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Francis of Assisi (1961)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, History | 12 July 1961 (USA)
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In 13th century Italy, Francis Bernardone, the son of an Assisi merchant, renounces a promising army career in favor of a monastic life and starts his own religious order, sanctioned by the Pope.

Director:

Michael Curtiz

Writers:

Ludwig von Wohl (novel) (as Louis De Wohl), Eugene Vale (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bradford Dillman ... Francis Bernardone of Assisi
Dolores Hart ... Clare
Stuart Whitman ... Count Paolo of Vandria
Cecil Kellaway ... Cardinal Hugolino
Eduard Franz ... Pietro Bernardone
Athene Seyler ... Aunt Buona
Finlay Currie ... The Pope
Mervyn Johns ... Brother Juniper
Russell Napier Russell Napier ... Brother Elias
John Welsh ... Canon Cattanei
Harold Goldblatt Harold Goldblatt ... Bernard
Edith Sharpe Edith Sharpe ... Donna Pica
Jack Lambert Jack Lambert ... Scefi
Oliver Johnston ... Father Livoni
Malcolm Keen ... Bishop Guido
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Storyline

Francis Bernardone (Bradford Dillman) is the son of a wealthy cloth merchant in Assisi, who gives up all his worldly goods to dedicate himself to God. Clare (Dolores Hart) is a young aristocratic woman who, according to the film, is so taken with St. Francis that she leaves her family and becomes a nun. By this time (1212 A.D.), St. Francis has a well-established reputation for his vows of poverty. The movie goes on to note miracles (such as the appearance of the stigmata on Francis's hands and feet) and other aspects of his life, up to and including his death on October 3, 1226. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

how a Lusty, Fighting Young "Rebel With Cause" Exchanged his Sword for a Cross! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 July 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Francisco de Asís See more »

Filming Locations:

Italy See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,015,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Average Shot Length = ~10.6 seconds. Median Shot Length = ~10.3 seconds. See more »

Goofs

Several times in the movie, you can see the Basilica of Saint Francis in the background. It wasn't built before 1230, four year after Saint Francis' death. See more »

Quotes

Francis Bernardone of Assisi: This could be so, a voice told me to rebuild the Lord's house. I thought I had to work with stone and mortar, but perhaps I was wrong.
See more »

Crazy Credits

[Right before the closing title card] Pax et Bonum ("peace and all good [be with you]"). This Latin phrase is the traditional greeting and goodbye of the Franciscans, and it was established by Francis himself. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Screen Tests: Take 2 (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
He Gave Up the Sword For Sandals
18 June 2011 | by bebop63-1See all my reviews

If one is only expecting to know the more important aspects of the life of this great saint who wanted to emulate the life of Jesus Christ and established the 3 vows of monastic life - obedience, poverty and chastity, then this the film for you. Otherwise, I found it, like various other reviewers, too obviously Hollywoodish especially in production. Everyone, even the poor hoi polloi, go around clad in gaudy apparel that would make Edith Head's award-winning costumes look like rags in comparison. Also missing are the crucial aspects of the life of this beloved saint, for instance, where he publicly renounces his inheritance and worldly goods in general, and exchanges his fine clothes for a simple cassock. The abrupt change of scene where he tells his father that he has no desire to follow him in the mercantile business, and then we see him next hauling a cart through the streets asking for stones (to rebuild the church) would seem nonsensical and confusing to those unfamiliar with his life story.

Also the timeline appears to be too short for comfort - Francis doesn't appear to have aged that much in between the time he founded the Franciscan order till his death, granting that he was only in his 40s when he passed away.

It would also have been helpful, if purely optional, had some of the more familiar stories surrounding the life of Francis were included, as these are well-known in the religious world, such as his close association with animals (the preaching to the birds scene would have been good) and the fact that he first established the Nativity scene so associated with Christmas celebrations.

All in all, this film could be considered as a "Not bad, but could have been made better..." sort of production.


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