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The Scarlet and the Black (1983)

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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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
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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>

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Drama | History | War

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Details

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Release Date:

2 February 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Vatican Pimpernel  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of three occasions in his film career where John Gielgud played a pope. The other two were The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968), where he played the fictional Pope Pius XIII, and Elizabeth (1998), where he played the real-life Pope Pius V. See more »

Goofs

When Hugh O'Flaherty escapes from the Gestapo by disguising himself as a coal hauler, the SS officer who stops to question him wears rank insignia on the wrong side of the uniform collar. 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!
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Connections

References Massacre in Rome (1973) See more »

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User Reviews

 
So potent a film on the day John Paul 11 is buried!
8 April 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I am not a Catholic myself, however, the story of Msgr Hugh O'Flaherty must be the most forgotten true story of the Second World War! It also gives us an inside view of the politics the Vatican faced in the 1940s and, presumably, today! The film reminds us all, that whatever the situation, there are always people who are prepared to help. O'Flaherty went beyond this. He hated the British, but saved many British (and American airman) from certain death. His actions saved the lives of thousands of Jews in Italy at not only great personal risk to himself, but to the others in his organisation.

There is talk today of making John Paul 11 a Saint. Surely somebody at the Vatican will remember this humble Monsignor who did (at the time) more to help mankind than anyone is such horrific circumstances. When I can afford it, I will visit this man's grave and say a silent prayer. I don't want a TV film crew there, but I want to say "Thank You" to a man who gave his all to save the free world! A certain telephone company ran a series of advertisements many years ago, asking who in History would you most like to talk to. For me... it would be Mons. Hugh O'Flaherty. At the moment in time, only this film, an area of trees and a gravestone honour this man. Surely he deserves more? An outstanding film, well cast, excellently photographed. Tension, intrigue, drama, even humour (dressing up as a Nun?) I say everyone should view this film. An inspiring, true life film.


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