2:34:24) Telling his assistant to get the chaplain, Patton says, “he stands in good with the Lord and I want to decorate him!”

“Pearl Harbor” (2001) (Disk 1, 2:04:45) Hospital Chaplain encouraging and praying with a dying sailor.

“Pearl Harbor” (2001) (Disk 1, 2:07:45) Chaplain in water anointing and praying over dead sailors.

“Pearl Harbor” (2001) (Disk 2, 03:45) Chaplain is consoling family members and friends of fatalities from Japanese attack.

“Saving Private Ryan” (1998) (00:21:43) Catholic chaplain hearing confession from a dying Soldier on the beach during the D-Day landing. This is followed by another shot of a Soldier praying with his rosary.

“Saving Private Ryan” (1998) (00:32:35) May be a chaplain arriving with a civilian minister to notify Mrs. Ryan of three of her son’s deaths.

“So Proudly We Hail” (1943) (13:20) On a transport ship, after being asked the date, another nurse responded, “it’s Sunday, we had chapel.” It turned out to be Sunday, 7 December 1941.

“So Proudly We Hail” (1943) (24:37) On a transport ship, chaplain arranged a Christmas party.

“So Proudly We Hail” (1943) (29:10-31:10) Transport ship’s commander thanks chaplain for Christmas tree then chaplains shares a Christmas message.

“So Proudly We Hail” (1943) (1:16:36) Chaplain prays for dying Soldier in jungle hospital.

“So Proudly We Hail” (1943) (1:41:3) Nurse reminds other nurses about what the chaplain told them.

“So Proudly We Hail” (1943) (1:44:15) Chaplain (wounded) performs wedding ceremony in combat zone.

“Storming Juno” (2010, Canadian) (21:05) Canadian chaplain leading worship on transport ship just prior to D-Day landing.

“Stalingrad: Dogs Do You Want to Live Forever?” (1959, German)

Tora-Tora-Tora-“Tora! Tora! Tora!” (1970) (1:14:05) Japanese pilots bow before a religious shrine on board their aircraft carrier before battle.

“Tora! Tora! Tora!” (1970) According to some reports, Soldiers’ Chapel which was built in 1920 and moved to Schofield Barracks in 1925 was “featured” in the movie but I haven’t seen the chapel in the movie yet.

“Twelve O’Clock High” (1949) (XX:XX) The Chaplain along with the Flight Surgeon, are confronted by the Group Commander when getting out of a bomber after going on a bombing run without permission.

“Von Ryan’s Express” (1965) (00:03:15-00:05:40) British Regimental Chaplain leads funeral procession out of POW camp and performs grave-side service. The chaplain continues to be featured throughout the film, including caring for wounded Soldiers (00:39:34); being convinced to pose as a German officer to aid in their escape (01:04:45); fainting after nearly being discovered (01:11:19); and other minor scenes.


Korean War.

Glory Brigade

Greek Orthodox chaplain provides worship service for Greek and American Soldiers before an operation into enemy-held territory in “The Glory Brigade.”

“The Glory Brigade” (1953) (17:32) Greek chaplain, in Greek Orthodox vestments, leads in prayer for the Greek Soldiers before an operation. The chaplain is played by real-life priest, Father Patrianakos.

“Hill Number One” (1951) (00:03:51) Just as artillery Soldiers are talking about what day it is (Easter Sunday), the chaplain drives up with coffee from the CP and shares with the Soldiers about “Hill Number One” from the Easter story which is portrayed in the film as a historical flashback to biblical times.

“M*A*S*H” (1970) (00:10:15) The chaplain (Father Mulcahy) is introduced to the new doctors in the Mess Tent.

(00:18:30) The chaplain comes into the OR to give last rites to a dead Soldier and is called over to another table to assist.

(00:49:00) The chaplain is seen looking for Scripture to read to MAJ Burns as he is being taken away by the MPs in a straight jacket.

(00:51:06) The chaplain comes into the Swamp to get Hawkeye and calls him out to talk to him about a problem with the dentist that he heard through confession. (00:57:47) The chaplain is talking to Hawkeye about his inability to provide absolution to someone who is going to commit suicide (00:59:50) then is seen giving communion and absolution to the dentist before taking the “black capsule” that he thinks will kill him.

(01:29:24) The chaplain is seen circulating among the tables in the OR talking to the surgeons and offering his assistance, if needed.

(01:37:31) The chaplain is holding a Bible that the MASH team all puts their hands on in the pre-game huddle before the football game with the General’s team.

(01:53:52) The chaplain prays a blessing over the Jeep that Hawkeye and Duke are about to leave in.

“Though None Go With Me” (2006)

“Take the High Ground!” (1953)


Vietnam War

“Casualties of War” (1989) (1:35:30-1:38:14) After nearly getting killed by his fellow Soldiers for reporting immoral behavior, Eriksson is drinking in a bar when the chaplain joins him. After some discussion, Eriksson tells him what happened on patrol.

“We Were Soldiers” (2002) It was because of the petitioning of Julie Moore, wife of Lieutenant Colonel Hal Moore, that the Pentagon began sending an officer and a chaplain to make death notifications to family members instead of just sending a telegram via a taxi driver as accurately portrayed in the movie (from a Military.com post).

We Were Soldiers - Chaplain

From “We Were Soldiers” (02:02:25).

“We Were Soldiers” (2002) (00:21:35-00:24:45) After his wife has a baby, a young officer spends time in the post hospital chapel where he is joined by LTC Moore, who prays with him.

“We Were Soldiers” (2002) (02:02:17) Chaplain is briefly seen giving Last Rites to enemy Soldiers being stacked in a pile after the battle.

“We Were Soldiers” (2002) (Deleted Scenes, “The Church”) One of the officer’s wives of LTC Moore’s battalion trying to sing “My Hope is Built on Nothing Else” in a worship service at the Protestant Chapel, continuing to break down, the other wives join in to finish the hymn with her. On a side note, the real Moore family can be seen sitting in the service at 00:02:18.


Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan)

“Brothers” (2004, Denmark)

“Brothers” (2009) (0:14:44) The chaplain and another officer come to the home of a Marine whose helicopter had made a hard landing in Afghanistan. (0:20:37) The chaplain leads a memorial service (or funeral), though is just visible from behind and does not speak in the scene.

Operation Iraqi Freedom

“Taking Chance” (2009) (07:48) A brief shot of the chaplain, holding a Bible, saying, “let us pray” before the flag-covered body cases are removed from the airplane at Dover AFB.

“Taking Chance” (2009) (1:05:48) Brief shot of the platform at the funeral with two Navy officers, presumably one is a chaplain, but the insignia isn’t clear.


Between Wars

“Thule” (2011, set in 1962)


War Movies Without Scenes or Mention of a Chaplain or Chapel

“Battle of the Bulge” (1965).

“The Bridge at Remagen” (1969). However, I read in a forum that on the approach to Mechenheim that a chaplain, sitting in a Jeep with his Bible, was handed a rifle but I can’t find it.

“The Conspirator” (2010)

“Dresden” (2006, German)

“Enemy at the Gates” (2001)

“Fixed Bayonets!” (1951)

“Glory” (1989)

“The Green Zone” (2010)

“Guns at Batasi” (1964)

“Hacksaw Ridge” (2016)

“The Hurt Locker” (2008)

“Ike: Countdown to D-Day” (2004)

“Inglourious Basterds” (2009)

“John Adams” (2008)

“Judgement at Nuremberg” (1961)

“K-19: The Widowmaker” (2002)

“Lone Survivor” (2013)

“Platoon” (1986)

“Pork Chop Hill” (1959)

“Sergeant York” ((1941)

“Sons of Liberty” (2015)

“Tae Guk Gi” (2004, South Korean)

“The Dawn Patrol” (1938)


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