MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 1,989 this week

To Kill a Priest (1988)

6.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.2/10 from 946 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 6 critic

A young priest speaks out against the Communist regime in Poland and is killed for it.

Director:

Writers:

(English adaptation), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 47 titles
created 13 Apr 2011
 
a list of 3117 titles
created 24 Sep 2011
 
a list of 25 titles
created 15 Aug 2013
 
a list of 30 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 28 titles
created 2 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: To Kill a Priest (1988)

To Kill a Priest (1988) on IMDb 6.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of To Kill a Priest.

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The Vatican sends a priest to verify some miracles, performed by a woman who has been nominated for sainthood. During his investigation, the priest, who is experiencing a crisis of faith, ... See full summary »

Director: Agnieszka Holland
Stars: Sofia Polanska, Pavol Simon, Ivan Lukac
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A boy of nine years dissapears without any trace. Six years later he appears again in Paris. But there are doubts about his real identity.

Director: Agnieszka Holland
Stars: Brigitte Roüan, François Cluzet, Jean-François Stévenin
Musical | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An unnamed Traveler boards the Guildford-Waterloo train and proceeds to daydream about his life and of having interactions with his fellow passengers.

Director: Ray Davies
Stars: Tim Roth, Kenneth Colley, Claire Parker
Why Me? (1990)
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A jewel thief steals a sacred ruby which sets off a chase by the police, the Turkish government, nutty American terrorists, and the CIA.

Director: Gene Quintano
Stars: Christopher Lambert, Kim Greist, Christopher Lloyd
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  
Director: Beda Docampo Feijóo
Stars: Tim Roth, Ana Belén, Peter Firth
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

Set during the Alaskan gold rush of the late 1800's. In his efforts to gain control of a small mining town, Sean McLennon is buying up every mining claim that becomes available, usually ... See full summary »

Director: Nils Gaup
Stars: James Caan, Christopher Lambert, Catherine McCormack
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Her son dying of cancer and her marriage falling apart, Julie flees to Poland in search of a man who can heal using his hands. Julie finds not only a magical cure for her son, but also ... See full summary »

Director: Agnieszka Holland
Stars: Miranda Otto, William Fichtner, Lothaire Bluteau
Alamo Bay (1985)
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A despondent Vietnam veteran in danger of losing his livelihood is pushed to the edge when he sees Vietnamese immigrants moving into the fishing industry in a Texas bay town.

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Amy Madigan, Ed Harris, Ho Nguyen
A World Apart (1988)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A White enclave in Johannesburg, South Africa, in the 1960s. Molly Roth, 13 years old, is the daughter of leftist parents, and she must piece together what's happening around her when her ... See full summary »

Director: Chris Menges
Stars: Barbara Hershey, David Suchet, Jodhi May
I Love You (1986)
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  
Director: Marco Ferreri
Stars: Christopher Lambert, Eddy Mitchell, Flora Barillaro
Angry Harvest (1985)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In the winter of 1942-43, a Jewish family leaps from a train going through Silesia. They are separated in the woods, and Leon, a local peasant who's now a farmer of some wealth, discovers ... See full summary »

Director: Agnieszka Holland
Stars: Armin Mueller-Stahl, Elisabeth Trissenaar, Wojciech Pszoniak
The Last Innocent Man (TV Movie 1987)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A criminal defense attorney is seduced by a beautiful woman and reluctantly takes on the defense of her estranged husband who is charged with murder, but finds his career threatened because... See full summary »

Director: Roger Spottiswoode
Stars: Ed Harris, Roxanne Hart, David Suchet
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Father Alek
...
Stefan
...
Colonel
...
Feliks
...
Igor
...
Josef (as Peter Postlethwaite)
...
Halina
...
Anna
...
Bishop
...
Mirek (as Charles Condou)
Tom Radcliffe ...
Young Soldier
Wojciech Pszoniak ...
Bridge Player (as Wojtek Pszoniak)
Johnny Allen
George Birt ...
(as Georges Birt)
André Chaumeau ...
(as Andre Chaumeau)
Edit

Storyline

A young priest speaks out against the Communist regime in Poland and is killed for it.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

13 October 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Popieluszko  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is based on the true story of Father Jerzy Popieluszko, a Catholic priest and Solidarity supporter who was murdered by agents of the Polish secret police. See more »

Soundtracks

The Many Crimes of Cain
Written by Georges Delerue
Performed by Joan Baez
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A strange mix
20 March 2000 | by (Auke Bay, Alaska) – See all my reviews

"To Kill A Priest" has all the things that can make a movie great. Great direction, a powerful cast, good chemistry between well-defined actors, and a strong premise. Where is falls short is in the core. It is almost told from a newsreel's perspective, briefing the audience on an event rather than actually presenting any specific theme. Therefore, many multiple themes can possibly be drawn out of this, and while this fact keeps the film from being a masterpiece, it certainly doesn't make it a bad film.

Inspired from actual events, the story centers around Father Alec (Christopher Lambert), a young, charismatic priest who isn't afraid to go against the system in his home in 1981's Poland. In a land ruled by Communism, he is a strong voice for Soliditary, and the people love him. Likewise, Stefan (Ed Harris) is a secret police officer who loves his country and he thinks that communism is the only way, and people like Alec are only getting in the way. He is emotionally disfunctional, and his family life is a wreck. Haunted by a painful past, he thinks that if it is possible to eliminate Alec, the people of Soliditary would run scared.

Hence, the film presents two sides of the story, about two men who love their country and their people, and how they each interpret what they believe to be Poland's needs. Along the way, the film also speaks of both corrupt polititians and cowardly priests (led by Joss Ackland and David Suchet, respectively), and how Alec and Stefan both try to use both to get their work accomplished. Both provide very powerful defenses for their visions and actions, and both are very committed to a destiny which will collide them together.

Mostly, this film is a collection of excellently-directed bits of dialogue which are magnificent to behold. The scenes in which Lambert tries to defend his work to Suchet sizzle with intensity, likewise do the scenes between Harris and Ackland. The subplots involving Joanne Whalley and Pete Postlethwaite are also compelling and thought-provoking, and the performances of all the actors are nothing short of majestic.

What then, is missing? The fact that the film takes no sides, and presents both sides of the argument equally. Therefore, though the bits of dialogue at the beginning and end seem to lean towards Alec's cause, the center of the film never really states which side it is taking....that of communism, or that of soliditary. Because of this, any message that the film is trying to make is lost in the balance to time spent on each argument. This might have been the point of director Agnieszka Holland, but if it is, then it was a bad idea. It would have been more effective if he had chosen to follow one of the arguments and run more rampant with it. If this had been the case, than history might have been changed with the ballot for best picture at the Academy Awards of 1989 reading "To Kill A Priest."

However, because of this flaw, the film is very compelling, in spite of itself. Most thoughts of communism nowadays only bring to mind thoughts of stereotypical, mustache-twirling villians. However, due to the time spent on both sides of the spectrum, this is proven not to be true. Stefan commits the acts he does because he honestly believes he is doing what is best for his family, and he isn't ashamed of any of it. This side presented to communism is quite intriguing, and it shows that one doesn't have to be evil to be on the side of evil. Hence, due to the lack of a single theme, multiple themes are presented, and while they might not be as powerful as a film with simply one to expand on, the emphasis on them all is thoughtful, if uneven.

*** out of ****


7 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
WOW, does somebody else like this movie? manzati
Where can I see it? nanodon4-1
Why this have so poor rating? manzati
Discuss To Kill a Priest (1988) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?