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The Pope Must Diet (1991)

The Pope Must Die (original title)
R | | Comedy | 30 August 1991 (USA)
2:03 | Trailer
A less-than-qualified and far-from-perfect priest is mistakenly named the new pope. As the pontiff, he must deal with Vatican corruption, the Mob and the reappearance of his old lover.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
The Pope
Cardinal Rocco
Father Rookie
Monsignor Fitchie
Damir Mejovsek ...
Drunk Cardinal
Bozidar Smiljanic ...
Cardinal Spott
Mother Superior
Marc Smith ...
US News Reporter
Peter Richardson ...
Ranko Zidaric ...
Father Santini
Dani Segina ...
Old Cardinal
Cardinal Verucci
Niall Buggy ...
BBC Reporter
The Camarlengo


A less-than-qualified and far-from-perfect priest is mistakenly named the new pope. As the pontiff, he must deal with Vatican corruption, the Mob and the reappearance of his old lover. Written by Michael "Rabbit" Hutchison <rabhutch@spacestar.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They chose him by mistake, now they want him dead. See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sensuality | See all certifications »




Release Date:

30 August 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Pope Must Diet  »

Box Office


$582,510 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film's US title was changed after an outcry from Roman Catholics. The new title, "The Pope Must Diet", appeared on some promotional materials with the final letter in the form of a crucifix. See more »


[first line]
Monsignor Fitchie: Pope's dead!
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Crazy Credits

Filmed entirely in Europe, not far from the Vatican. See more »


Featured in Hollywood vs. Religion (1994) See more »


Hungry Man
Performed by Mike Sanchez with the Big Town Playboys
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User Reviews

Simple faith beats conniving
22 April 2005 | by (Ponca City, OK, USA) – See all my reviews

This silly story of an ethical priest (Coltrane) with more good heart than religious scholarship overflows with cartoon-like characters. The Reverend Mother over the orphanage hates fun and children. The Bishop is intent on church business to the exclusion of expressions of faith. The Monsigneur assisting the pope and Cardinal Rocko are working for the local gun-runner/mafia boss. The hit men claim work they didn't do, and deny work they did. And on and on.

Understand that the point of the picture is not to make fun of the Vatican, but to show an unstoppable presence that restores, time after time, sanctity and service to the Roman Catholic Church. Yes, certain figures are shown to be unscrupulous and doing wrong. Yes, we can laugh about the crucifix flip-phone and a Cardinal confessing 'If you can think of a sin, I did it!' The bad guys don't win this one, though. The good guys generally end up supported and blessed (except poor Joe Don Dante and Carreli's daughter).

I have to admit thinking about the opening scenes during the final days of Pope John Paul II. And I cringe at the moments before the announced 'Pope's Dead!'. I imagine the story is a blend of farce and speculation on rituals at the Vatican, and not to be used in religious instruction. Irreverent small story, a bit of electric rock guitar. I wonder if it is on the hidden video collection/en suite bar for Pope Benedict XVI... I keep coming back to 'The Pope Must Diet' (USA title) for a little fun.

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