7.2/10
165
6 user

Something to Believe In (1998)

| Drama | 8 May 1998 (UK)
An American woman given only weeks to live travels to Italy to find a statue reputed to have recuperative powers and there meets a struggling American concert pianist.

Director:

Reviews

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Bad Karma II (2001)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.7/10 X  

Mental Patient terrorizes her Psychiatrist who she believes is the reincarnation of Jack the Ripper.

Director: John Hough
Stars: Patsy Kensit, Patrick Muldoon, Amy Locane
Sudden Terror (1970)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Witnessing an assassination, a boy claims the assassins are hunting him. With his older sister, the pair escape numerous attacks and are aided by their grandfather and a resourceful young ... See full summary »

Director: John Hough
Stars: Mark Lester, Lionel Jeffries, Susan George
The Calling I (2002)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

The Leroy Jenkins Story, following the controversial life of evangelist Leroy Jenkins

Director: Damian Chapa
Stars: Damian Chapa, Robert Wagner, Faye Dunaway
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

On a lonely island in the Pacific Northwest, a group of travelers find themselves targeted by a crazed, homicidal family.

Director: John Hough
Stars: Sarah Torgov, Terence Kelly, Mark Erickson
The Incubus (1982)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

In a small town, Roy Seeley and his girlfriend Mandy Pullman are camping by the lake. Out of the blue, they are attacked and Roy is murdered while Mandy is violently raped. Dr. Sam Cordell ... See full summary »

Director: John Hough
Stars: John Cassavetes, John Ireland, Kerrie Keane
Brass Target (1978)
Action | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

In 1945, General Patton sends Germany's confiscated gold reserves to Frankfurt but the army train is robbed by plotters who also hire a Swiss hit-man to kill the general.

Director: John Hough
Stars: Sophia Loren, John Cassavetes, Max von Sydow
The Trip (2002)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When 19-year-old gay-rights activist Tommy and 24-year-old Alan first meet in 1973, they find themselves on the opposite sides of the political coin. Despite their many differences, they ... See full summary »

Director: Miles Swain
Stars: Larry Sullivan, Steve Braun, Ray Baker
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

When gold is found on Sioux lands, crooked men attempt to provoke the Sioux into a war with the army and the prospectors.

Director: John Hough
Stars: Richard Harris, Michael Beck, Ana De Sade
Northpole (TV Movie 2014)
Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Northpole, the magical home to Santa & Mrs. Claus, has grown into a huge city powered by the magic of holiday happiness around the world. Yet as people everywhere get too busy to enjoy ... See full summary »

Director: Douglas Barr
Stars: Tiffani Thiessen, Josh Hopkins, Bailee Madison
The Act (1984)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

Blackmail, a complex heist, and political snakery collide into a complicated caper full of disguises and surprises, where it's never clear who's really working for whom.

Director: Sig Shore
Stars: Robert Ginty, Sarah Langenfeld, Nicolas Surovy
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Director: Tim Everitt
Stars: Roddy McDowall, Sage Stallone, Joseph Pilato
Drama | Thriller | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.9/10 X  

When her slimy boyfriend Danny (Peter Brown) uses his unsuspecting girlfriend Elizabeth (Tracy Bregman) to carry a stash of cocaine in her skis, she is nabbed by airport security. After a ... See full summary »

Director: Tom DeSimone
Stars: Jill St. John, Tracey E. Bregman, BarBara Luna
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
Mike
...
Maggie
...
Monsignor Calogero
...
Maria Faccino
...
Don Pozzi
...
Brad
...
Gambler
...
Car Dealer
...
Dr. Joanne Anderson
...
Big Guy
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Osvaldo Alzari ...
Photographer
Bruno Armando ...
Stage Manager
Lisa Bales ...
Nurse
Raffaello Benedetti ...
Chef
Sheri Brummond ...
Assistant
Edit

Storyline

Maggie travels to Italy with great faith, as her last hope to heal her terminal illness, and meets Mike, an atheist concert pianist who helps her along her way. Ironically even the church itself doesn't believe in the healing powers of the statue, but Maggie's faith is so great it changes the life of everyone around her. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

8 May 1998 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Algo en que creer  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Last live action cinema film of 'Roddy Mcdowell'. See more »

Soundtracks

SOMETHING TO BELIEVE IN (Italian Version)
Music by Lalo Schifrin
Lyrics by Tim Rice
Performed by Placido Domingo and The Orchestra of St. Lukes
Orchestrated and Conducted by Lalo Schifrin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Film to Believe in, Sadly Played for Laughs
20 June 2006 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

We all truly want something to believe in, and the concept of this film, dealing as it does with personal faith, miracles and the Catholic Church should have been a great one.

As it is, it is likely to be remembered as one of the films shot in MGM's Los Vegas Grand Hotel. In fact, it's really a "road" movie, with our intrepid travellers in a Herbie-like VW Beetle, which is really quite funny at times. Which is exactly where the film starts getting into trouble, because we have a quite serious theme – how do we cope with death and dying, and can we extend hope for the miraculous – overlaid with a patchy comedy that quite often seems to overtake the picture, putting the theme into suspended animation. We understand that Mike (William McNamara) is a religious sceptic, and that Maggie (Maria Pitillo) is a 'believer'. Well, sort of, because we never find out what it is she really does believe in, beyond the statue of the weeping Madonna, of course.

I'll get back to the plot in a minute, but first for the good points. I like John Hough for the MGM Grand sequences; I like him for the authenticity of really shooting in Italy, and I like him for the type casting, which works supremely well. The priests, the lady restoring religious art, even the car mechanic – all totally believable. Pitillo, in the central role of the weeks-to-live Maggie, I'm never quite sure about, however, for reasons I'll touch on below.

What lets the film down badly is that there simply is no character development in this story. How can a young woman search half of Europe for a miracle and not undergo an inner transformation? In real life, people often do not change on cue, but in the dramatic form, we need to make sense of life, and that means if people do not change in response to life's curves, then at least we have a right to know why they stay the same.

Then there is the theme. As the end credits rolled, I was still puzzling over what the film is trying to say about the Church and personal faith. It would be easy to say that there are no easy answers, but that is unacceptable and dishonest for a film that claims to tackle such issues head-on. The film shows piety, but why? Is it really mocking the faithful? Maggie is desperate to reach the weeping Madonna, yet in the midst of her pilgrimage, this does not give her qualms about having sex with someone she's known maybe two days. That's going to alienate a lot of Catholics who otherwise could be very sympathetic toward the film. If pre-marital sex was essential to the plot, fine. But we really, really could have lived without it, and more importantly, so could Maggie and Mike. Ultimately, then, what is this film really about? Maybe it's two films in one; two lives in one. Maggie's faith and Mike's music, but if so, where's the real connection? I acknowledge that I look at films more critically from the writing angle, as that is my area of expertise. That explains why, for instance, I'm entirely overlooking Tony Pierce Roberts' quite acceptable and neatly wrapped cinematography. It explains why I'm being a philistine and deliberately ignoring the classical pieces we see and hear beautifully performed, (I'm assuming McNamara really did perform those piano pieces, but the credits didn't make this clear). Nice as all this may be, we didn't actually need this for the plot.

What we did need was something to tie up all the plot lines into a nice, neat conclusion. And we didn't get it. We got surface gloss, which is fine for "Maid in Manhattan" but not here. What worries me is how such an obvious shortcoming managed to get overlooked in production.

This leads me to a pet theory: the most important part of the dramatic curve is the ending, not the climax. I'm not suggesting that a film with a well crafted ending will do any better at the box office, will have more depth, or will be transformed into a more meaningful film. But too many potentially good films have been ruined by skimpy endings; and it's the ending that theatre-goers leave their seats with.

The way for a script-writer to think about the ending should not be, "How am I going to get myself extricated from this mess in the least possible screen time," but rather: "Here's the place where I give my audience just that little but more: that added value. How can I surprise them; let them think I've forgotten about those few loose ends? Then I'll hit them with it; give them that little extra twist, that deeper insight, that warm feeling of completeness!" There's no room to elaborate, but you may wish to check my other published reviews. In each of them, I attempt to bring out a point we can all learn from, and here my bottom line is that John Hough (and John Goldsmith who collaborated on the script) were swimming out of their spiritual depth. Someone should have stepped in as a spiritual adviser on this project.. not to provide nice tidy answers to the way things ought to be, but to ask questions; to get this film working on a level that it utterly falls flat on.

"Something to Believe In" could and should have been a masterpiece of faith, hope and joy. It does not deliver, and for that I'm sorry: for this is a film that I really hoped would work; that so very nearly does work. But nearly is never enough. Ultimately, the script is just too shaky for this to become a satisfying or deeply moving cinematic experience. It was played for laughs and lost its meaning. The sad part is thinking what this film could have been.


1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?