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Stephen Fermoyle has grown up in Boston at the turn of the twentieth century knowing that his destiny lies with the Catholic priesthood. Finally finishing his studies in Rome, he returns to America full of certitude and ambition to one day join the College of Cardinals. But his road to that office is a long one, paved with crises. In Boston, he must decide whether to save the life of his sister or her unborn child, conceived out of wedlock. In Austria, he confronts the question of whether to remain with the priesthood or abandon his oath so that he can be with the woman he loves. In Georgia, he contends with Rome's indifference in the face of racial bigotry. And in Austria, he finds himself personally involved in the church's dealings with the Third Reich. Written by
Shannon Patrick Sullivan <email@example.com>
Tom Tryon was nominated for a Golden Globe in 1963 for his performance, but suffered immensely under Otto Preminger's notorious abusive treatment of actors. At one point during filming, Preminger fired Tryon in front of his parents when they visited the set, then rehired him after being satisfied that Tryon had been sufficiently humiliated. This type of treatment was a big turning point for Tryon, who eventually retired from acting and turned to a successful writing career. See more »
All along the movie, we see, leading to St Peter's square, the Via della Conciliazione and its palazzi, built for the Holy Year of 1950, under the pontificate of Pius XII, whose election Cardinal Fermoyle is supposed to take part at the very end of the movie. See more »
A great film; entertaining, insightful, historically significant.
The Cardinal tracks the life of a young priest through an upwardly-mobile career to the point just prior to his being elevated to Cardinal. The historical time frame falls between the beginning of WWI and the beginning of WWII, and this volatile time in our country's history is reflected by the career of Father (later Monsignor, then Bishop) Fermoyle. Fr. Fermoyle encounters many people who touch his life and have an impact on his career which shakes his faith, and even threatens to end it at one point. You don't have to be Catholic to enjoy this film, but it would certainly help!
The location scenes in Rome, Vienna and Boston give this film a feel which helps the viewer really get involved in the plot. The moral values truly reflect the era depicted; I only wish that a return to those values were possible today.
If you like a good, dramatic story that develops characters you really get to know and care about, please see this film!
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