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Priest (1994)

Father Greg Pilkington (Linus Roache) is torn between his call as a conservative Catholic priest and his secret life as a homosexual with a gay lover, frowned upon by the Church. Upon ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
Graham
...
...
Mrs. Unsworth
...
Mr. Unsworth
James Ellis ...
Father Ellerton
Christine Tremarco ...
Lisa Unsworth
...
Charlie
Rio Fanning ...
Bishop
Jim R. Coleman ...
Funeral director
Bill Dean ...
Altar boy
Gilly Coman ...
Ellie Molloy
...
Patrick
Jimmy Gallagher ...
Mick Molloy
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Storyline

Father Greg Pilkington (Linus Roache) is torn between his call as a conservative Catholic priest and his secret life as a homosexual with a gay lover, frowned upon by the Church. Upon hearing the confession of a young girl of her incestuous father, Greg enters an intensely emotional spiritual struggle deciding between choosing morals over religion and one life over another. Written by Eric Chor <spiritcircle@yahoo.com>

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Plot Keywords:

girl | church | priest | abuse | secret | See All (216) »

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One man is about to challenge two thousand years of tradition. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for depiction of mature themes involving sexuality | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

24 March 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Actos privados  »

Box Office

Gross:

$4,176,932 (USA)
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1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although the story is purely fictional, plenty of gay priests with their lovers as well as the straight priests who have secret wives and children, despite the vow of celibacy, exist inside the Roman Catholic Church even today in reality. See more »

Goofs

Father Greg holds up a communion wafer which is smooth. The scene cuts to Graham and then back to Father Greg, and the wafer has a diagonal line across it. See more »

Quotes

Father Matthew Thomas: The creation of mankind only started on the sixth day. It hasn't stopped yet. We're taller than we were a thousand years ago. We're fitter, faster. We live longer. We're better educated. More informed. So, creation... is an ongoing process. And if you interfere with it with it, aren't you spitting in the face of God? If you exploit your work force, don't you spit in the face of God? If you kill and maim, throw people out of their homes, turn your back on the elderly, If you shut down schools ...
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Connections

Featured in Screen Two: Priest (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

THE FIELDS OF ATHENRY
Composed by Pete St. John
Published by Celtic Music
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User Reviews

 
Journey of Growth and the Heart of Forgiveness
23 August 2005 | by (Portland, Maine) – See all my reviews

11 years after its release, I finally got around to watching one of 1994's most controversial films. I don't know what took me so long.

This is the story of Father Greg Pilkington, an idealistic young priest appalled by the liberal-thinking, older priest he shares a congregation with. Clashes and airs of superiority from Father Greg set up, almost calculatedly, his crushing and inevitable fall from grace. Try as he might, Father Greg, pious and as intolerant as ever, cannot suppress his sexuality and takes to the gay bar scene. A casual pick up turns into an affair which in turn becomes a personal and professional disaster as an equally intolerant society pushes him towards wrongful arrest and a verdict of "guilty." Father Greg becomes the object of derision and hatred by the bigoted, close minded community, itself a reflection of all the young priest exhibited in but a show of intolerance and sanctimoniousness.

The real heart of this picture occurs in the confessional when a desperate young girl tells of ongoing sexual abuse at the hands of her father. Eventually, this information becomes a test of faith for Father Greg as he questions his spirituality, the laws of the church and God himself.

During all of this the older priest, Father Matthew, preaches of "the trappings of power" that the Church has saddled itself with - and how the trappings have gotten in the way of the message of God, of love, of tolerance, of patience and compassion. As might be expected, the Church's higher ups have little patience for this sort of talk - and the congregation itself shuns Father Greg turning mass into an explosive show of blind eyed fanaticism.

As Father Greg, Linus Roche gives a searing, searching performance as the young tormented priest. His fall and redemption, the center of the story, comes across with an earnestness that steers clear of sensationalism, despite the loaded message of the movie. Tom Wilkinson, as ever, gives a performance that is as natural and believable - and likable - as anything he's done before or since. (Side note: having waited so long to watch this it's interesting to see these two actors with important roles in this year's new and glorious Batman Begins.) A truly remarkable and emotional film.


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