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The Third Miracle (1999)

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The Vatican sends a priest to verify some miracles, performed by a woman who has been nominated for sainthood. During his investigation, the priest, who is experiencing a crisis of faith, re-discovers his own purpose in life.

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(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sofia Polanska ... Young Helena
Pavol Simon ... Helena's Father
Ivan Lukac ... Young Priest
Patrik Minar ... Young German Soldier
... John Leone
Kenny Robinson ... Front Desk Manager
Rony Clanton ... Higgins
... Frank Shore
... Charity Woman
... Bishop Cahill
Susan Henley ... Sister Margaret
Ken James ... Father Paul Panak
Jade Smith ... Young Maria
Monique Mojica ... Sister Mary Catherine
... Brother Gregory
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Storyline

A skeptical Bishop sends a broken priest as Postulator to investigate the possible beatification of a simple, devout woman whose death caused a statue of the Virgin Mary to bleed upon and cure a girl with terminal lupus. The politically weary priest unknowingly embarks on a spiritual journey that rebuilds his shattered faith and life. Written by Jim Norman <jnorman1@qwest.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language, sex-related and violent images, and brief drug use | See all certifications »

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Details

Official Sites:

Sony Pictures Classics

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Release Date:

20 April 2000 (Singapore)  »

Also Known As:

El tercer milagro  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$29,459, 2 January 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$736,592, 21 May 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The German expression "dummes Zeug", uttered by archbishop Werner during the tribunal, means "rubbish". See more »

Goofs

At one point when Frank is reviewing the video of Helen and the children by himself, the children are playing ring-around-the-rosy and Helen is bending down in the middle of them. The shot then fades to a face forward close up shot of Helen just standing there looking at something, but the children are still singing/playing ring-around-the-rosy See more »

Quotes

Frank Shore: You were there, weren't you? What did you see? Did you see the miracIe?
Werner: No, it was an unwise miracIe. Unwise and capricious. To grant the wishes of a gypsy girI, to spare her famiIy when millions... when millions died! Caprice of God! I wouId say it to God if He were in this room. I wouId say it to Him!
Frank Shore: And He isn't in this room?
Werner: Don't debate with me. We are not before that pompous ass Sarrazin.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in I Liza kai oloi oi alloi (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

La forza del destino
Written by Giuseppe Verdi
Performed by Narodowa Orkiestra Symfoniczna Polskiego Radia w Katowicach (as Polish Radio Orchestra)
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User Reviews

Regaining the Faith
12 February 2001 | by See all my reviews

Agnieszka Holland's `The Third Miracle' is similar in many ways to one of its film contemporaries, `Stigmata." Both focus on Catholic priests who check out reports of the supernatural. Both are plagued with doubts about the faith, and as a result drink too much. Their superiors are either corrupt or evil-or both. During the course of their investigations, the priests team up with women who are not believers. They fall in love. At the end the priests and women are somewhat redeemed.

The difference in the films is what the two priests are after. In `Stigmata' it is a force that is killing the woman. In `Third' the priest (played by Ed Harris) investigates the credentials of candidates for sainthood. If he can confirm that the candidate is responsible for three miracles, he can recommend that the person be made a saint.

Harris feels guilty because a recent investigation has led to an entire community losing its faith. As a result, he has become known as `the miracle killer.' But in the course of `The Third Miracle's' plot, which focuses on Harris' investigation of a simple woman in 1979 Chicago, he regains his faith.

Convinced that there have indeed been three miracles, Harris must then argue his case before a church tribunal. A skeptical archbishop who is convinced that such a common American woman should not be granted sainthood opposes him.

The climax of the film is predictable-the average moviegoer should be able to see it soon after the archbishop is introduced. Unfortunately, the movie tacks on an ambiguous ending that leaves us wondering if the priest and woman's redemption aren't the true miracles.

The film raises a final question: Has Ed Harris ever given a bad performance, or even had a bad scene? He is assisted here by two fine other actors, Anne Heche and Armin Mueller-Stahl.


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