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 ...
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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
Footage of the real Pope John Paul II (albeit with his face obscured) was used for a few scenes, most notably the televised meeting with former U.S. President Ronald Reagan. See more »
When the newly-elected Pope John Paul II is changing into his white papal cassock, the actor playing the pope switches between Cary Elwes and Jon Voight several times between shots (most likely this scene was filmed twice, once with Elwes and once with Voight, and the scenes were then edited together). See more »
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 »
2005 has been the "Year of The Pope". There have been three TV movies about John Paul II's life this year. I think this one is the best. The one with Thomas Kreutschmann in the title role was too rushed and it tried to cram Karol Wojtyla's life into only 2 hours. This one goes at a more relaxed pace. Cary Elwes, Jon Voight, Ben Gazzara, James Cromwell, Christopher Lee and the rest of the cast are excellent. Voight adopts a perfect Polish accent when he plays Wojtyla as an older man.
I recommend that all religious teachers throughout the world show this movie to their students, whatever their religion may be. John Paul II reached out to people of all faiths, and he was even the first Pope to welcome a visit by the President of Iran!
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