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The Scarlet and the Black (1983)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama, History, War  |  2 February 1983 (USA)
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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.



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

The Scarlet and the Black (TV Movie 1983) on IMDb 7.8/10

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



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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


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Parents Guide:




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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


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This TV movie's title The Scarlet and the Black (1983) is a variation on the source book title of which it is based: 'The Scarlet Pimpernel of the Vatican'. Apparently, this tele-movie is also known as The Vatican Pimpernel. 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 »

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User Reviews

Best Peck film made
9 December 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"The Scarlet and the Black" is a must see for anyone who likes WW2 era films. It is also one of the greatest films ever made. The two leading actors Gregory Peck and Christopher Plummer make this film even better with superb acting. Also I must admit that it is amusing to see "Captain Von Trapp" (Christopher Plummer "The Sound of Music") the Nazi hater as the chief Nazi of Roam. "The Scarlet and the Black" is a good film to introduce younger children to the true history of the Catholic Church and WW2. Although the Gestapo aren't as violent in the movie, they are still shown realistically as sadistic, hate filled men who followed evil orders. "The Scarlet and the Black" is probably the best film ever produced by Gregory Peck or Christopher Plummer. Sadly it is probably also one of the least known to the general population of the world, even though it tells a story that literally MUST be heard.

If we do not learn from history we are doomed to repeat it.

21 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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