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This very unusual and very rare film is a biography of Jean-Marie Vianney, the celebrated curé of a small French town called Ars who single-handedly brought it back to the Church after the French Revolution with his miraculous cures and who was eventually made a saint for his effort. It is unusual as it shows very graphically the curé's personal relationship with the Devil during late-night conversations which make watching this film a very creepy experience and one you never forget after witnessing it. Although this film was at least as popular as "Song of Bernadette" in Catholic circles in the fifties as a propaganda tool, it has almost totally disappeared from the radar nowadays and even finding a 16 mm version of it has become the Holy Grail of film collectors everywhere. I remember it as a very powerful piece of movie-making. It is based on a book by Jean-Charles Reynaud (who also wrote "Carnet de bal") which is not so difficult to find.
When I was at Sunday school (which at the time took place on Thursday
in France) the priest showed us this film one day.With hindsight ,I
wonder now if it was not too much for ten- year -old brats .I remember
those scenes when the devil revealed himself to Jean-Marie Vianney ,Le
Curé D'Ars ,with a sinister noise which scared me to death.It is less a
religious movie than a fantasy and horror work.
It was made by Marcel Blistene ,who directed Edith Piaf in her best film "Etoile Sans Lumière".Georges Rollin who plays the lead is completely forgotten today,but his character is not: his surname ("Vianney" ) has become a first name since he was canonized by the Vatican.
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