Father Michael McKinnon goes from the U.K. to Boston circa 1935. For unknown reasons, he avoids at all costs the most prominent parishioners, Arthur and Eleanor Barret. Meanwhile, Eleanor and Arthur desperately want to have a child, but Arthur is sterile, so they hire Harvard law student Roger Martin to impregnate Eleanor, but unfortunately Roger falls in love with her.
The narration of this movie is supposed to be Father McKinnon telling the story to Hannibal Thurman, yet there are parts of the story that Hannibal is in which would certainly not have to be told to Hannibal by McKinnon. If that isn't bad enough, there is a part of the narration (right after Roger agrees to be the surrogate father) that McKinnon says "Hannibal knew that.........." even though it is Hannibal he is talking to. See more »
Father Michael McKinnon:
St. Jude's parish was my first assignment. But it was my last choice. I didn't want to go there. It was a rich parish with good living quarters and a wealth of opportunity. All my friends in seminary envied me... but big religion and big money was the last thing I wanted. But my father's influence in the Church quickly squelched all that... and landed me in Boston. This was my father's way of keeping tabs on me... keeping his hand in the game of controlling my life. They say all is fair in love...
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Kenneth Branagh, as expected, performed very well. What was difficult to absorb as "possible" were the Catholic religious elements depicted. They were wrong and inaccurate. For example, the Mass vestments were not correct. The conversations and characterizations of the pastor and the young priest, for that period of time (Boston in the late 30s, early 40s) were off key, to say the least. The plot was interesting, but the film was too long, and there was too much "symbolism", and the "next move" was always predictable. With such a fine cast, and a great story, the producers and the directors should have taken time to be more accurate and correct about details. Another example of the lack of care was the scene where the young priest is seen administering "Anointing of the Sick" [formerly called "Extreme Unction"] to a corpse about to be buried. This never happens and is actually forbidden in the RC Church. Dead people cannot receive "sacraments." Attention must be paid. Details, details, details. The truth is in the details. However, I did enjoy it. I think most people would find this film interesting and entertaining.
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