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The Scarlet and the Black (1983)

TV Movie  -   -  Drama | History | War  -  2 February 1983 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 1,537 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 5 critic

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

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Title: The Scarlet and the Black (TV Movie 1983)

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

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Cast

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

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 <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

vatican | nazi | monsignor | ss | vatican city | See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

2 February 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Vatican Pimpernel  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

When the priest, disguised as a Sturmbahnführer, is eluding his pursuers, the film is shown reversed; medal ribbons and collar insignia are on the wrong sides. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

References Massacre in Rome (1973) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Scarlett Pimpernel of the Vatican
31 July 2005 | by (Culver City, CA) – See all my reviews

Ever since I saw this made-for-TV film when it first aired, and then on video many times, I had wondered about the book on which it is based.

The book is entitled "The Scarlet Pimpernel of the Vatican," by J. P. Gallagher. It is the story of Irish Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty who was a minor Vatican official during World War II. Right under the noses of Vatican officials who looked the other way, and the German army, he helped smuggle allied soldiers out of Rome to safety in the months before the liberation of Rome. Rome and the Vatican were supposed to be neutral; if the Germans found out that the monsignor was helping the allies, who knows what would have happened.

I was able to find a copy of the book several years ago but have lost it. I do recall though that it had even more incredible stories about how O'Flaherty helped allied soldiers. One of the best (that is not in the movie) was about one American soldier whose appendix burst and he needed it removed. O'Flaherty dressed him as a German soldier, called the German army, they came and took him to their hospital - and O'Flaherty managed to get the soldier out before he even woke up because of the general confusion in the military hospital.

The Scarlett Pimpernel reference, is of course, to the British spy who helped save people from being beheaded during the French Revolution. That's another good book and the movie, with Anthony Andrews and Jane Seymour, are both excellent (though the movie changed the ending...).


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