The Shoes of the Fisherman
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Shoes of the Fisherman, The (DVD) A world living in fear of nuclear holocaust . . . A secret meeting totip the global balance of power . . . And one man of faith . . .With aworld poised on the brink of world war, and a humble priest installed inone of the most powerful international positions as a pawn in a plot forgeopolitical domination, can one man find the strength to bring peace tothe earth? Academy Award winner Anthony Quinn (Alexis Zorbas) stars asRussian bishop and political prisoner Kiril Lakota, who is released toRome in a Soviet bid to control the Vatican. Elected Pope Kiril, thisman surprises the Vatican, the Kremlin and the entire world by holdingto his spiritual principles tempered by winters in a Siberiangulag--despite the massive pressure on him from both global powers andthe Church that he heads, principles that lead him to make changes thatwill rock the world.
Shoes of the Fisherman, The (DVD)
A world living in fear of nuclear holocaust . . . A secret meeting totip the global balance of power . . . And one man of faith . . .With aworld poised on the brink of world war, and a humble priest installed inone of the most powerful international positions as a pawn in a plot forgeopolitical domination, can one man find the strength to bring peace tothe earth? Academy Award winner Anthony Quinn (Alexis Zorbas) stars asRussian bishop and political prisoner Kiril Lakota, who is released toRome in a Soviet bid to control the Vatican. Elected Pope Kiril, thisman surprises the Vatican, the Kremlin and the entire world by holdingto his spiritual principles tempered by winters in a Siberiangulag--despite the massive pressure on him from both global powers andthe Church that he heads, principles that lead him to make changes thatwill rock the world.]]>
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- Language : English, Latin
- Product dimensions : 19.69 x 13.97 x 1.27 cm; 71.44 Grams
- Item Model Number : 65174
- Media Format : Closed-captioned, Multiple Formats, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen, Color, Dolby
- Run time : 2 hours and 42 minutes
- Release date : 4 April 2006
- Subtitles: : English, Spanish, French
- Language : English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Unqualified
- Studio : WarnerBrothers
- ASIN : B000E1MXT6
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: 30,643 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- 23,478 in Movies (Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
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This is an adaptation of the bestselling novel "Shoes of the Fisherman", written by Morris West and published in 1963. The film, turned five years later, is very faithful to the book. Action is situated in the 80s and the story begins when an Ukrainian catholic priest, Kiril Lakota, Archbishop of Lvov (Lviv for Ukrainians), is released after spending twenty years in one of Soviet concentration camps. Soviet government "authorises" him then to "leave the country" - which really means that he is expelled and banished from Soviet Union. After reporting to Vatican, he is received by the Pope who welcomes him warmly and creates him Cardinal.
Then, soon after, the old Pope dies and a long conclave begins - when in the same time the tension between China and Soviet Union brings those countries to the edge of war, which risks to inflame the whole planet... As you can see it at on the cover of DVD, Cardinal Lakota will become Pope, to the greatest surprise of the whole world ("It is the Russian! They've elected a Russian Pope"). Most of this pretty long film covers the very eventful, dramatic and even tragic first weeks of his pontificate.
This film contains many treasures. The conclave part is an extraordinary thing to watch, probably the best representation of this unique event ever shown on the screen. Dialogs are of the highest quality. There are also some extremely moving and beautiful scenes.
Anthony Quinn is of course the main star in this show and he proves here once again that he is a real Hollywood giant. Before this film he already played (amongst others) a Greek commando soldier, a French general, a US Marine, a Philippino guerilla, a Spanish conquistador, an American gunfighter, an Inuit hunter, an Arab sheik, and also Kublai Khan, Attila, Barabbas, Gauguin, Osceola, Zapata, Quasimodo and of course he was also Zorba the Greek and he starred in the immortal "La Strada". Here he is simply perfect as a very great and exceptionnally wise Pope...
Two other actors seconded him in the most excellent way. Austrian actor Oskar Werner plays here a brilliant theologian, Father Telemond, who is however going in his reflections very far from the official line of the Church - and he is great in this role. Australian actor Leo McKern (Number Two in "The Prisoner" series) plays the crucially important character of Cardinal Leone and he does even better. Finally, Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud and Vittorio De Sica appear in smaller but significant roles.
Being a Roman-Catholic myself I found the respectful approach to Christian faith and Catholic Church a very pleasant thing and a welcome change from the usual Catholic bashing in most of more recent films. As the title of this review (which is a citation from the film) indicates, living one's faith is a great challenge, priesthood is a life of duty and never stopping service to others - and so becoming Pope is to combine those two things at the highest possible level of difficulty...
This film can also be seen as a quasi prophecy about the election of Pope John Paul II in 1978: he was also coming from the Eastern bloc, his election was a total surprise, he improved the relations of the Church with the Jews and also in many other ways his pontificate was dramatic and very exceptionnal.
If there is one thing that is rather weak in this otherwise great film, it is the description of the crisis which threatens world peace and a very naive vision of both Soviet and Chinese leaderships. Also, the "great solution" the Pope invents at the end is, in my private opinion, an extraordinarily naive and pretty stupid thing... But this is of course matter to discussion.
To conclude, this is a very good, very moving and very powerful film. I enjoyed greatly watching it and I am keeping my DVD preciously. Enjoy!
The film gives a wonderful insight into how a Pope is elected and once elected it shows the limitations on their power. The David Janssen, mistress sub plot, feels completely superfluous to the film and adds very little to the overall story.
This is a great story with the actual events of the 1963 enclave, intermingled with the fictional parts of the film. It is a good story and foreshadows what would happen just a few years later. Although dated and with an unrealistic ending, it is still a good film and well worth watching for its historical storytelling.
This film is a much underrated gem, and Anthony Quinn turns in a sensitive and thoughtful performance. Possibly his best. The supporting cast, including Laurence Olivier, Leo McKern, John Gielgud and David Janssen, all who add colour and shade to the story telling.
I've wanted this film in my collection for years, and I'm delighted to finally get my hands on a copy. Watching it again last night, I enjoyed it even more than I remembered, which is always a good sign for a truly great film. Highly recommended!
Now I could see him, even with Dutch subtitles.
Again like o rocket, very speed delivery.
Thank you very much.