6.7/10
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The Cardinal (1963)

A young Catholic priest from Boston confronts bigotry, Naziism, and his own personal conflicts as he rises to the office of cardinal.

Director:

Otto Preminger

Writers:

Robert Dozier (screenplay), Henry Morton Robinson (novel)
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Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Tryon ... Stephen Fermoyle
Carol Lynley ... Mona / Regina Fermoyle
Dorothy Gish ... Celia
Maggie McNamara ... Florrie
Bill Hayes ... Frank
Cameron Prud'Homme Cameron Prud'Homme ... Din
Cecil Kellaway ... Monsignor Monaghan
Loring Smith Loring Smith ... Cornelius J. Deegan
John Saxon ... Benny Rampell
James Hickman James Hickman ... Father Lyons
Berenice Gahm Berenice Gahm ... Mrs. Rampell
John Huston ... Glennon
Jose Duvall Jose Duvall ... Ramon Gongaro (as Jose Duval)
Peter MacLean Peter MacLean ... Father Callahan
Robert Morse ... Bobby (as Robert {Morse} and His Adora-Belles)
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Storyline

Stephen Fermoyle has grown up in Boston at the turn of the twentieth century knowing that his destiny lies with the Catholic priesthood. Finally finishing his studies in Rome, he returns to America full of certitude and ambition to one day join the College of Cardinals. But his road to that office is a long one, paved with crises. In Boston, he must decide whether to save the life of his sister or her unborn child, conceived out of wedlock. In Austria, he confronts the question of whether to remain with the priesthood or abandon his oath so that he can be with the woman he loves. In Georgia, he contends with Rome's indifference in the face of racial bigotry. And in Austria, he finds himself personally involved in the church's dealings with the Third Reich. Written by Shannon Patrick Sullivan <shannon@mun.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A motion picture that spans two decades of conflict and drama as it tells the story of a young American and his rise to prince of the church.

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | Latin

Release Date:

12 December 1963 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El cardenal See more »

Filming Locations:

Boston, Massachusetts, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Otto Preminger Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

6-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Josef Meinrad was only cast after the big name first cast dropped out. See more »

Goofs

When the blood is flowing from the statue's heart and Father Fermoyle addresses the worshiping crowd, the length of the flow on the statue is inconsistent between cuts going from nearly all the way down the statue to being shown at midway down the statue and returning to be all the way down the statue. See more »

Quotes

Cardinal Glennon: We've never had a priest working with the Mafia before. But I suppose you made some interesting contacts in Rome.
Stephen Fermoyle: I had no choice, Your Eminence. I had to work my way through the seminary by selling opium in St. Peter's Square.
Cardinal Glennon: You're not afraid of me.
Stephen Fermoyle: No.
Cardinal Glennon: Why not? Most people are.
Stephen Fermoyle: I think it's because you remind me of my father. He was known as "Den the Down Shouter," but I soon learned his roar was the only fierce thing about him.
Cardinal Glennon: He's a lucky man to have a son who's not afraid of him.
See more »


Soundtracks

They Haven't Got the Girls in the U.S.A.
Lyrics by Al Stillman (as Al Stillman)
Music by Jerome Moross (uncredited)
Performed by Robert Morse (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Tom Tryon's rise to Cardinal is just not compelling enough...
24 January 2011 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

TOM TRYON has the central role in Otto Preminger's majestic looking film version of THE CARDINAL, but he's one of those handsome actors with an impassive face whose emotions never come to the surface. Instead, we get a hint of what he might be thinking without any real clue. And since the film is all about the moral and personal issues facing him as he enters the College of Cardinals, an actor with more emotional capabilities would have been more impressive.

The other flaw is the three hour length for a film in which the story is simply not that compelling. Furthermore, director Preminger has chosen to direct whole scenes at medium length lensing (no close-ups inserted) which gives a flat affect to the dynamics involved.

Aside from these weaknesses, the film has a lot about it to commend. All the interiors of church activities are impressively staged and photographed in beautiful WideScreen photography. The performances around Tryon range from good to excellent, including John Huston, Carol Lynley, Bill Hayes, John Saxon and Burgess Meredith. Huston is particularly commanding as the brusque Cardinal Glennon, who confronts Tryon with: "You're not afraid of me, are you?" when the young man speaks his mind.

All of the technical aspects of the film are professional, giving the story more credibility than it deserves from a rather lumbering script. The icing on the cake is the rich musical score by Jerome Moross.

Holds the interest despite the length as it deals with a young man confronting bigotry, Naziism, and his own personal beliefs as he ascends the ladder of success in the Catholic Church.


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