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Michael Jackson's 14-minute short film "Thriller" revolutionized the music video genre forever. Hailed as the greatest music video of all time by MTV, VH1, Rolling Stone and others, "Thriller," directed by John Landis, is also the only music video selected to be included in the Library of Congress' prestigious National Film Registry.

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Written by Rod Temperton
Produced by Quincy Jones for Quincy Jones Productions
From the album Thriller, released November 30, 1982
Released as a single January 23, 1984

THE SHORT FILM
Director: John Landis
Primary Production Location: Los Angeles, California

Michael Jackson's short film for "Thriller" was the third of three short films produced for recordings from Thriller, which continues its reign as the biggest selling album of all time with worldwide sales in excess of 105 million as of June 1, 2016 and in December 2015 became the first ever album to be awarded triple diamond status (i.e.: sales in excess of 30 million) by the RIAA for US sales alone. The "Thriller" single reached No. 1 in four countries in 1984, topping the U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart as well as charts in Spain, France and Belgium. The song peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, making Thriller the first album to feature seven Top 10 singles. The Recording Industry Association of America certified "Thriller" Gold and Platinum on December 4, 1989.

The groundbreaking short films for the Thriller album, starting with "Billie Jean," following up with "Beat It" and culminating with the epic, nearly 14-minute "Thriller," truly expanded the possibilities of "music video" as art form. "I wanted something that would glue you to the set, something you'd want to watch over and over," Michael wrote in his 1988 memoir Moonwalk. "I wanted to be a pioneer in this relatively new medium and make the best short music movies we could make."

In the short film's extended prologue, Michael's moonlit date with his girlfriend (played by model Ola Ray) is interrupted by his sudden transformation into a howling werewolf. While the "real" Michael and Ola, observing the scene in a movie theater, walk home from the their date, Michael teases her by singing the verses of "Thriller."

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In the third month after their flight from Egypt, the Israelites reach the desert and pitch their tents in the shadow of Mount Sinai. The Lord summons Moses up the mountain and tells him that he wants to establish an eternal covenant with His people.

The great caravan of the sons of Israel travels the road indicated by the Lord. By day they are hidden in a cloud of dust, and by night, encircled in a column of fire. When the Pharaoh is told that the Israelites have left, he realizes that he has forever lost a source of great wealth.

The Lord tells Moses: “I will bring one more plague upon the Pharaoh and Egypt, afterwards he will let you go.” On the established night, according to God's will, each and every family kills a lamb and marks the doors and lintels of their homes with lamb blood.

The Lord prepares Moses for the difficulties that lie ahead, and sends his brother, Aaaron, to meet him and be his interpreter at the court of the Pharaoh. The two brothers meet with the elders of the people of Israel and show them the signs of the Lord's mandate. After overcoming the misgivings of a few elders, they are eventually welcomed by people to whom they lend new hope.

Prince Moses learns about the pitiful condition of the Jews in Egypt and discovers that he, too, is a Jew. He does what he can to help his brothers and, at a certain point, after killing an Egyptian to save the life of a Jew, flees from Egypt seeking refuge in the desert in the land of Midian. Here, he marries one of the seven daughters of Jethro, a priest and shepherd, embracing the nomad's life. Years pass, until one day, while Moses is tending his father in law's flock a nearby bush catches fire, but the flames nearby don’t seem to consume it. Astonished, Moses approaches the bush, but God stops him: “Do not come near, put off your shoes from your feet for the place on which you are standing is holy ground." God entrusts him with a mission: to bring His people out of Egypt. God’s words are clear and, in spite of his apprehension, Moses sets out for Egypt.

The Pharaoh lives on long after Joseph has passed away. At a certain point he realizes that the Jewish population in Egypt has become too large, and so orders his soldiers to have all the newborn male children of the tribes of Israel killed. Two Jewish parents of the tribe of Levi do not want their firstborn child, Moses, to be killed, however. They hide the child for three months and then entrust him in a basket to “Father Nile". The Pharaoh's daughter saves Moses when she comes down to the river to bathe. Moses later grows up as a prince at the Pharaoh's court.

The famine forces Joseph's brothers to travel to Egypt to seek food and this gives Joseph an opportunity to punish them. He sends them home, ordering them to come back with Jacob and his favorite brother, Benjamin. Finally, Joseph forgives his brothers and becomes an example for the many Jews who live in Egypt. Jacob, called Israel by the will of God, is dying and his twelve sons gather at his bedside. It is here, by the will of the old patriarch, that the twelve tribes of Israel have their roots. The sons of Israel remain in Egypt for many years as prolific and hardworking refugees in a foreign land, concerned only with exploiting their labor and the wealth it produces- that is until...

In Egypt, Joseph is sold to Potiphar, the captain of the Pharaoh’s guards. But the Lord is with Joseph and the boy successfully carries out everything he is asked to do. Life at the court is not easy- Joseph has many adventures. One day, the Pharaoh has a dream that no once can interpret. Only Joseph knows what it means, and his interpretation of the dream saves Egypt from a terrible famine. The Pharaoh makes Joseph his Grand Vizier.

"'No longer shall your name be Jacob, but Israel sha11 be your name," the Lord announces, "the land which I gave to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you and to your descendents after you." Day after day, Jacob continues to work for his people, and inevitably begins to succumb to old age. It is then easy for his sons to deceive him, and they decide to murder their youngest brother and father's favorite, Joseph, who they hate for his ability to foretell the future by interpreting dreams. Finally, Ruben, who loves his younger brother, persuades the others to throw Joseph down a well instead of killing him. They then sell him as a slave to a group of merchants who take him to Egypt. The brothers present Jacob with Joseph's bloodstained clothes, telling him that a wild beast has killed his favorite son...

"In the beginning"... with these words the Bible begins the story of the great mystery of the origins of time, existence and the h­istory of the Universe. It also contains the proclamation of the Word of God, invisible and omnipotent, creator of heaven and earth, who turns once more to his people with the promise of the salvation which man has awaited since the moment of his creation and of his first sin...This is the subject of the "most widely-read book in the world" from which, in thirty-nine episodes, we evoke characters and events so that young people of the new generations can appreciate the richness of this great treasure.

Sar'ai is still without child and decides to offer Abraham her Egyptian slave, Hagar, so that Abraham can have someone with whom to father a child. Hagar then gives birth to a boy Abraham names Ishmael, meaning "God is listening”. After many years God, God promises Sarai a child on the condition that she keep her faith. Yahweh (God) visits Sar'ai, just as he’d promised, and Sar'ai conceives, delivering Abraham a son in his old age just as the Lord had promised him.

While Abraham sits outside his tent in the shadow of the oak trees of Mamre, he receives messengers from God, who announce that a terrible punishment has been decreed for Sodom and Gomorrah, cities in which corruption is rampant and out of control. Abraham begs for mercy so that the righteous will not die with the wicked. But there are no righteous men to be found in the two cities. Abraham asks that at least Lot and his family be saved. The cities are destroyed by fire from the sky. Lot and his family reach safety, but not his wife, who disobeys the Lord's command and looks back as she leaves the city... She is turned into a pillar of salt.

Abraham's caravan reaches the Land of Canaan and stops at a place called Shechem, where he finds a well. Here, the Lord tells Abram: "To your descendents I will give this land." To show his gratitude, Abraham builds an altar on the spot where the Lord spoke with him.

"In the beginning"... with these words the Bible begins the story of the great mystery of the origins of time, existence and the h­istory of the Universe. It also contains the proclamation of the Word of God, invisible and omnipotent, creator of heaven and earth, who turns once more to his people with the promise of the salvation which man has awaited since the moment of his creation and of his first sin...This is the subject of the "most widely-read book in the world" from which, in thirty-nine episodes, we evoke characters and events so that young people of the new generations can appreciate the richness of this great treasure.

God blesses Noah and his sons and tells them: "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth." Noah's sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, their sons, as well as the sons of their sons spread throughout different regions of the world. Their sons, and the sons of their sons become hunters, shepherds, farmers, merchants, and chiefly, nomads. A few that bear the traits of Abel became saints; still others become greedy and evil like Cain, lusting for possessions, and waging war. God is ever farther from their hearts.

God blesses Noah and his sons and tells them: "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth." Noah's sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, their sons, as well as the sons of their sons spread throughout different regions of the world. Their sons, and the sons of their sons become hunters, shepherds, farmers, merchants, and chiefly, nomads. A few that bear the traits of Abel became saints; still others become greedy and evil like Cain, lusting for possessions, and waging war. God is ever farther from their hearts...

Cain is the firstborn. He hates Abel, who is a righteous man and one who makes sacrifices that please God. The sacrifices that Cain offers to God are not appreciated, for God is able to look into his heart and perceive that he is not sincere in his devotion. Beside himself with jealousy, Cain kills Abel, but then flees, feeling remorseful. The world's first murder shocks the primordial community lead by Adam...but God orders: "If anyone slays Cain, vengeance will be taken on him seven fold."

Generation by generation, the Earth becomes populated, and the races mix together. A generation of giants is then born as the hearts of men grow more and more corrupt. Then, God said: "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the ground."

Expelled from the Earthly Paradise, Adam develop and terraform the ground from which he came in order to survive. He and Eve struggle to stay alive as they discover the Earth's secrets. Cain and Abel, the first of their many children, are then born.

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.." Day after day. And on the sixth day he said: "Let us make man in our image after our likeness." "Male and female he created them." Adam is to be the first of men, and Eve, the first of women. It is then in the Garden of Eden that the serpent, most cunning of all creatures, comes looking for them...

Jonah (voiced by Alan Oppenheimer) recounts to the three his attempts to escape his calling and how he eventually wound up witnessing for God in the city of Ninevah anyway.

The time travelers jump a few years ahead, and encounter an elderly version of the young man raised from the dead in the city of Nain. He recounts to them the events surrounding the various miracles of Jesus' life.

The Greatest Adventure: Stories from the Bible - The Easter Story (5 March, 1990)

The three protagonists journey back to a time in the pre-Noahic flood world, and a storyteller (voiced by Les Tremayne who also voices God) recounts the events in the Garden of Eden to them. At the same time, they learn their own lessons in honesty and virtue after getting in trouble with a local gardener in the Land of Nod due to them having tricked him into letting them eat four apples free of charge.

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Created 1 year, 6 months ago.

34 videos

CategorySpirituality & Faith

Animations.