7.1/10
96
5 user 1 critic

Lease of Life (1954)

Approved | | Drama | 1 December 1955 (Portugal)
The parson of a small rural community knows he is dying and this makes him reconsider his life so far and what he can still do to help the community.

Director:

Writers:

(adapted from a story by), (from an idea by) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
William Thorne
Kay Walsh ...
Vera Thorne
...
Susan Thorne
...
Martin Blake
Walter Fitzgerald ...
The Dean
Cyril Raymond ...
The Headmaster
Reginald Beckwith ...
Foley
Robert Sandford ...
The Boy with the Book
Frank Atkinson ...
Verger
Alan Webb ...
Dr. Pembury
Richard Wattis ...
The Solicitor
Frederick Piper ...
The Jeweller
Vida Hope ...
Mrs. Sproatley
Beckett Bould ...
Sproatley
Richard Leech ...
Carter
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Storyline

The parson of a small rural community knows he is dying and this makes him reconsider his life so far and what he can still do to help the community.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ealing | See All (1) »

Taglines:

A picture for every man who has a woman - for every woman who believes in one man. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 December 1955 (Portugal)  »

Also Known As:

De pastorie van Hinton  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Gaumont Kalee) (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Eastman Colour)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Connections

References The 39 Steps (1935) See more »

Soundtracks

Water Music
(uncredited)
Music by George Frideric Handel
See more »

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User Reviews

Soft and subtle
27 December 2002 | by (Overland Park, Kansas) – See all my reviews

Few contemporary films address religion with any sense of the nuances inherent in a belief in the supernatural. This film does so, and does so in ways so lovely that when it comes to its rather abrupt ending you're left saying "Wow...that was really interesting."

Donat plays the classic English parson, a role unchanged since Trollope, poor, scrimping, of moderate talents but immense goodness. When forced to face his own mortality, he becomes happier than ever before, since he can act with his beliefs out there for all to see.

The film also addresses the very common idea that a life of religion is one of rules alone, and demolishes it brusquely. The religious life is not one of rules but one of freedom. Freedom from many things, but freedom to do others. It is compellingly summarized in his brief but heartfelt sermon that is eagerly misinterpreted by the masses. But it is the message Jesus offered 2000 years ago. If you believe, and act on that belief, rules no longer are important. That is the ultimate freedom, and why Donat can be so happy while under a death sentence.

Fine film, understated yet potent.


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