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Our Fathers (2005)

TV Movie  -   -  Drama  -  21 May 2005 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 447 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 2 critic

A dramatized account of the hidden sexual abuse and scandal that shook the foundation of the Catholic Church, and the characters, events, and policies that brought the abuse and scandal into existence.

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(book), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Mitchell Garabedian
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Cardinal Bernard Law
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...
Angelo DeFranco
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Mary Ryan
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Bishop Murphy
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Wilson Rogers Jr.
Wayne Best ...
Father Doyle
Colin Fox ...
Daniel Kibbe
...
Patrick McSorley
...
...
John J. Geoghan
Damien Atkins ...
Young Geoghan
Hugh Thompson ...
Tom Blanchette
...
Bernie McDaid
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Storyline

In the 1970s and 1980s a scandal was brewing in the Boston diocese of the Roman Catholic Church. Pedophile priests, especially Father John Geoghan, were sexually molesting young boys. Although the Cardinal at the time, Bernard Law, was made aware of the evil acts committed by Geoghan & other priests, he sided with the priests and quietly moved them from one church to the next, and kept the matter a secret from the authorities. Years later, the victims start to come forward, and a lawyer sues Cardinal Law & the diocese for hiding the crimes from the authorities. Cardinal Law arrogantly defends his behavior, and refuses to resign. Meanwhile, Father Geoghan is found guilty and sentenced to 10 years behind bars. Will the Cardinal resign now...or continue to try to hold onto his position? Written by medic249a2

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The catholic church in an age of scandal.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, including some graphic depictions of sexual abuse | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 May 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Escândalo Oculto  »

Box Office

Budget:

CAD 14,340,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Mary Ryan: I didn't care about money... these were my kids!
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User Reviews

 
Monsters among us
22 May 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Showtime ought to be congratulated for its courage in bringing "Our Fathers" to the television screen as a film. Dan Curtis, the director, gives us a first rate account about this sad chapter of abuse to young children by Catholic priests. Those same priests were supposed to have been examples and role models for young children, but in violating that trust, these men committed crimes one never suspected them capable of doing. The book by David France, "Our Fathers: The Secret Life of the Catholic Church in an Age of Scandal", gets an amazing screen treatment by Thomas Michael Donnelly.

The books emphasizes the role of Cardinal Bernard Law in the whole affair. This sinister figure, who was able to get away with murder by resigning his post as the head of the Boston Diocese, is still not admitting his role in the cover up, even after everything is well known and documented.

Father John Geoghan, the monster priest arrested and convicted of several sexual molestation charges, is one of the most repugnant figures involved in the scandal. We watch as this man is ordained with tears in his eyes in the early 60s. Father John is seen as a holy man who is quite charming hiding behind a facade of being good to the children. Parents love him because what they see a role model for their boys to follow.

The film concentrates on Angelo DiFranco's story. Angelo is seen putting his own fist through a mirror in rage. This young man and his lawyer, Mitchell Garabedian, are instrumental into putting the lawyer in contact with Mary Ryan, a woman whose seven boys are sexually abused by father Geoghan. Mrs. Ryan is asked to keep quiet.

The other priest in the story, Father Joseph Birmingham, is also responsible for abuses to other children. Another accuser, Olan Horne, brings it to the attention of Cardinal Law, who is arrogant and indignant about the accusations. Cardinal Law makes a point to tell Olan that Christ hasn't done anything wrong, if anything, he was the one instrumental in his failure as the man who could have solved the problem, but didn't. In the end we watch Cardinal Bernard Law with tears in his eyes as he resigns. Unfortunately, much too late!

The performances are first rate. Christopher Plummer as the sinister cardinal does an excellent performance. Chris Bauer and Daniel Baldwin, two talented young actors, are seen as Olan Horne and Angelo DiFranco, respectively. Ted Danson, as the lawyer is not as effective, maybe because we don't see him as Mr. Garabedian at all. Brian Dennehy is good as Father Spagnolia. Ellen Burstyn is a great Mary Ryan, full of rage and bitter for what the evil priest did to her sons. Steve Shaw plays the evil Father Geoghan.

The tragedy that was done to innocent children by these heartless men will stay in the victim's memories forever. More than likely, these monster priests were abused themselves as children, and now they feel it's their turn to keep the practice going.


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