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The Legend of the Holy Drinker (1988)

La leggenda del santo bevitore (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 2 September 1988 (Italy)
An alcoholic homeless man is given two hundred francs by a stranger, who requests that when he can he will return the money to Saint Therese in the cathedral.


Ermanno Olmi
12 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Rutger Hauer ... Andreas Kartak
Anthony Quayle ... Distinguished Gentleman
Sandrine Dumas ... Gaby
Dominique Pinon ... Wojtech
Sophie Segalen Sophie Segalen ... Karoline
Jean-Maurice Chanet Jean-Maurice Chanet ... Daniel Kaniak
Cécile Paoli Cécile Paoli ... Fur store seller
Francesco Aldighieri Francesco Aldighieri ... Policeman (as Franco Aldighieri)
Joseph De Medina Joseph De Medina ... Fat man
Françoise Pinkwasser Françoise Pinkwasser ... Inn woman
Joséphine Lecaille Joséphine Lecaille ... Fat man's wife
Maria Mazzocco Maria Mazzocco ... Tari-Bari owner
Dalila Belatreche Dalila Belatreche ... Thérèse
Claude Kolton Claude Kolton
Jacques Pasternak Jacques Pasternak


An alcoholic homeless man is given two hundred francs by a stranger, who requests that when he can he will return the money to Saint Therese in the cathedral.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Tullio Kezich, who collaborated with Ermanno Olmi on the script, was a famous Italian movie critic and also the most eminent biographer of Federico Fellini. See more »


Referenced in Allemaal film: De amerikaanse droom (2007) See more »

User Reviews

A beautiful, quirky novella brought to life
17 October 2019 | by glmreallySee all my reviews

Takeaway Scene Rutger Hauer's biggest, joyful smile is for a bathtub.

The Good This is one of very few successful screen transpositions of an introspective literary work. The dialogue is sparse and in two languages but the film while making small adjustments here and there conveys all the internal monologue of Joseph roth's novella. Hauer. Probably his best performance (although I also like his understated character in lady Hawke). He is the icon of a getleman drunk. The photography. natural, unobtrusive, realistic. The cast: A very heterogeneous looking cast that manages to fit in well and act natural in their respective roles. The women: For a very Catholic director, Olmi is very kind to almost the women in the movie, including extras, and they look attractive without losing their real, unpolished authenticit

The Not So Good The film is almost real time,with long contemplative moments, to the point that sometimes the flashbacks have more action that the main scene. For all its photographical and acting beauty, the going can be slow, and watching Hauer drinking one longs to join in. I haven't counted them, but I suspect that matching the movie glass for glass would be lethal (especially the Cafe'-Calva followed by an Absinthe in the morning)

The Strange Hauer is a character living and dressing in the 1930s filmed in 1980s Paris. And it fits seamlessly, the same way that the real, surviving old bistrots and locations fit in their modern surroundings. Olmi has taken advantage of a phenomenon familiar to us all walking in cities and performed a sleight of hand trick, aided by the costume design of Ms. Marchand that emphasizes the continuity between periods to blend characters in.

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Italy | France


Italian | French | English

Release Date:

2 September 1988 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

La leyenda del santo bebedor See more »

Filming Locations:

Paris, France See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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