5.0/10
721
20 user 12 critic

Monsignor (1982)

An ambitious priest seduces a nun and leads the Vatican into shady business during and after World War II.

Director:

Writers:

(novel) (as Jack Alain Leger), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Flaherty
...
Clara
...
Santoni
...
Appolini
...
Varese
...
Vinci
...
Pope
...
Francisco
...
Bishop Walkman (as Robert J. Prosky)
...
Musso
...
Sister Verna
Ian Danby ...
Lieutenant
Gregory Snegoff ...
1st Soldier
Harrison Muller ...
2nd Soldier
David Mills ...
Major
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Storyline

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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

priest | catholic | nun | money | sicilian | See All (58) »

Taglines:

Forgive me, Father for I have sinned. I have killed for my Country, I have stolen for my Church, I have loved a Woman, and I am a Priest.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 October 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Monseñor  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Deluxe)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Christopher Reeve was offered this movie, Reeve was keen to play against his 'Superman' super-hero screen persona, which he had also done in Deathtrap (1982) and Somewhere in Time (1980). Reeve once commented after being cast in this film: "I thought the chance to play a morally ambiguous character who was neither clearly good nor clearly bad, someone to whom life is much more complex than the characters I've played previously would be good." See more »

Goofs

At Fr. Flaherty's ordination, the presiding bishop speaks of "several of the young priests we have today ordained" enlisting as military chaplains. The shot then shows him and his fellow ordinands listening to the bishop's address, but all of them are wearing wearing their stoles over their left shoulders. This is the style appropriate to deacons; if they had been ordained, their stoles should be hanging around their necks. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Rocketship X-M (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

(I've Got a Gal in) Kalamazoo
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played at the wedding reception
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A silly, sordid movie that's a real hoot.
14 April 2012 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

The review in the annual paperback guide to movies by critic Leonard Maltin and his cronies classify this as a "camp classic", and after reading the synopsis, I certainly wasn't prepared to take this hilarious, trashy melodrama seriously at all. It has a young, ambitious priest, John Flaherty (Christopher Reeve) hired as business manager for the Vatican, and it doesn't take too long for the guy to start doing some dubious things, such as entering into a shady deal with the Italian mob. The best bit of business has this guy carrying on a romance with a nun- in-training named Clara (Genevieve Bujold). That's got to be trash at its finest, especially when Ms. Bujold strips for the camera as Flaherty and Clara prepare to go at it. Now, this movie admittedly is somewhat slowly paced and goes on for quite a bit, but this story (scripted by Abraham Polonsky and Wendell Mayes, based on a novel by Jack-Alain Leger) is still entertaining in its ridiculousness. Superb production design (by John DeCuir Jr.), cinematography (by Billy Williams), and location shooting help in the enjoyment - this is nothing if not a good looking film. And speaking of good looking, the lovely Bujold is definitely an easy performer to watch. The performances are all admirably sincere, with the ever likable Reeve well supported by a fine, fine group of actors: Fernando Rey, who has a warm presence, as Cardinal Santoni, Jason Miller as mob boss Don Vito Appolini, Joe Cortese as Flaherty's buddy Lodo Varese, Adolfo Celi as Cardinal Vinci, Tomas Milian as Father Francisco, Leonardo Cimino as none other than The Pope, Robert Prosky as Bishop Walkman, and Joe Pantoliano as wounded soldier Private Musso, with Joe Spinell in a great, brief cameo as the father of the bride in the wedding sequences. Give this cast credit, as they really sell this thing. It may be pretty long, but it's such an amusing story as to keep one watching (at least, this viewer kept watching). Recommended to fans of silly cinema. Seven out of 10.


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