6.2/10
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To Kill a Priest (1988)

A young priest speaks out against the Communist regime in Poland and is killed for it.

Director:

Agnieszka Holland

Writers:

Michael Cooper (English adaptation), Agnieszka Holland (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Lambert ... Father Alek
Ed Harris ... Stefan
Joss Ackland ... Colonel
Tim Roth ... Feliks
Timothy Spall ... Igor
Pete Postlethwaite ... Josef (as Peter Postlethwaite)
Cherie Lunghi ... Halina
Joanne Whalley ... Anna
David Suchet ... Bishop
Charlie Condou ... Mirek (as Charles Condou)
Tom Radcliffe Tom Radcliffe ... Young Soldier
Wojciech Pszoniak ... Bridge Player (as Wojtek Pszoniak)
Johnny Allen Johnny Allen
George Birt George Birt ... (as Georges Birt)
André Chaumeau André Chaumeau ... (as Andre Chaumeau)
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Storyline

A young priest speaks out against the Communist regime in Poland and is killed for it.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 October 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Popieluszko See more »

Filming Locations:

France

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The film is based on the true story of Father Jerzy Popieluszko, a Catholic priest and Solidarity supporter who was murdered by agents of the Polish secret police. See more »

Quotes

Father Alek: A government by brute force is not a government.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK theatrical version was heavily cut by 3 minutes and 41 seconds for a '15' rating:
  • [Reel 4] After man escapes with stolen dog in car, remove sight of dog's head trapped in window as it is wound up (to conform with Cinematograph Films [Animals] Act 1937).
  • [Reel 5] In murder of priest in forest, reduce number of blows to his head.
  • [Reel 6] Reduce to minimum necessary to establish plot the sequence in which priest's head is covered with plastic bag before he is thrown into river, removing in particular all close shots of bloody face through plastic.
  • [Reel 6] When captain returns home to wife after committing murder, remove sight of her legs over his shoulders during sex as well as his facial reaction to orgasm (whole scene removed by distributor).
The video release reinstated much of the cut material and was upgraded to an '18' rating, but still removed 21 seconds of footage (replicating the first compulsory cut to animal cruelty). See more »

Soundtracks

The Many Crimes of Cain
Written by Georges Delerue
Performed by Joan Baez
See more »

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User Reviews

picture from past
3 July 2013 | by VincentiuSee all my reviews

it is like a large plate with many dishes. a part can be tasty. but a little part. one of them - the idea to do a film about Jerzy Popieluszko. the second - the performance of Ed Harris. the not inspired part remains the option for Christopher Lambert as legendary priest. he is perfect for a precise sort of characters. this role is out of his circle. the other sin - the desire to present too much, too large. the hero is a symbol and a vulnerable man in a not convincing mixture. the fundamental virtue, more important than errors is the courage to present a slice of resistance from the Communist space. this is the basic role of this film - to say a powerful, touching story about the fight against sick political system. sure, Poland was a special case. but more than a case it was a model for many people from Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria or Yugoslavia. after so many years, it remains a warning and a kind of boomerang. a testimony and picture of evil front to moral victory of sacrifice.


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