6.3/10
144
2 user 6 critic

Act of the Heart (1970)

GP | | Drama | 25 November 1970 (USA)
A woman's peculiar religious convictions lead her on a self-destructive path.

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Martha Hayes
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Father Michael Ferrier
Monique Leyrac ...
Johane Foss
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Adele
Eric House ...
Choirmaster
Ratch Wallace ...
Diedrich
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Russell Foss
Gilles Vigneault ...
Coach Ti-Jo
Jean Dalmain ...
Party
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Party
François Tassé ...
Party
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Storyline

Martha Hayes, a woman fanatically devoted to Jesus Christ, ekes out a meager existence in Montreal, Canada. As a singer in an Anglican Church choir, Martha meets and is fascinated by Father Michael Ferrier, an Augustinian monk who's the guest conductor for an interfaith concert. How far is Martha willing to go to show her devotion to God? Written by Eugene Kim <genekim@concentric.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Life is protest is love is rebellion is the "Act of the Heart" See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

25 November 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Acte du coeur  »

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Box Office

Budget:

CAD 450,000 (estimated)
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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

The Flame Within - Cantata
Written by Harry Freedman
Performed by St. Philips Church Choir
Les Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal
Erskine & America United Church Choir
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User Reviews

 
Hearts aflame--literally (and unfortunately)
12 June 2017 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

Initially a gentle portrait of a virginal young farm woman on the north shores of Canada who sings with the church choir and longs to be closer to God; she has toyed with the notion of entering a convent but instead falls in love with a monk, who tells the girl about the primitive practice of self-sacrifice by fire. Writer-director Paul Almond fashioned this tale for then-wife Genevieve Bujold, keeping her busy singing, interacting with the local villagers, working with the children and learning from (and flirting with) Father Donald Sutherland--a relationship which leads her down the wrong path into a religious fervor. Bujold, one of the finest actresses to come from the new wave of foreign personalities to reach Hollywood in the 1960s, responds to the lighter demands of this material with grace (fending off the affections of a lothario while ice-skating, walking forlornly in the snow and catching the snowdrift on her tongue, reading in bed with her glasses on and cutting up the newspaper), but the larger-scaled moments Almond stages for Bujold would be unplayable for any actress. The film is poorly-shot, recorded and edited, a bit monotonous and with a drab production; however, Bujold and Sutherland prove to be an offbeat romantic combination and there are some lovely moments here and there. Almond has higher aspirations, however, then simply observing this troubled woman's life, and the film's third act is a complete and willful self-destruction. ** from ****


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