A cardinal is arrested for treason against the state. As a prince of his church, and a popular hero of this people, for his resistance against the Nazis during the war and afterward his resistance when his country again fell to a totalitarian conquerer. In prison, his interrogator is determined to get a confession of guilt against the state from the strong willed man, and thus destroy his power over his people. The verbal and psychological battles are gripping and powerful - not even the increasing pressures put upon the Cardinal can force him to weaken; not even solitary confinement, continuous blazing light in his cell, sleeplessness, efforts to persuade him he is going mad. And yet, in the deepening conflict, the superb indomitable prisoner, creates a tremendous pity on his tormentor, the interrogator. Written by
Two of the Finest Performances of All Time!
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11 December 1955 (USA)
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(Western Electric Recording)
Aspect Ratio: 1.85 : 1
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Deemed suitably controversial enough to be banned from both the Venice and Cannes Film Festivals. See more
They want me to take my own life, so they can say I committed the last cowardice of all. I shan't do that, you know.
No, I didn't think you would.
No. I might live for twenty... thirty years. Yes, it's one thing I'd never thought of. It's more terrible than anything I could have thought of.
[draws a pistol
I could pretend to call to the warder for help, as I fire. You want to pray?
You'll do it?
Do you want to pray?
[kneels and prays in agony for a few moments
No, I can't ask you to commit ...