Francis Bernardone (Bradford Dillman) is the son of a wealthy cloth merchant in Assisi, who gives up all his worldly goods to dedicate himself to God. Clare (Dolores Hart) is a young ...
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Francis Bernardone (Bradford Dillman) is the son of a wealthy cloth merchant in Assisi, who gives up all his worldly goods to dedicate himself to God. Clare (Dolores Hart) is a young aristocratic woman who, according to the film, is so taken with St. Francis that she leaves her family and becomes a nun. By this time (1212 A.D.), St. Francis has a well-established reputation for his vows of poverty. The movie goes on to note miracles (such as the appearance of the stigmata on Francis's hands and feet) and other aspects of his life, up to and including his death on October 3, 1226. Written by
In the film, Dolores Hart plays an aristocratic woman who becomes a nun. In reality, Hart left Hollywood to become a nun in 1963. See more »
Several times in the movie, you can see the Basilica of Saint Francis in the background. It wasn't built before 1230, four year after Saint Francis' death. See more »
[Right before the closing title card] Pax et Bonum ("peace and all good [be with you]"). This Latin phrase is the traditional greeting and goodbye of the Franciscans, and it was established by Francis himself. See more »
If one is only expecting to know the more important aspects of the life of this great saint who wanted to emulate the life of Jesus Christ and established the 3 vows of monastic life - obedience, poverty and chastity, then this the film for you. Otherwise, I found it, like various other reviewers, too obviously Hollywoodish especially in production. Everyone, even the poor hoi polloi, go around clad in gaudy apparel that would make Edith Head's award-winning costumes look like rags in comparison. Also missing are the crucial aspects of the life of this beloved saint, for instance, where he publicly renounces his inheritance and worldly goods in general, and exchanges his fine clothes for a simple cassock. The abrupt change of scene where he tells his father that he has no desire to follow him in the mercantile business, and then we see him next hauling a cart through the streets asking for stones (to rebuild the church) would seem nonsensical and confusing to those unfamiliar with his life story.
Also the timeline appears to be too short for comfort - Francis doesn't appear to have aged that much in between the time he founded the Franciscan order till his death, granting that he was only in his 40s when he passed away.
It would also have been helpful, if purely optional, had some of the more familiar stories surrounding the life of Francis were included, as these are well-known in the religious world, such as his close association with animals (the preaching to the birds scene would have been good) and the fact that he first established the Nativity scene so associated with Christmas celebrations.
All in all, this film could be considered as a "Not bad, but could have been made better..." sort of production.
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