Following the premature death of his mother, Karol Wojtyla is brought up by his father in the Polish city of Krakow during the first half of the 20th century. An outstanding student with a ... See full summary »
Following the premature death of his mother, Karol Wojtyla is brought up by his father in the Polish city of Krakow during the first half of the 20th century. An outstanding student with a magnetic personality, he dreams of becoming an actor. When his homeland is invaded by the Nazis in 1939, he and his friends secretly oppose the systematic persecution of their Polish culture. But, with the death of his father and the lacerating solitude which accompanies this loss, Karol's personal "resistance" takes on a new form and he decides to follow a priestly vocation. At the end of the war, Poland falls into the grip of Soviet totalitarianism. The newly ordained Karol is constantly surrounded by young people whom he teaches to safeguard and defend human dignity. He could be considered a serious threat to the regime, but the Communist authorities merely see him as an innocuous intellectual and even encourage his nomination for the position of bishop. Karol Wojtila is the youngest bishop in ... Written by
Ian Holm was originally cast for the role of Pope John Paul II but left for personal reasons. See more »
When the newly-elected Pope John Paul II is changing into his white papal cassock, the actor playing the pope switches between Cary Elwes and Jon Voight several times between shots (most likely this scene was filmed twice, once with Elwes and once with Voight, and the scenes were then edited together). See more »
I commend CBS for airing this excellent biography of Pope John Paul II. I feel it did a marvelous job of portraying his courage, faith and love! There was a continuity from event to event that was not apparent in the biography aired by a rival network a few days earlier. Because of all the Pope did, it was impossible to do an adequate job of showing his life with only a two-hour movie. It is refreshing that an American television network chose to depict the Pope in a positive way instead of denigrating religion as the secular media are often wont to do. I also appreciated being shown how Pope John Paul II turned to God for inspiration when he had choices to make and during his trials. Finally, I think Jon Voigt was able to capture the Pope's sense of humour and his char ism.
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