Priest (1994)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  24 March 1995 (USA)
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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 overview, first billed only:
Cathy Tyson ...
Mrs. Unsworth
Mr. Unsworth
James Ellis ...
Father Ellerton
Lisa Unsworth
Rio Fanning ...
Jim R. Coleman ...
Funeral director
Bill Dean ...
Altar boy
Gilly Coman ...
Ellie Molloy
Fred Pearson ...
Jimmy Gallagher ...
Mick Molloy


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

girl | love | church | priest | abuse | See All (224) »


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


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

24 March 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Actos privados  »

Box Office


$4,176,932 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Catholic Church in Ireland were very vocal about their views in having the film banned from theatrical distribution. The film censor disagreed and the film was released with an 18 certificate. This marked a major turning point in the relationship between the church and the Irish Film Censor board. See more »


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 »


Father Greg Pilkington: Abi et futue te ipsum, sordide senex.
See more »


Referenced in Italian for Beginners (2000) See more »


Arrangement by Mauricio Venegas
Published by Fireworks Music Ltd.
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User Reviews

Very intelligent and beautiful piece of film making
20 May 2002 | by (Finland) – See all my reviews

Priest, by Antonia Bird, is very beautiful and also provocative film about faith, church, forgiveness and tolerance, which all have as many shapes as there are human beings. The film tells the story of a priest who arrives to new town and soon he notices some things he don't consider too acceptable, and learns also that incredible and selfish evil lives inside every human being, including himself.

The film is a powerful study about religion and many ways to interpret and obey its orders. How can a priest do his "good" job as he is rotten and evil inside and there is always the chance of Sin lurking somewhere? The main point is that no human is purely good and without any flaws and everyone sins, priests too. The purification can be reach only by forgiving and being tolerant and loving towards others, and thus the peace of mind and happiness may be reached: trying to be as good as human being can. Forgiveness and love are the most important things and the film ends in extremely beautiful scene at the church, as at least one little person forgives the priest for his "crimes" and sees into the heart and soul of the priest. We cannot judge someone for something because there are no sinless people in the world. The narrow-mindedness is one problem the film deals with, and it is sad to see that these things take place in real life, too. The film is very deep and beautiful and also funny and it unfolds more and more with each viewing time. This should be seen by persons who "cannot forgive" someone for something he/she has done. What is the benefit people think they get by not forgiving someone and hating someone? As I mentioned, the power of love, forgiveness, and tolerance are the main themes of the film so there are no people in the world, who this film cannot be recommended. This is like Abel Ferrara's and his screenwriter's work, but not as fierce and relentless as their work. Priest is a little more restrained and "easier for everyone to watch" version of the themes of Ferrara and St. John.

Remarkable, beautiful, touching and forces the viewer to think. 9/10 masterpiece.

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

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