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 ... 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 a Cause" Exchanged His Sword for a Cross! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the film, Dolores Hart plays an aristocratic woman who becomes a nun. In reality, Hart left Hollywood to become a nun in 1963. 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

Count Paolo of Vandria: If this be victory, blessed be defeat.
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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

Version of Francesco (1989) See more »

User Reviews

 
A St. Francis story with historical proportion worth seeing
18 May 2006 | by wjmcpeakSee all my reviews

Contrary to scant reviews of this movie as rather mediocre, several interesting aspects make it worth a viewing. Perhaps aside, there is the amazing parallel of movie-to-reality of lovely Dolores Hart, who plays the noble woman Clare. Clare forsook marriage to an earnest noble (Stuart Whitman) and followed Francis (Bradford Dillman), founding the Poor Clares order of nuns. Hart was on the verge of marriage in 1963, when she decided to become a nun. The acting is good enough to keep one interested. And seeing some of the last appearances of old guard like Finlay Currie, Cecil Kellaway, and irascible director Michael Curtiz (who directed many of Errol Flynn's swashbuckler movies and other Warner Bros. fare in Hollywood hey days) sufficiently tempts the serious movie buff. The movie itself has the look—lots of color but also the lingering epic Hollywood scale--of historical yarns of the late 40s on through the 50s. Like the better efforts of this genre, the life of Francis progresses with a competent script—particularly in Francis's struggles against the establishment church. Thus it is historically preferable to Zeffirelli's minimalist Brother Sun, Sister Moon which frames Francis and Clare as more akin to 60s hippies than inhabitants of the 13th century—with a plot that meanders like a music video—and Donovan's music to prove it (Zeffirelli also wanted the Beatles to appear in the movie!). This reviewer is perhaps tainted with some nostalgic bias, since as a small boy I saw the Southern California premiere of Francis of Assisi (in Downey—southeast LA county suburb--of all places!) that included a live appearance and short commentary on stage by Stuart Whitman, who in his rough out style played Francis's friend-turned-antagonist (having been jilted by Clare) Count Paolo of Vandria. Years later at Universal I worked with Whitman, who, crusty as ever, recalled memories of the movie shoot as a tolerably pleasant experience.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 July 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Francis of Assisi See more »

Filming Locations:

Italy See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,015,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)| 4-Track Stereo (To update data for categories that aren't listed above, select this box)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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