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.
All the dramatic power of the best-selling novel is now on the screen!
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Did You Know?
One of two theatrical movies in which Sir Laurence Olivier
and Frank Finlay
, both members of the National Theatre of Great Britain, appeared together. The other one was Othello (1965), for which both actors were nominated for Oscars. See more
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
I think, Eminence, you may have caught yourself a Tartar.
I think we may have caught a Christian.
Referenced in Cinema: Sir Laurence Olivier