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The life of St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226) as related by followers who gather after his death to tell stories so that Leone can record them: a privileged and virile youth, a prisoner of war, an heir who turns away from his father and gives all to the poor, a beggar for others, and an inspiration to friends who accept the Gospels' life of poverty. He seeks the Pope's blessing, and he endures persecution at the hands of the family of Chiara Offreduccio (1194-1253), who becomes St. Clare. Many join the order he has established and then rebel at his expectations. In near despair - and ill - he writes a Rule to take to the Pope; then, the Lord sends him a message. He dies smiling.Written by
Imagine the casting conferences they had for this movie.
"OK, who will be our Saint Francis of Assisi, humble servant of god, pacifist, mystic, lover of the poor and diseased, and symbol of the harmony between man and nature"
"Well, JB, we need an actor who is glowing with compassion, who is self-effacing and asexual, and whose eyes reflect a constant inner peace as well as a deep spirituality"
"I have it. I have our man. Let me just throw this out to the crowd. Mickey Rourke"
No more review needed. Mickey Rourke as St Francis of Assisi.
That says it all.
To the movie's credit, it was about the 1200's, not about the 1960's like Zefferelli's version, and it was a reasonable (if boring) speculation of what this great legend might really have been like as a man. With Robin Williams or Edward Norton in the role, this might be a pretty good flick.
I'll tell you one thing - Rourke has several nude or shirtless scenes, and I learned that St Francis had some pretty good pecs on 'im. I guess he was probably our most buff saint.
Mickey Rourke? What were they thinking? Possibly the worst casting of all time. The only contender that springs to mind is John Wayne as Genghis Kahn in "The Conqueror"
You have to rent this movie just to see a couple minutes of Mick full of beatific grace. Yup, he was full of it all right.
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