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Priest (1994)

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A homosexual Catholic priest finds out during confessional that a young girl is being sexually abused by her father, and has to decide how to deal with both that secret and his own.

Director:

Antonia Bird

Writer:

Jimmy McGovern
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4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Linus Roache ... Father Greg Pilkington
Tom Wilkinson ... Father Matthew Thomas
Robert Carlyle ... Graham
Cathy Tyson ... Maria Kerrigan
Lesley Sharp ... Mrs. Unsworth
Robert Pugh ... Mr. Unsworth
James Ellis James Ellis ... Father Ellerton
Christine Tremarco Christine Tremarco ... Lisa Unsworth
Paul Barber ... Charlie
Rio Fanning Rio Fanning ... Bishop
Jim R. Coleman Jim R. Coleman ... Funeral director
Bill Dean ... Altar boy
Gilly Coman Gilly Coman ... Ellie Molloy
Fred Pearson ... Patrick
Jimmy Gallagher Jimmy Gallagher ... Mick Molloy
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Storyline

Father Greg Pilkington (Linus Roache) is torn between his call as a conservative Catholic priest and his secret life as a homosexual with a gay lover, frowned upon by the Church. Upon hearing the confession of a young girl of her incestuous father, Greg enters an intensely emotional spiritual struggle deciding between choosing morals over religion and one life over another. Written by Eric Chor <spiritcircle@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One man is about to challenge two thousand years of tradition. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for depiction of mature themes involving sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 March 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Actos privados See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$4,176,932
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR | Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Antonia Bird was forced to cut a whole scene of Linus Roache's bare behind to ensure only an R rating in the USA, instead of a notorious NC-17. See more »

Goofs

Father Greg holds up a communion wafer which is smooth. The scene cuts to Graham and then back to Father Greg, and the wafer has a diagonal line across it. See more »

Quotes

Father Greg Pilkington: [addressing Father Redstone in Latin] Abi et futue te ipsum, sordide senex.
[Translation: Go fuck yourself, you dirty old man]
See more »

Alternate Versions

The US version has been cut by seven minutes. See more »

Connections

Featured in Screen Two: Priest (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

ANYONE WHO HAD A HEART
Words & music by Burt Bacharach/Hal David
Copyright 1963 U.S. Songs Inc.
Copyright 1962 renewed New Hidden Valley Music
for Burt Bacharach/Casa David Music for Hal David
Administered in UK by Carlin Music Corporation
Performed by Dusty Springfield
Courtesy of Polygram Record Operation Ltd. and Warner Special Products
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Journey of Growth and the Heart of Forgiveness
23 August 2005 | by gpadilloSee all my reviews

11 years after its release, I finally got around to watching one of 1994's most controversial films. I don't know what took me so long.

This is the story of Father Greg Pilkington, an idealistic young priest appalled by the liberal-thinking, older priest he shares a congregation with. Clashes and airs of superiority from Father Greg set up, almost calculatedly, his crushing and inevitable fall from grace. Try as he might, Father Greg, pious and as intolerant as ever, cannot suppress his sexuality and takes to the gay bar scene. A casual pick up turns into an affair which in turn becomes a personal and professional disaster as an equally intolerant society pushes him towards wrongful arrest and a verdict of "guilty." Father Greg becomes the object of derision and hatred by the bigoted, close minded community, itself a reflection of all the young priest exhibited in but a show of intolerance and sanctimoniousness.

The real heart of this picture occurs in the confessional when a desperate young girl tells of ongoing sexual abuse at the hands of her father. Eventually, this information becomes a test of faith for Father Greg as he questions his spirituality, the laws of the church and God himself.

During all of this the older priest, Father Matthew, preaches of "the trappings of power" that the Church has saddled itself with - and how the trappings have gotten in the way of the message of God, of love, of tolerance, of patience and compassion. As might be expected, the Church's higher ups have little patience for this sort of talk - and the congregation itself shuns Father Greg turning mass into an explosive show of blind eyed fanaticism.

As Father Greg, Linus Roche gives a searing, searching performance as the young tormented priest. His fall and redemption, the center of the story, comes across with an earnestness that steers clear of sensationalism, despite the loaded message of the movie. Tom Wilkinson, as ever, gives a performance that is as natural and believable - and likable - as anything he's done before or since. (Side note: having waited so long to watch this it's interesting to see these two actors with important roles in this year's new and glorious Batman Begins.) A truly remarkable and emotional film.


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