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The Reluctant Saint

1962 1h 45m Comedy Drama List
Reviews 85% Audience Score Fewer than 50 Ratings
An inept young priest-in-training is declared a saint when he begins floating about the monastery during prayer service. Read More Read Less

Critics Reviews

View All (3) Critics Reviews
Steven D. Greydanus Decent Films Could almost be viewed as a spiritual sequel of sorts, or at least a follow-up, to Rossellini's The Flowers of Saint Francis. Rated: A Jan 8, 2010 Full Review Dwight MacDonald Esquire Magazine [The] only unexpected factor was Maximilian Schell's performance as the saint: such mugging, such "telegraphing" ... It was hard to believe that this was the actor whose performance I had admired in Judgment at Nuremberg. May 9, 2019 Full Review Dennis Schwartz Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews Never boring. Rated: B+ Mar 26, 2007 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (5) audience reviews
Audience Member Enjoyable if not especially illuminating story about a simple minded man, Maximilien Schell, who is taken in by a Franciscan order, who eventually becomes the saint Joseph of Cupertino. The story follows him as a troubled youth living on the street, to him being taken in by the brothers, to later becoming a priest, and eventually performing a miracle by levitating. One priest, the excellent Ricardo Montalban, believes it to be demonic possession, but later accepts that it's divine intervention. Nowhere as good as similarly themed "The Song of Bernadette" or "The Passion of Joan of Arc," but "The Reluctant Saint" does feature strong performances by Schell and Montalban, which makes for a compelling drama. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/31/23 Full Review Audience Member Cupertino, Italy, 1623. The uneven Edward Dmytryk tells the "essential elements" of the story of a man who was considered by everybody around him, including his mother, to be... well... a stupid idiot, but would later be proclaimed a Saint by Pope Clement III on July 16th, 1767. With a proper pace, we witness how, supernaturally, a sequence of events begin to happen in Giuseppe's life that subsequently fit like pieces into the machinery of his future priesthood. Considered by many to be a spiritual follow-up of Rossellini's superior <i>The Flowers of St. Francis</i> (1950), and indeed with a brief reference to the teachings of St. Francis, <i>The Reluctant Saint</i> has, unfortunately, a whole cast speaking English with an "Italian accent" and addressed with sometimes inappropriate comedy touches and a rather unlikeable lead character, despite that his presence is supposed to represent naïveté and saintliness without the need to acquire tons of theoretical and theological knowledge. This is saved, nevertheless, by proper geographic settings and landscapes which have the power to transport us to the 17th-Century Italy. The film also avoids to proclaim itself as the absolute truth, challenging some liturgic fundamentalisms of the Catholic Church proclaiming itself to be "Christian", and even some interesting glimpses of the highest ecclesiastical authorities discussing the confusing "properties" of the Trinity. "The more I study, the more ignorant I realize I am". That's absolutely true. If only the film had explored also this daring horizon more, as it showed itself to be a feature open to metaphysical discussions involving faith rather than taking these "theories" as a given, I would be even recommending a more interesting and underknown American classic. It is not, nevertheless, quite a "classic". 69/100 P.S. Thanks, Nino Rota. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/22/23 Full Review Audience Member Excellent performances of characters who are endearing and situations that are fully realistic. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/05/23 Full Review Audience Member Touching, captivating story with wonderful performance of Maximilian Schell. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/29/23 Full Review Audience Member Touching, captivating story with wonderful performance of Maximilian Schell. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/12/23 Full Review Read all reviews
The Reluctant Saint

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Cast & Crew

Movie Info

Synopsis An inept young priest-in-training is declared a saint when he begins floating about the monastery during prayer service.
Director
Edward Dmytryk
Production Co
Dmytryk-Weiler
Genre
Comedy, Drama
Original Language
English
Release Date (DVD)
May 3, 2011
Runtime
1h 45m