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The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968)

G | | Drama | 14 November 1968 (USA)
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Ukrainian Archbishop Kiril Lakota is set free after twenty years as a political prisoner in Siberia. He is brought to Rome by Father David Telemond, a troubled young priest who befriends ... See full summary »

Director:

Michael Anderson

Writers:

John Patrick (screenplay), James Kennaway (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anthony Quinn ... Archbishop Kiril Pavlovich Lakota
Laurence Olivier ... Premier Piotr Ilyich Kamenev (as Sir Laurence Olivier)
Oskar Werner ... Fr. David Telemond
David Janssen ... George Faber
Vittorio De Sica ... Cardinal Rinaldi
Leo McKern ... Cardinal Leone
John Gielgud ... The Elder Pope (as Sir John Gielgud)
Barbara Jefford ... Dr. Ruth Faber
Rosemary Dexter ... Chiara (as Rosemarie Dexter)
Frank Finlay ... Igor Bounin
Burt Kwouk ... Chairman Peng
Arnoldo Foà ... Gelasio (as Arnoldo Foa')
Paul Rogers ... Augustinian
George Pravda ... Gorshenin (credit only)
Clive Revill ... Tovarich Vucovich
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Storyline

Ukrainian Archbishop Kiril Lakota is set free after twenty years as a political prisoner in Siberia. He is brought to Rome by Father David Telemond, a troubled young priest who befriends him. Once at the Vatican, he is immediately given an audience with the Pope, who elevates him to Cardinal Priest. The world is on the brink of war due to a Chinese-Soviet feud made worse by a famine caused by trade restrictions brought against China by the U.S. When the Pontiff suddenly dies, Lakota's genuine character and unique life experience move the College of Cardinals to elect him as the new Pope. But Pope Kiril I must now deal with his own self-doubt, the struggle of his friend Father Telemond, who is under scrutiny for his beliefs, and find a solution to the crisis in China.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

All the dramatic power of the best-selling novel is now on the screen! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Latin | Hebrew

Release Date:

14 November 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

As Sandálias do Pescador See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Reference is made to Kiril being the first non-Italian Pope to be elected since Adrian VI four hundred years earlier. In real-life, this happened ten years after this movie was released, with the election of Pope John Paul II. See more »

Goofs

TV reporter George Faber (David Janssen) reacts with surprise when Lakota appears on the balcony after his election and declares, "It's Lakota. They've elected a Russian pope." But the identity of a new pope is always announced from the balcony before his first appearance as pontiff. See more »

Quotes

George Faber: Darling, I would at least have tried to persuade you that I was definitely calling it off with Chiara.
Dr. Ruth Faber: It'll be alright. I mean, not just about us. I know it will.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Lionpower from MGM (1967) See more »

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User Reviews

PROFOUND
22 April 2004 | by MISSMOOHERSELFSee all my reviews

Gulag worker Kiril Lakota is soldering pieces of metal together in a Soviet prison camp when he hears his number over a loudspeaker. He is summoned to the office of the premiere of the Soviet Union -- the same man who had imprisoned him 20 years earlier. The premiere asks the man, a bishop in the Ukrainian Catholic Church, if he is ready to go back into the world. The next thing he knows, Kiril is on a flight to the Vatican, where he is greeted and lauded by the pope. Later, the pope dies and through a complicated system, Kiril is elected pope and uses his own name as the name he will use during his papacy. Before being elected, Kiril has befriended Fr. David Telemond, a brilliant but controversial priest who is suffering from a terminal blood disorder and whose works are suspect. Later, as Pope Kiril I, he names Fr. Telemond as his personal secretary, over the advice of a well-meaning but jealous older cardinal. The petty squabbles of the cardinals, the love affair of a television journalist who covers the Vatican, the distress of the man's wife and the sharp differences between the rich and the poor of the Vatican soon pale, however, when World War III looms because the Chinese people are starving and no one has come forward to help. When Pope Kiril I comes up with a solution that will feed the Chinese people and avert a 3rd World War, the church is shocked and the people laud his actions. What does he decide to do? Watch the movie to find out ... it's well worth it.

The performance of Anthony Quinn as Kiril I is truly outstanding -- his Ukrainian accent, his almost mystical yet practical manner and his eloquent speeches make this an Oscar-worthy performance (why he wasn't nominated, I'll never know). Oskar Werner as Fr. Telemond was equally touching. Flattered at being chosen to be the pope's friend, secretary and confidant, he comes to realize he has taught the pope many things while learning a few things himself. Thinly based on the life of Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Oskar Werner gives a moving performance as the terminally ill, brilliant but troubled priest-philosopher-thinker. This is by no means a perfect movie --- some of the clothes are dated and the music at the party where the reporter meets up with his mistress is annoying. But minor flaws aside, this is a wonderful movie that gives tremendous insight into the workings of the Vatican, the papacy and even the human heart.


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