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Pope John Paul II 

Following the premature death of his mother, Karol Wojtyla is brought up by his father in the Polish city of Krakow during the first half of the 20th century. An outstanding student with a ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »




Series cast summary:
Christopher Lee ...  Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski 2 episodes, 2005
Ben Gazzara ...  Cardinal Agostino Casaroli 2 episodes, 2005
Daniele Pecci Daniele Pecci ...  Roman 2 episodes, 2005
Vittoria Belvedere ...  Eva 2 episodes, 2005
Giuliano Gemma ...  Navarro Valls 2 episodes, 2005
Ettore Bassi Ettore Bassi ...  Gapa 2 episodes, 2005
Wenanty Nosul ...  Stanislaw Dziwisz 2 episodes, 2005
Stefano Molinari Stefano Molinari ...  SS Officer 2 episodes, 2005
Valéria Cavalli ...  Teresa 2 episodes, 2005
Bartosz Glogowski Bartosz Glogowski ...  SS Officer 2 episodes, 2005
Chiara Conti Chiara Conti ...  Anna 2 episodes, 2005
Alessandro Demcenko ...  First Young Doctor 2 episodes, 2005
Bianca Nappi Bianca Nappi ...  Vittoria 2 episodes, 2005
Giulietta Revel ...  Halina 2 episodes, 2005
Giovanna Nodari Giovanna Nodari ...  Nurse 2 episodes, 2005
Fabrizio Bucci Fabrizio Bucci ...  Krysztof Zachuta 2 episodes, 2005
Beata Ben Ammar ...  Beate 2 episodes, 2005
Luca Capuano Luca Capuano ...  Jeep Clerk #1 2 episodes, 2005
Andy Luotto Andy Luotto ...  Homeless Man 2 episodes, 2005
Luca Di Prospero Luca Di Prospero ...  Jeep Clerk #2 2 episodes, 2005
Marcin Kuzminski Marcin Kuzminski ...  Mikal 2 episodes, 2005
Allan Caister Pearce Allan Caister Pearce ...  Neurologist 2 episodes, 2005
Robert Gonera ...  Tadeusz 2 episodes, 2005
Maurizio Di Carmine ...  Older Doctor 2 episodes, 2005
Maciej Marczewski ...  Marek 2 episodes, 2005
Michael Fitzpatrick Michael Fitzpatrick ...  Orthopedic Surgeon 2 episodes, 2005
Krzysztof Pieczynski ...  Czerny 2 episodes, 2005
Stefano Venturi Stefano Venturi ...  Parish Priest 2 episodes, 2005
Christopher Good ...  Cardinal Konig 2 episodes, 2005
Guido Roncalli Guido Roncalli ...  Pope's Doctor 2 episodes, 2005
Michele Alhaique ...  Young Waiter 2 episodes, 2005
Krzysztof Janczar ...  Dobry 2 episodes, 2005
Giampiero Rotoli ...  Second Young Doctor 2 episodes, 2005
Juliusz Chrzastowski Juliusz Chrzastowski ...  Jerzy 2 episodes, 2005
Giorgia Porchetti Giorgia Porchetti ...  Woman 2 episodes, 2005
Carlo Sabatini Carlo Sabatini ...  Master of Ceremonies 2 episodes, 2005
Mariusz Sibiga Mariusz Sibiga ...  Dashkov 2 episodes, 2005
Jean Paul Buana Jean Paul Buana ...  African Journalist 2 episodes, 2005
Jacek Lenartowicz ...  Lech Walesa 2 episodes, 2005
Marcus J. Cotterell Marcus J. Cotterell ...  American Journalist 2 episodes, 2005
Giacomo Piperno Giacomo Piperno ...  Cardinal Felici 2 episodes, 2005
Fabrizio Rogano Fabrizio Rogano ...  British Journalist 2 episodes, 2005
Mikolaj Grabowski Mikolaj Grabowski ...  Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger 2 episodes, 2005
Wlodzimierz Chrenkoff Wlodzimierz Chrenkoff ...  Communist Sec. Officer 2 episodes, 2005
Paolo Paolini Paolo Paolini ...  Cardinal Villot 2 episodes, 2005
Dimitri Tamarov Dimitri Tamarov ...  Elderly Cardinal 2 episodes, 2005
Vanni Corbellini Vanni Corbellini ...  Cynical Journalist 2 episodes, 2005
Sergio Nicolai Sergio Nicolai ...  First Cardinal 2 episodes, 2005
Francis Pardeilhan ...  Engineer 2 episodes, 2005
Luis Molteni Luis Molteni ...  Second Cardinal 2 episodes, 2005
Carla Verolo Carla Verolo ...  Eva's Mother 2 episodes, 2005
Roberto Nobile ...  Third Cardinal 2 episodes, 2005
Tadeusz Bradecki ...  Father Kozlowski 2 episodes, 2005
Andrzej Blumenfeld ...  Gierek Edward 2 episodes, 2005
Luca Lombardi Luca Lombardi ...  French Journalist 2 episodes, 2005
Robert Mazurkiewicz Robert Mazurkiewicz ...  Captain 2 episodes, 2005
Edward Zentana Edward Zentana ...  Gestapo Officer 2 episodes, 2005
Pietro Sarubbi ...  José Lopez Portillo 2 episodes, 2005
Zaneta Babik Zaneta Babik ...  Little Girl 2 episodes, 2005
Nicola Pistoia Nicola Pistoia ...  Cardinal De Furstenberg 2 episodes, 2005
Lidia Duda ...  Little Girl's Mother 2 episodes, 2005
Ronald Dudley Grant Ronald Dudley Grant ...  African Cardinal 2 episodes, 2005
Adrian Ochalik Adrian Ochalik ...  Lukash 2 episodes, 2005
Andrzej Zarnecki ...  Prof. Kriek 2 episodes, 2005
Alessandro Zamattio Alessandro Zamattio ...  Gestapo Officer 2 episodes, 2005
Harald Posch ...  Hans Frank 2 episodes, 2005
Mariapia Cassarino Mariapia Cassarino ...  Tyranowski 2 episodes, 2005
Slawomir Sosnierz Slawomir Sosnierz ...  Older Nun 2 episodes, 2005
Alicja Bienicewicz Alicja Bienicewicz ...  Older Nun 2 episodes, 2005
Ewa Zytkiewicz Ewa Zytkiewicz ...  Andrei Gromyko 2 episodes, 2005
Cyrus Elias Cyrus Elias ...  Polish Man 2 episodes, 2005
Maria Bosco Maria Bosco ...  Sister Lucia 2 episodes, 2005
Dominik Nowak Dominik Nowak ...  Crucitti 2 episodes, 2005
Giulio Base ...  Pope Paul VI 2 episodes, 2005
Michele Gammino ...  Leonid Brezhnev 2 episodes, 2005
Eddie Roberts Eddie Roberts ...  SB Roberts 2 episodes, 2005
Slawomir Zapala ...  Seminarian Wiktor Loga / ... 2 episodes, 2005
Fabrizio Jovine ...  Yuri Andropov 2 episodes, 2005
Elisabetta Tucci Elisabetta Tucci ...  Sister Katerina 2 episodes, 2005
Andrzej Szopa Andrzej Szopa ...  Mikhail Gorbachev 2 episodes, 2005
Claudio Spadaro Claudio Spadaro ...  Soviet Leader 2 episodes, 2005
Bruce McGuire Bruce McGuire ...  US Embassy Official 2 episodes, 2005
Ennio Tozzi Ennio Tozzi ...  Theatre Director 2 episodes, 2005
Agneska Popkiewicz Agneska Popkiewicz ...  Screaming Woman 2 episodes, 2005
Wojciech Leonowicz Wojciech Leonowicz ...  Edmund 2 episodes, 2005
Krzys Kremieniecki Krzys Kremieniecki ...  Young Boy 12 Yrs Old 2 episodes, 2005
Izabela Kuna ...  Emilia Wojtylowa 2 episodes, 2005
James Cromwell ...  Cardinal Adam Sapieha 2 episodes, 2005
Cary Elwes ...  Young Karol Wojtyla 2 episodes, 2005
Karlos Granada ...  Spanish Journalist 2 episodes, 2005
Jon Voight ...  Karol Wojtyla / ... 2 episodes, 2005


Following the premature death of his mother, Karol Wojtyla is brought up by his father in the Polish city of Krakow during the first half of the 20th century. An outstanding student with a magnetic personality, he dreams of becoming an actor. When his homeland is invaded by the Nazis in 1939, he and his friends secretly oppose the systematic persecution of their Polish culture. But, with the death of his father and the lacerating solitude which accompanies this loss, Karol's personal "resistance" takes on a new form and he decides to follow a priestly vocation. At the end of the war, Poland falls into the grip of Soviet totalitarianism. The newly ordained Karol is constantly surrounded by young people whom he teaches to safeguard and defend human dignity. He could be considered a serious threat to the regime, but the Communist authorities merely see him as an innocuous intellectual and even encourage his nomination for the position of bishop. Karol Wojtila is the youngest bishop in ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

pope | poland | bishop | church | nazi | See All (28) »


The faith to inspire millions begins with the power of one.


Biography | Drama


See all certifications »


Official Sites:

CBS [United States]


Italy | Poland | USA



Release Date:

4 December 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Vida de João Paulo II See more »

Filming Locations:

Italy See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

PLN 3,250,463 (Poland), 5 March 2006, Limited Release
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (theatrical) | (2 parts) | (4 episodes)

Sound Mix:



Color (Augustus)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Pope Benedict XVI is briefly depicted in this mini-series as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (played by Mikolaj Grabowski). See more »


After Wojtyla accepts the papal election, the cardinals rise and applaud. The camera then pans in towards the new Pope. However, if you look closely, it is actually the mirror image shot from the previous conclave, with John Paul I clearly in the middle of it all instead of John Paul II. See more »

Alternate Versions

The theatrical version of the movie shown in Polish cinemas in 2006 is 60 minutes shorter than the original television cut and is not divided into two parts. The dialogs are dubbed by some popular Polish actors and all opening and final credits are printed in Polish. The final credits are accompanied with a song performed by Polish highlanders during John Paul II's visit to Zakopane in 1997. See more »

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User Reviews

Wonderful TV movie of the formation and life of John Paul II.
7 December 2005 | by TxMikeSee all my reviews

The first half of this TV movie, "Pope John Paul II", was shown on Sunday last. The second part was shown tonight. Certainly Roman Catholics everywhere were interested, but also anyone of any Faith, and even many who don't profess a Faith, I hope found this story fascination. The story of a simple man who found love in his heart and lived a life to help spread that love among all.

Cary Elwes is very believable as the young adult Karol Wojtyla growing up in Poland during the advances of Nazi Germany. He was strongly influenced by his father and the priests and bishops he came in contact with. He was interested in drama, in education, in sports, and had many friends. We see a glimpse of his girlfriend who challenged him to tell her what he wanted out of life, hoping that he would want to become her husband, and father of their children. But the challenges of the times forbid his going in that direction, and later as history has witnessed, he became a priest, studying in secret, in defiance of the German regulations, to fulfill his calling.

The first half ends in the midst of the Conclave of Cardinals to elect a new pope, and young Cardinal Karol is being considered, much to his surprise.

The second half opened where the first left off, and as we know Karol Wojtyla indeed became the new Pope, John Paul II. Cinematically the transition from Elwes to Voight was also a good one. As good as Elwes was as the young adult Wojtyla, Voight was even better, as we would expect from such a seasoned actor. (It may have helped that, as a young man, Voight was educated at Catholic University.)

The whole movie is extremely well done, and shows what a great man and a great spiritual leader Karol Wojtyla became. And, even though we knew they were actors in this movie, the final hours of John Paul II were very touching.

I definitely plan to buy this one once the DVD is out.

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