7.8/10
3,126
18 user 42 critic

Léon Morin, Priest (1961)

Léon Morin, prêtre (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 22 September 1961 (France)
Set during occupied France, a faithless woman finds herself falling in love with a young priest.

Writers:

Béatrix Beck (based on the novel by) (as Béatrice Beck), Jean-Pierre Melville (adaptation)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Le Doulos (1963)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A burglar betraying other criminals, prepares for a big heist with a trusted friend that might be as untrustworthy as he.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Serge Reggiani, Jean Desailly
Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Broke French ex-paratrooper turned amateur boxer Michel Maudet becomes bodyguard for the fugitive corrupt banker Ferchaux.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Charles Vanel, Michèle Mercier
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

After losing big, an aging gambler decides to assemble a team to rob a casino.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Roger Duchesne, Isabelle Corey, Daniel Cauchy
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A gangster escapes jail and quickly makes plans to continue his criminal ways elsewhere, but a determined inspector is closing in.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Lino Ventura, Paul Meurisse, Raymond Pellegrin
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

1941 in a small town in Nazi occupied France. Against the will of its elderly male and his adult niece residents, the Nazis commandeer a house for one of their officers, Lt. Werner von ... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Howard Vernon, Nicole Stéphane, Jean-Marie Robain
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A French UN delegate has disappeared into thin air, sending reporter Moreau (Jean-Pierre Melville) and hard drinking photographer Delmas (Pierre Grasset) on an assignment to find him. Their only lead is a picture of three women.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Pierre Grasset, Christiane Eudes, Ginger Hall
Un Flic (1972)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After a shaky first heist, a group of thieves plan an even more elaborate- and more risky- second heist.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Alain Delon, Richard Crenna, Catherine Deneuve
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In a snowball fight between schoolboys the handsome Dargelos hits the chest of Paul, who drops unconscious to the ground. Paul has a deep affection for Dargelos, and later denies that there... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Nicole Stéphane, Edouard Dermithe, Renée Cosima
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

An account of underground resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied France.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Lino Ventura, Paul Meurisse, Jean-Pierre Cassel
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Therese is a nun-in-training who returns to "civilian" life to care for her young sister Denise.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Philippe Lemaire, Juliette Gréco, Yvonne Sanson
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

After leaving prison, master thief Corey crosses paths with a notorious escapee and an alcoholic former policeman. The trio proceed to plot an elaborate heist.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Alain Delon, Bourvil, Gian Maria Volontè
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A day in the life of Beby the clown. Filmed between shows at Circus Medrano, at home and in the streets of Paris, with his faithful partner and friend the clown Maïss.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Beby, Maïss
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean-Paul Belmondo ... Léon Morin
Emmanuelle Riva ... Barny (as Emmanuele Riva)
Irène Tunc ... Christine Sangredin
Nicole Mirel Nicole Mirel ... Sabine Levy
Gisèle Grimm Gisèle Grimm ... Lucienne
Marco Behar Marco Behar ... Edelman (as Marco Béhar de la Comédie Française)
Monique Bertho Monique Bertho ... Marion
Marc Eyraud Marc Eyraud ... Anton (as Marc Heyraud)
Nina Grégoire Nina Grégoire ... (as Nina Gregoire)
Monique Hennessy Monique Hennessy ... Arlette
Edith Loria Edith Loria ... Danielle Holdenberg
Micheline Schererre Micheline Schererre
Renée Liques Renée Liques
Simone Vannier Simone Vannier ... Une secrétaire
Lucienne Marchand Lucienne Marchand ... Une secrétaire
Edit

Storyline

In World War II, the widow Barny sees the Italian soldiers arriving in occupied Saint Bernard while walking to her job. Barny lives with her daughter and works correcting tests and feels a great attraction toward her boss Sabine. When the Germans arrive, Barny sends her half-Jewish daughter to live in a farm in the countryside and finds that Sabine's brother has been arrested and sent to a concentration camp. The atheist Barny decides to baptize her daughter to protect her and chooses priest Léon Morin to discuss with him themes related to religion and Catholicism and Léon lends books to her. Barny converts to the Catholicism and becomes closer to Léon, feeling an unrequited desire for him. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

France | Italy

Language:

French | English | German

Release Date:

22 September 1961 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Forgiven Sinner See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,515, 19 April 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$44,511, 15 October 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (2003 re-release) | | (4K Restored Version)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list. See more »

Connections

Featured in Cinema: Alguns Cortes - Censura II (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Melville's least accessible work.
3 October 2003 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

I generally do not go much for Melvilles's works:a lot of them deal with manly friendship among hoodlums ;they were influenced by the American film noir genre ,as for instance Robert Wise's "odds against tomorrow" but they do not equal them.There are sometimes gigantic metaphysical pretensions ("le cercle rouge" (1970);"le samouraï (1967)).Besides, these works are overlong,slow-moving and dull.

Paradoxically,his works I find the most intriguing and interesting are his non-gangsters movies:both "le silence de la mer" (1948) and "l'armée des ombres" (1969) deal with French resistance during WW2 and they are both commendable."Les enfants terribles" (1950)perfectly captures Cocteau 's spirit .And then there's "Leon Morin prêtre".

This movie is a different matter ,because its main purpose is religion.A cast against type Jean-Paul Belmondo (whom Melville would direct again the following year in "Le doulos" )rises to the occasion and thus shows he could have been more ambitious in his future career.But facing Emmanuelle Riva ("Hiroshima mon amour" ) was not an easy task,because ambitious she definitely is:one of the subtlest actresses French cinema had ever known,she never had the career she deserved because her playing was too brilliant and probably scared most of the directors .Here she delivers the goods:her part of an atheist who meets a priest during WW2 is very austere and may repel some,but her performance is thoroughly fascinating.The first line she says to priest Morin is "Religion is the opium of the people:then begins a bewildering story,during which she regains faith.And this renaissance is ambiguous:is-it because of the tragical events that stem from the war that surrounds them -one of her friend's son is sent to a concentration camp ,and he'll never return-? Is it because she is madly in love with the priest -one scene shows her try to get him into her bed-?Is it because hers is such an unfulfilled life -a daughter,but no partner-?Is it because of the priest's convincing words ,now simple,now very intellectual?The movie consists of very long conversation about faith -a whole scene revolves around Christ's famous words :"my God why have you forsaken me?"-.

That's why I would recommend the movie to people interested in theology ,or simply to believers.The others may yawn their head off.


29 of 60 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 18 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed