The Scarlet and the Black (1983)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama, History, War  |  2 February 1983 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 1,779 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 6 critic

Vatican efforts, lead by Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty, to save Allied POWs and downed Allied airmen as the Nazis invade Rome.



0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A young priest, Father Chisholm is sent to China to establish a Catholic parish among the non-Christian Chinese. While his boyhood friend, also a priest, flourishes in his calling as a ... See full summary »

Director: John M. Stahl
Stars: Gregory Peck, Thomas Mitchell, Vincent Price
The Scarlet and the Black (TV Mini-Series 1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The story of an ambitious but impoverished young man who seduces women of social class in order to improve his own prospects.

Stars: Ewan McGregor, Christopher Fulford, Alice Krige
Days of Glory (1944)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A heroic guerilla group fights back against impossible odds during the 1941 Nazi invasion of Russia.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Gregory Peck, Tamara Toumanova, Alan Reed
Shoot Out (1971)
Certificate: GP Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A former bank robber searches for his double crossing partner who left him for dead, while having to look after a 6 year old girl.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Gregory Peck, Patricia Quinn, Robert F. Lyons
Night People (1954)
Adventure | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Post WWII yarn about a young GI abducted by the Soviets in West Berlin and hauled off to the East. His recovery gets complicated as Colonel Steve Van Dyke (Peck) tries to sort out the ... See full summary »

Director: Nunnally Johnson
Stars: Gregory Peck, Broderick Crawford, Anita Björk
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Ukrainian Archbishop Kiril Lakota is set free after two decades as a political prisoner in Siberia. He is brought to Rome by Fr. David Telemond, a troubled young priest who befriends him. ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Anderson
Stars: Anthony Quinn, Laurence Olivier, Oskar Werner
Comedy | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In 1944, Capt. Josiah J. Newman is the doctor in charge of Ward 7, the neuropsychiatric ward, at an Army Air Corps hospital in Arizona. The hospital is under-resourced and Newman scrounges ... See full summary »

Director: David Miller
Stars: Gregory Peck, Tony Curtis, Angie Dickinson
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In the Nazi occupied city of Rome, an assault on an SS brigade draws retaliation from the military governship. "Massacre in Rome" is the true story of how this partisan attack led to the ... See full summary »

Director: George P. Cosmatos
Stars: Richard Burton, Marcello Mastroianni, Leo McKern
Rouge et noir (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

It's no holds barred for Julian in pursuit of upward mobility. Although expected to channel career aspirations into the Church of the post- Napoleonic era, his intensely romantic liaisons ... See full summary »

Director: Claude Autant-Lara
Stars: Gérard Philipe, Danielle Darrieux, Antonella Lualdi
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

After King David sees the beautiful Bathsheba bathing from the palace roof, he enters into an adulterous affair which has tragic consequences for his family and Israel.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Gregory Peck, Susan Hayward, Raymond Massey
Arabesque (1966)
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Story of international intrigue involving a university professor, an Arab prime minister, a ruthless businessman, a beautiful spy, and hieroglyphics.

Director: Stanley Donen
Stars: Gregory Peck, Sophia Loren, Alan Badel
The Scarlet and the Black (TV Series 1965)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Stars: John Stride, Noel Johnson, June Tobin


Cast overview, first billed only:
Pope Pius XII (as Sir John Gielgud)
Father Vittorio
Kenneth Colley ...
Capt. Hirsch (as Ken Colley)
Gen. Max Helm
Minna Kappler
Angelo Infanti ...
Father Morosini
Olga Karlatos ...
Francesca Lombardo
Reinhard Beck
Count Langenthal
Lt. Jack Manning
Sir D'Arcy Osborne


Fr. Hugh O'Flaherty is a Vatican official in 1943-45 who has been hiding downed pilots, escaped prisoners of war, and Italian Resistance families. His diplomatic status in a Catholic country prevents Colonel Kappler from openly arresting him, but O'Flaherty's activities become so large that the Nazis decide to assassinate him the next time he leaves the Vatican. O'Flaherty continues his work in a variety of disguises. Based on a true story. Written by John Vogel <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | History | War


See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |


| |

Release Date:

2 February 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Vatican Pimpernel  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This film's closing epilogue states: "After the liberation, Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty was honored by Italy, Canada and Australia, given the U.S. Medal of Freedom and made a Commander of the British Empire [CBE]. Herbert Kappler was sentenced to life imprisonment for war crimes. In the long years that followed in his Italian prison, Kappler had only one visitor. Every month, year in and year out, O'Flaherty came to see him. In 1959, the former head of the dreaded Gestapo in Rome was baptised into the Catholic faith at the hand of the Irish priest." See more »


In at least four scenes, Herbert Kappler wears a black SS parade tunic instead of his usual office gray uniform. By 1943, when the film is set, the SS had completely phased the black SS tunic out of service and this uniform would not have been worn at even the most formal of functions. See more »


Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty: Colonel, do I get the idea that you're tryin' to put a crimp in my social life?
Col. Herbert Kappler: Damn you and damn your social life, priest!
See more »


References Massacre in Rome (1973) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The story of a brave Catholic monsignor serving in the Holy See who saved Jews and Allied soldiers during WWII.
1 January 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The film focuses on the dangerous situation faced by the Holy See in standing up to Nazi oppression. The Vatican, after all, has no military power and after the forcible confiscation of the Papal States by Italian nationalists during the pontificate of Pius IX near the close of the 19th century, he and at least two of his successors considered themselves as prisoners in the Vatican of the secular Italian state. Ignoring the warnings of the Popes against supranationalism in encyclicals like Non Abbiamo Biscogno and Mit Brenender Sorge, Italy and Germany persisted in pursuing social orders based on Fascism and Nazism. Yet despite the difficulties, many Catholics and religious like Msgr. Flaherty performed their Christian duties heroically by saving some of the persecuted Jews.

John Gielgud makes a very convincing Pope Pius XII. Sir John aged very gracefully giving him that perpetual angelic half smile on that kind face. Contrast this to the fact that we remember him well as the blackguard Casca in Julius Caesar (with James Mason and Marlon Brando). As Pius XII, Gielgud portrays the late Pope as torn between his duty to ensure the safety of the Church and Catholics and the necessity of actively participating in rescuing the Jews of Europe lest that provoke the Nazis towards more brutalities. The recently released Actes et Documents du Saint Siege relatiffs a la Guerre Mondiale Seconde (Acts and Documents of the Holy See relative to WWII or ADSS) reveal that the Holy See saw a relation between increased persecution of both Jews and Catholics, especially the religious orders, every time Pius XII spoke against the Nazis. It also disclosed that Jewish leaders, both in and out of Nazi Germany, advised the Pope to speak and act more discreetly because of this.

Gregory Peck is, as usual, dignified, likable and very convincing as a brave Catholic monsignor. An interesting political sidelight in the movie concerned Flaherty saving some British Tommies stranded behind enemy lines in Italy. One of them obviously not one fond of the Irish, upon hearing Flaherty's Celtic brogue exclaimed that he was Irish. Flaherty's response was to the effect, that he may not like what the British were doing in Ireland but it was still his Christian duty to help them. Remember, at the time Southern Ireland was still under British rule under very repressive conditions (cf. Leon Uris' book, Trinity).

If you liked movies of this genre you should also see Portrait : A Man Whose Name was John which starred Raymond Burr as the Papal Nuncio in Turkey, Msgr. Roncalli, the future Pope John XXIII who used his position and his chancery to save thousands of Jews escaping from Nazi-occupied Hungary. Other Hollywood films which treated the Church kindly if not sympathetically are: The Shoes of the Fisherman (Anthony Quinn) and The Cardinal (Tom Tryon).

26 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
J P Gallagher alan-421
Hugh O'Flaherty statue unveiled in Killarney paudie
Lose with the facts??? chrissso
Discuss The Scarlet and the Black (1983) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: