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Stigmata (1999)

When a young woman becomes afflicted by stigmata, a priest is sent to investigate her case, which may have severe ramifications for his faith and for the Catholic Church itself.



(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Director: Mark Pellington
Stars: Richard Gere, Laura Linney, David Eigenberg


Cast overview, first billed only:
Donna Chadway
Father Durning
Marion Petrocelli (as Rade Sherbedgia)
Father Dario
Father Gianni Delmonico
Jennifer Kelliho
Tom Hodges ...
ER Nurse
Lydia Hazan ...
Attending Nurse
Dr. Eckworth (as Duke Moosekian)


A priest from the Vatican is sent to Sao Paulo, Brazil to investigate the appearance of the face of the Virgin Mary on the side of a building. While there he hears of a statue of the Virgin Mary bleeding tears in a small town outside of the city. Meanwhile, a young woman in the U.S. begins to show signs of stigmata, the wounds of Christ. The priest from the Vatican links up with her and cares for her as she is increasingly afflicted by the stigmata. Her ranting and raving finally begins to make sense to the priest who starts to question what his religion has stood for for the last 1900 years. Written by Jeff Mellinger <jmell@uclink4.berkeley.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The messenger must be silenced. See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for intense violent sequences, language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:


Release Date:

10 September 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Toby's Story  »


Box Office


$29,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,309,666, 12 September 1999, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


When discussing the five stigmata, Frankie refers to the spear in Jesus' side as "the one that kills him." However, the spear was used to be certain that he was already dead. See more »


After Frankie opens the package from her mother which contains the rosary, she is seen walking over to the table. She is holding a cup in one hand and picks up the rosary in the other. The next shot has the items in her hands reversed. See more »


Cardinal Daniel Houseman: [while trying to strangle Frankie] I'll not let you destroy my church!
See more »


Referenced in Exorcism: The Possession of Gail Bowers (2006) See more »


O Sacrum Convivium
Performed by Oxford Camerata
Courtesy of Naxos of America
By Arrangement with Source/Q
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Better than you might think
26 January 2003 | by See all my reviews

The "stigmata" is a Christian religious term that refers to the spontaneous appearance of wounds corresponding to the wounds on the Christ's body when he was crucified. This religious experience is most typically associated with deeply religious people and, I believe, is not one that is widely taken seriously. What makes this movie interesting is that it portrays the appearance of these wounds as a terrifying, extremely painful and ultimately humiliating experience. There's nothing conventionally religious in the experience portrayed here -- in fact, the victim is an athiest.

But, having bypassed the conventional, the movie is only partially successful in bringing the experience of the stigmata to the screen. The movie is a victim itself of a conventional portrayal of the evil bureaucratic Vatican desk jockeys suppressing "true" religion. And I have to admit that, as I was watching it, I found myself thinking, "Hmm, that sounds like the Gospel of Thomas," -- a famous Gnostic Gospel. Surprise.

But, overall, I'd recommend it as a decent movie and a departure from the generic, bland portrayal of Christian religious experience a la the Hallmark channel or "Touched by an Angel." It is a movie that can make you think about the nature of religious experience and its impact on an ordinary life.

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