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The Cardinal (1963) Poster

(1963)

Trivia

The Vatican bankrolled some of the film, and the Vatican liaison was a young Joseph Ratzinger, who in 2005 became the 265th Catholic Pope as Benedict XVI.
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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.
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Although the movie is fiction, parts of the story were based on the early career of Cardinal Francis Joseph Spellman, Archibishop of New York from 1939 to 1967.
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The movie includes one real-life character and incident. In 1938, Bishop Fermoyle is sent to Vienna to deal with Cardinal Theodor Innitzer (played by Josef Meinrad), the real-life Archbishop of Vienna. Innitzer's public support for the "Anschluss" annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany put him at odds with the Vatican, who ordered him to retract his statement of support. In the months following the annex, the Nazis reneged on their earlier agreements with the Church of Vienna, and prohibited Church institutions and Catholic newspapers. Afterwards, Innitzer became a critic of the Nazi regime. In October, 1938 (as seen in the film), Innitzer held a Catholic rally in Vienna, in which he proclaimed, "There is just one Führer: Jesus Christ." The following day (also seen in the film), a Nazi mob stormed Innitzer's Vienna offices and ransacked the Archbishop's residence.
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The Special Edition DVD features the documentary Preminger: Anatomy of a Filmmaker (1991).
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Final feature film of Russ Brown.
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Curt Jurgens was initially cast as Cardinal Innitzer, but dropped out.
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Final film of Maggie McNamara.
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Cameraman Leon Shamroy felt that Bradford Dillman would have been better casting for the title role. However, he appreciated the professionalism of director Otto Preminger, who completed this very large-scale picture in just 53 days - quite a change from Shamroy's immediately previous assignment on "Cleopatra", which occupied him for over a year.
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Josef Meinrad was only cast after the big name first cast dropped out.
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Final film of Dorothy Gish.
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This was the first 70mm "blow-up" to be released in the US.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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