17 user 5 critic

Joseph Desa (1962)

The Reluctant Saint (original title)
3:05 | Trailer
In 17th century Italy, a simple and clumsy young man joins a Franciscan order, pursues full priesthood and performs a miracle that eventually ensures his sainthood.


Edward Dmytryk





Cast overview, first billed only:
Maximilian Schell ... Giuseppe
Ricardo Montalban ... Father Raspi
Lea Padovani ... Giuseppe's Mother
Akim Tamiroff ... Bishop Durso
Harold Goldblatt Harold Goldblatt ... Father Giovanni
Arnoldo Foà ... Felixa - Giuseppe's Father
Carlo Croccolo ... The Gobbo - the Hunchback
Giulio Bosetti Giulio Bosetti ... Brother Orlando
Armand Mestral
Elisa Cegani Elisa Cegani ... Sister
Giacomo Rossi Stuart ... Young Examining Prelate (as Giacomo Rossi Stewart)
Tonio Selwart Tonio Selwart ... Examining Prelate
Odoardo Spadaro Odoardo Spadaro ... Old Examining Prelate
Mino Doro
Bruno Cattaneo Bruno Cattaneo


Joseph of Cupertino, a simple young man thought by many in his village to be an idiot, is pressured to enter a monastery. He does so, and surprises everyone by passing the entrance exam to study for the priesthood. But this is only the first of many surprises from the man who would become Saint Joseph Cupertino. Written by Dan Navarro <daneldorado@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The picture that's got everything ! ... plus the surprise of your life !


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Maximilien Schell's favourite film. See more »


Bishop: Brother Giuseppe! I knew you'd be here someday.
Giuseppe: [overjoyed that the Bishop remembers him] Your Excellency.
Bishop: How are the lambs?
Giuseppe: Oh, they are sheep now, your Excellency.
Bishop: Oh yes, of course. Has it been that long? And the studies - they've been hard, eh?
Giuseppe: [sighs and nods] But mostly I miss the stables. That's where I really belong, I shouldn't be here.
Bishop: Let me be the judge of that, Giuseppe. There will be many lost sheep to care for.
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Crazy Credits

Opening Credits include: "The story you are about to see is true in its essential details" and "Cupertino, Italy 1623" See more »

User Reviews

Truth is Simple
3 January 2011 | by nilakanthanandaSee all my reviews

God is simple as it is the essence of our life and existence. Theology and scriptures tend to complicate it as we humans love intellectualism and find it exciting. The movie and the life of the saint Joseph shows us just this simple thing. The wonderful explanation of Trinity in the three folds of the blanket, being humble even when others label you as saint and even accepting the ordeal of exorcising of the devil in full humility, has shown how a man of God is simple, loving and does not hate anybody. He has love and compassion for others. The scene when Joseph goes for begging and sees a destitute mother nursing her child is simply enhancing his character. He is a beggar but he willingly gives away food and a piece of cloth to the woman. It was touching to see that immediately after that the boys loot his collected food and beat Joseph. It is the same woman who lovingly returns the cloth covering his bare bruised back. This is true in all religions whether Christian, Hindu, Budhhism, Jew etc that Love, Charity and not harming others is the foundation, rest is only sophistry. Wionderfully enlightening Movie.

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Italy | USA


English | Latin

Release Date:

2 November 1962 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Ein sonderbarer Heiliger See more »

Filming Locations:

Rome, Lazio, Italy

Company Credits

Production Co:

Dmytryk-Weiler See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

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