Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Cardinal (1963)

Academy Awards, USA 1964

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
John Huston
Best Director
Otto Preminger
Best Cinematography, Color
Leon Shamroy
Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color
Lyle R. Wheeler
Gene Callahan
Best Costume Design, Color
Donald Brooks
Best Film Editing
Louis R. Loeffler

Columbia Pictures
Directed by Otto Preminger
My rating: 2.5 stars out of 4
IMDb Wikipedia
(DVD, Warner Bros.)

Tom Tryon plays a young priest struggling with his new role advising parishioners on matters of life, death and faith. He is sent to a rural New England community to learn humility, but ends up taking care of an elderly and dying priest. He gets transferred to Europe and appears to have a bright future, but instead has a crisis of faith and is given a two year sabbatical to figure it out. He falls in love with one of his students in Germany, but decides he was meant for the priesthood after all. He eventually becomes a Cardinal at the Vatican. The first half of this long story, which takes place in America, is actually a fairly moving story of a struggling young priest. However, it loses its way in the second half with two stories of racism in the South and Nazis in Germany, which seem dated and forced. Tryon's one dimensional performance doesn't help.

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