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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.

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4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Father Greg Pilkington
... Father Matthew Thomas
... Graham
... Maria Kerrigan
... Mrs. Unsworth
... Mr. Unsworth
James Ellis ... Father Ellerton
... Lisa Unsworth
... Charlie
Rio Fanning ... Bishop
Jim R. Coleman ... Funeral director
... Altar boy
Gilly Coman ... Ellie Molloy
... Patrick
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 »

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

24 March 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Actos privados  »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$4,176,932
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Catholic Church in Ireland were very vocal about their views in having the film banned from theatrical distribution. The film censor disagreed and the film was released with an 18 certificate. This marked a major turning point in the relationship between the church and the Irish Film Censor board. 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

Charge Sergeant: [Father Pilkington is being charged with public indecency] Occupation?
[Father Pilkington is too embarrassed to answer]
Charge Sergeant: What's your job?
Father Greg Pilkington: Priest.
Charge Sergeant: Catholic?
Father Greg Pilkington: [quietly] Yes.
Charge Sergeant: [grinning] You little devil!
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Soundtracks

YOU'LL NEVER WALK ALONE
Written by Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II
Published by Williamson Music
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User Reviews

 
Journey of Growth and the Heart of Forgiveness
23 August 2005 | by See 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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