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The Shoes of the Fisherman
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The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968/I) More at IMDbPro »

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The Shoes of the Fisherman -- Based on the best-selling book by Morris L. West, this sweeping epic follows Anthony Quinn as a Russian political prisoner who becomes Pope and tries to prevent an atomic war.
The Shoes of the Fisherman -- Set in a futuristic vision of the late 1980's, Ukrainian Archbishop Kiril Lakota is set free after two decades as a political prisoner in Siberia...


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7.2/10   2,472 votes »
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Down 14% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
John Patrick (screenplay) and
James Kennaway (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for The Shoes of the Fisherman on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
14 November 1968 (USA) See more »
A modern-day story of faith, courage and intrigue!
Ukrainian Archbishop Kiril Lakota is set free after two decades as a political prisoner in Siberia. He is brought to Rome by Fr... See more » | Full synopsis »
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 3 nominations See more »
(4 articles)
Calvary – The Review
 (From 14 August 2014, 1:54 PM, PDT)

Popes on Film
 (From Alt Film Guide. 29 April 2013, 2:15 PM, PDT)

R.I.P. Jaroslav “Jerry” Gebr
 (From Deadline TV. 21 March 2013, 12:50 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Movie must be understood in the context of 1968 See more (46 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Anthony Quinn ... Archbishop Kiril Pavlovich Lakota

Laurence Olivier ... Premier Piotr Ilyich Kamenev (as Sir Laurence Olivier)

Oskar Werner ... Fr. David Telemond

David Janssen ... George Faber

Vittorio De Sica ... Cardinal Rinaldi

Leo McKern ... Cardinal Leone

John Gielgud ... The Elder Pope (as Sir John Gielgud)

Barbara Jefford ... Dr. Ruth Faber
Rosemary Dexter ... Chiara (as Rosemarie Dexter)

Frank Finlay ... Igor Bounin

Burt Kwouk ... Chairman Peng

Arnoldo Foà ... Gelasio (as Arnoldo Foa')
Paul Rogers ... Augustinian
George Pravda ... Gorshenin (credit only)

Clive Revill ... Tovarich Vucovich
Niall MacGinnis ... Capuchin Monk
Marne Maitland ... Cardinal Rahamani

Isa Miranda ... The Marchesa
Gerald Harper ... Brian
Leopoldo Trieste ... Dying Man's Friend

Peter Copley ... English Cardinal
Arthur Howard ... English Cardinal

Jean Rougeul ... Dominican
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
John Frederick ... American Cardinal (uncredited)
Åke Lindman ... Soldier Releasing Lakota (uncredited)
Dom Moor ... Polish Cardinal (uncredited)
Alfred Thomas ... African Cardinal (uncredited)

Directed by
Michael Anderson 
Writing credits
John Patrick (screenplay) and
James Kennaway (screenplay)

Morris L. West (novel)

Produced by
George Englund .... producer
Original Music by
Alex North 
Cinematography by
Erwin Hillier (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Ernest Walter 
Art Direction by
Edward C. Carfagno  (as Edward Carfagno)
George W. Davis 
Costume Design by
Orietta Nasalli-Rocca 
Makeup Department
Amato Garbini .... makeup artist
Production Management
Stanley Goldsmith .... production manager
Frederick Muller .... unit production manager (as Fritz Mueller)
Danilo Sabatini .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Tony Brandt .... assistant director
Art Department
Tom Jung .... poster designer (uncredited)
Italo Tomassi .... scenic artist (uncredited)
Sound Department
Kurt Doubrowsky .... sound mixer (as Kurt Doubravsky)
Franklin Milton .... recording supervisor
Camera and Electrical Department
Ernest Day .... camera operator: second unit (as Ernie Day)
Editorial Department
Alessandro Lucidi .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Robert Armbruster .... conductor (uncredited)
Robert Bain .... musician: guitar (uncredited)
Harry Bluestone .... musician: violin (uncredited)
Dennis Budimir .... musician: guitar (uncredited)
Larry Bunker .... musician: drums (uncredited)
Carl Fortina .... musician: accordion (uncredited)
Caesar Giovannini .... musician: piano (uncredited)
Artie Kane .... musician: piano (uncredited)
Louis Kaufman .... musician: violin (uncredited)
Carol Kaye .... musician: guitar (uncredited)
Milton Kestenbaum .... musician: bass (uncredited)
Michael Lang .... musician: piano (uncredited)
Virginia Majewski .... musician: viola (uncredited)
Samuel Matlovsky .... conductor (uncredited)
Alex North .... conductor (uncredited)
Jack Preisner .... musician: accordion (uncredited)
Uan Rasey .... musician: trumpet (uncredited)
David Tamkin .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Raymond Turner .... musician: piano (uncredited)
Other crew
Margaret Roy Anderson .... dialogue coach
Antonio Petrucci .... technical advisor (as Dott. Antonio Petrucci)
Adone Terzariol .... technical advisor (as Monsignor Adone Terzariol)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
162 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:PG | Australia:G (original rating) | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Canada:PG (video rating) | Finland:S | Netherlands:AL (orginal rating) | New Zealand:G | Sweden:Btl | UK:U | USA:G

Did You Know?

One of two theatrical films that Laurence Olivier and Frank Finlay, both members of the National Theatre of Great Britain, appeared in together. The other one was "Othello" in 1965, for which both actors were nominated for Oscars.See more »
Incorrectly regarded as goofs: Kiril Lakota is often identified as a Russian, when in fact he is an Ukrainian, a different ethnic group. During the Cold War, Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union. Westerners - especially Americans - typically referred to the Soviet Union as "Russia" and did not distinguish between various ethnic groups within the Soviet Union, referring to all of them as "Russians."See more »
Kiril Lakota:[the shadow of the cross is on the Pope's empty chair during this exchange of dialog] Leone, how does a man ever know if his actions are for himself or for God?
Cardinal Leone:You don't know. You have a duty to act. But you have no right to expect approval, or even a successful outcome.
Kiril Lakota:So, in the end, my friend, we are alone?
Cardinal Leone:Yes. I have seen three men sit in this room. You are the last I shall see. Each of them, in his turn, came to where you stand now, the moment of solitude. I have to tell you there is no remedy for it. You are here until the day you die. And the longer you live...
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68 out of 89 people found the following review useful.
Movie must be understood in the context of 1968, 13 November 2003
Author: Mark-Rhoads2 from Washington, DC

With respect to those viewers who evaluate this film as entertainment, to fully appreciate and understand the many sub-plots, a viewer would have to understand something about Roman Catholic theology, the currents of 1968, and the popular philosophy of the French Jesuit Pierre Teilhard de Chardin with some people such as the author of the book, Morris L. West. The Oskar Werner character of Father David Telemond is a good surrogate and advocate for Chardin but he is not Chardin. Chardin is mentioned by Werner during the inquiry of the Papal Commission into Father Telemond's writings. The real Chardin believed in what Telemond calls "The Cosmic Christ" "the point to which all of human evolution is advancing." Telemond and Chardin would explain that a good God still allows man to use free will to chose the wrong things, to commit crimes, even mass crimes such as war, because those things are part of the natural breakage that always happens in any production process. But they would also argue that faith would ultimately bring mankind closer to God on a very long but not infinite timetable. Pope Kiril thinks there is beauty and power in Telemond's writings but cannot understand Telemond's views on theology. "There is little of the Catholic faith as I know it in your writing." The Pope tells him that faith alone saved him from insanity in the Gulag of Siberia in the USSR. In his background, fundamental toughness, and simple faith, the fictional Pope Kiril (1968) is an amazing precursor to the real Pope John Paul II (1978). Tellemond protests, "God is there but by a different name." Telemond is finally accused by Cardinal Leone of heresy because he says that if his faith were taken away he would still believe in the world and its goodness--an idealistic but still secular world view. Pope Kiril is willing to sell off the wealth of the Church to help starving Chinese people because he understands that is the only way to prove to Chairman Peng and the world that the church believes in what it preaches. The loneliness of his decision is framed by terror when Cardinal Leone tells him, "This is Calvary, Holiness, and you have just begun to climb." That is the most profound line of a great many profound lines in the movie. One does not have to be an intellectual to appreciate the film which succeeds on its own terms as entertainment. But people who think it is boring just have no concept of what the film is really about. For acting and content, this is one of the best films of the last 50 years.

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Kiril's Solution is Temporary Fix charlesblank-2
I'm Not Catholic, But........ slatbrad-1
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