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John Flaherty is a young and ambitious American priest who arrives in the Papal sovereign city state of the Vatican in 1944 to take his holy orders as a Catholic priest. After distinguishing himself in combat in the World War II battlefields of northern Italy, he's assigned as the Vatican treasurer. With the Vatican strapped for money during the war, Flaherty soon makes illegal business deals with a corrupt U.S. Army sergeant named Varese, who deals goods on the local black market, which is connected to a ruthless Sicilian mobster named Don Appolini. Appolini agrees to fund Flaherty's operation for profit through his Swiss bank connections. Flaherty's mentor, Cardinal Santoni, the secretary to the elderly but powerful Pope, learns of Flaherty's business deals, but covers for Flaherty in order for them to rise in the ranks of the church against Santoni's rival, Cardinal Vinci. But Flaherty's double life as a black marketeer and priest takes a turn when he falls in love with a young ... Written by
Actor Christopher Reeve blamed the film's poor box-office and critical reception on the picture's editing. Reeve also once said of this film's failure: "Monsignor should have been a good movie, and it just went off the track for reasons that I don't want to embarrass a lot of people by discussing. The way it was released, the movie is sort of a series of outrageous incidents that you find hard to believe. Since they don't have a focus, and since they aren't justified and explained, they become laughable." See more »
Not long into the film, Reeve, at the Vatican, is asked by his Boston bishop, who actually seems to be dressed as a cardinal, Robert Prosky to follow him.He does, and is hat less. They stroll in the "Vatican" gardens, which appear to be the Villa Borghese gardens, When Reeve's told an army buddy is there to see him, he runs off. They jeep to a mafia stronghold of black market stockpiles. Reeve gets out of the jeep, suddenly with his wide brim black hat. See more »
Dull and tiresome, this story should be fascinating. A corrupt priest, global shenanigans, love, lust, war. But the action seems to go on in a weird Vatican vacuum. when I first watched this years ago I assumed I'd napped and missed huge chunks. Large numbers of years seem to Elapse without explanation. Rome goes from war time to peacetime without anyone seeming to notice. The woodeness of reeves is reminiscent of one of those jokes where they show the sae face 100 times with different emotions under them. Beaujold is lost but still cute. Reeves apparently blamed the editors of the film, but although we don't know what they cut, what they left is expressionless. In love scenes, when angry, when stressed his demeanor remains the same. After two hours of this I feel I've done penance. do watch it, the scenery is nice as is Genevieve.
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