7.7/10
2,267
34 user 6 critic

The Scarlet and the Black (1983)

Not Rated | | Drama, History, War | TV Movie 2 February 1983
Vatican efforts, lead by Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty, to save Allied P.O.W.s and downed Allied airmen as the Nazis invade Rome.

Director:

Jerry London

Writers:

J.P. Gallagher (book), David Butler
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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gregory Peck ... Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty
Christopher Plummer ... Col. Herbert Kappler
John Gielgud ... Pope Pius XII (as Sir John Gielgud)
Raf Vallone ... Father Vittorio
Kenneth Colley ... Capt. Hirsch (as Ken Colley)
Walter Gotell ... Gen. Max Helm
Barbara Bouchet ... Minna Kappler
Julian Holloway ... Alfred West
Angelo Infanti Angelo Infanti ... Father Morosini
Olga Karlatos Olga Karlatos ... Francesca Lombardo
Michael Byrne ... Reinhard Beck
T.P. McKenna ... Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler
Vernon Dobtcheff ... Count Langenthal
John Terry ... Lt. Jack Manning
Peter Burton ... Sir D'Arcy Osborne
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Storyline

Fr. Hugh O'Flaherty is a Vatican official in 1943-45 who has been hiding downed pilots, escaped prisoners of war, and Italian Resistance families. His diplomatic status in a Catholic country prevents Colonel Kappler from openly arresting him, but O'Flaherty's activities become so large that the Nazis decide to assassinate him the next time he leaves the Vatican. O'Flaherty continues his work in a variety of disguises. Based on a true story. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK | Italy

Language:

English | German | Italian

Release Date:

2 February 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Vatican Pimpernel See more »

Filming Locations:

Rome, Lazio, Italy See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The closing epilogue states: "After the liberation, Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty was honored by Italy, Canada, and Australia, given the U.S. Medal of Freedom, and made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE). Herbert Kappler was sentenced to life imprisonment for war crimes. In the long years that followed in his Italian prison, Kappler had only one visitor. Every month, year in and year out, O'Flaherty came to see him. In 1959, the former head of the dreaded Gestapo in Rome was baptized into the Catholic faith at the hand of the Irish priest." See more »

Goofs

When O'Flaherty spoke of his friends in Ireland being shot by the Black and Tan during "The Troubles", "The Troubles" weren't until late in the 20th century. Could've he meant during the Irish War of Independence which happened in 1919-1921 during Hugh's lifetime (1898-1963) as when the Black & Tan shot many of his friends. See more »

Quotes

Col. Herbert Kappler: You're alone?
Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty: I am.
Col. Herbert Kappler: Not afraid I'll shoot you?
Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty: No. If you were going to kill me, your man would have already done it in my room.
Col. Herbert Kappler: That is so.
[pause]
Col. Herbert Kappler: But believe me, at this moment, nothing would give me greater pleasure.
Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty: Well, when it comes down to it, a bullet's your answer to just about everything, isn't it? The only argument you've got.
See more »

Alternate Versions

An edited version of approximately 110 minutes (120 minutes when broadcast with adverts) is sometimes shown on TV in the UK. See more »

Connections

References Massacre in Rome (1973) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
So potent a film on the day John Paul 11 is buried!
8 April 2005 | by mrjcfSee all my reviews

I am not a Catholic myself, however, the story of Msgr Hugh O'Flaherty must be the most forgotten true story of the Second World War! It also gives us an inside view of the politics the Vatican faced in the 1940s and, presumably, today! The film reminds us all, that whatever the situation, there are always people who are prepared to help. O'Flaherty went beyond this. He hated the British, but saved many British (and American airman) from certain death. His actions saved the lives of thousands of Jews in Italy at not only great personal risk to himself, but to the others in his organisation.

There is talk today of making John Paul 11 a Saint. Surely somebody at the Vatican will remember this humble Monsignor who did (at the time) more to help mankind than anyone is such horrific circumstances. When I can afford it, I will visit this man's grave and say a silent prayer. I don't want a TV film crew there, but I want to say "Thank You" to a man who gave his all to save the free world! A certain telephone company ran a series of advertisements many years ago, asking who in History would you most like to talk to. For me... it would be Mons. Hugh O'Flaherty. At the moment in time, only this film, an area of trees and a gravestone honour this man. Surely he deserves more? An outstanding film, well cast, excellently photographed. Tension, intrigue, drama, even humour (dressing up as a Nun?) I say everyone should view this film. An inspiring, true life film.


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