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The Cardinal [DVD] [1963]

Tom Tryon , John Huston , Otto Preminger    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Tom Tryon, John Huston, Romy Schneider, Carol Lynley, Dorothy Gish
  • Directors: Otto Preminger
  • Writers: Henry Morton Robinson, Ring Lardner Jr., Robert Dozier
  • Producers: Otto Preminger, Martin C. Schute
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Aventi
  • DVD Release Date: 26 Jun 2004
  • Run Time: 175 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000G8NYIQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 136,901 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Region 2 French import, plays in English without subtitles. The life of a fictional Irish Catholic priest, Stephen Fermoyle, played by Tom Tryon, from his ordination in 1917 to his appointment as a cardinal on the eve of World War II. Fermoyle goes through one crisis after another, first in his own family and then as he climbs up the ladder of the church hierarchy back in his Boston parish and later in Rome within the Vatican. The film touches on various social issues such as interfaith marriage, sex outside of marriage, abortion, racial bigotry, the rise of fascism, and war.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A nostalgic trip 5 Dec 2009
I suppose being a catholic I was drawn to this film because it portrayed many of the old doctrines and beliefs that I grew up with as a boy but have questioned in later life. It is many years since I saw this film on the big screen but it stayed in my mind which is why I decided to buy the Dvd. I found that I enjoyed it as much as when first saw it although perhaps a little more aware now of some of the actors shortcomings but, overall, I have to say I still think it is a good film. It may seem a little long to those not of the catholic faith but I think it did try to give a balanced view in its approach to its religious theme. Production standards were high and, as always, Jerome Moross created a lovely musical background. It was good to see the lovely Romy Schneider again after so many years. She was an underrated actress I feel. The Dvd itself if a first class copy and could have been made yesterday. Recommended
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Missing this one's a cardinal sin! 20 July 2005
By A Customer
This is of its time. Even so, it's a masterpiece. In brief, it's a tale about a man's need to love, and the variety of personages and ways in which he attempts to do so. It's a quiet epic, sometimes overacted, often understated, but one that's worth watching over and again. Inspiring and enlightening by turns, Preminger's film is, simply , superb.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This film seemed daring (though still hagiographic) in its time (when I saw it in a cinema house at the time of its initial release), but it would have been much more shocking if it had revealed the full and at times seemy truth of the life of the high cleric, Cardinal Abp. William Henry O`Connell, whom the movie, and Henry Morton Robinson`s novel on which the screenplay is based, portray (loosely and discretely, avoiding both naming him outright or being too explicit). O`Connell was a prelate of great personal culture (whose musical accomplishments even included the composition of some fine church music) and of glamourously extroverted flair.

Cardinal O`Connell lived a life of flamboyant splendour, but the expenses of his maintenance and retinue (and of some nepotism, too) derived to no small extent from his dips into archdiocesan finances (which were booming, in no small part to his shrewd management, despite the pilfering of funds therefrom for his own extravagant personal and extended family use). Cardinal O`Connell also was a secretive, practising homosexual. Of course, these shocking matters surpass even the titillations of Otto Preminger`s film!

For "the straight skinny" (i.e., to inform yourself) see, above all, James M. O`Toole`s fine study (one of several in book form), "Militant and Triumphant: William Henry O`Connell and the Catholic Church in Boston, 1859-1944" (University of Notre-Dame Press, 1992), which confirms that the identity of the true-life priest turned prelate of the film indeed is Cardinal Abp. O`Connell of Boston. The facts, albeit seemier, are even more fascinating than the fiction concerning this seminal prelatical figure of the Roman Catholic Church in the U. S. of A.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very impressive! 7 Jan 2014
By Adrian Drew TOP 500 REVIEWER
Although this film never received major critical approval on its release and its production history was troubled to say the least ( Preminger's mistreatment of Tom Tryon is both legendary and disgusting) it sure packs a punch today. From such potentially worrying subject matter - faith, and the nature of Catholicism etc - the director has created a moving, honest and totally convincing (considering its Hollywood background and year of production) and very moving portrait of a young man ( Tryon is much better than one has been led to believe) coming to terms with the extraordinary demands of entering the priesthood and the major challenges facing civilisation ( racism and the rise of the Nazi movement during a very turbulent period of world history.)

For me the movie is up there with Zinnerman's "The Nun's Story" and the adaptation of the classic novel "The Razor's Edge", in its attempt to capture the highly complex issue of the nature of faith and human belief, and present it with humanity and conviction. Beautifully shot in locations throughout the world this 3 hour epic receives a terrific audio and video transfer on this rather rare DVD. No - the film won't appeal to everyone, but I found it enjoyable, emotionally engaging, and really rather impressive.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Cardinal fabulous film 18 Mar 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Absolutely love this film and im over the moon as region 1 plays in changed to no region dvd player. I remenber this film when first shown in 1963 a different world to that if today. Its like Life on Mars now only in reverse. It was far superior then and I saw this film as a young lad then. Still as gripping now as it was then and its musical score is fantastic. Its ab epic in its own right and very well acted. Always loved Carol Lynley she is a stunner. Buy this film you will thoroughly enjoy it for years ti come. Its my all time favourite. 10 out of 10
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommendation 26 Nov 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This film is well done and follows the life of a priest (later Cardinal) through the hectic times of the 20th Century, especially before 1970). Given the chaos and dissolution now evident in the Catholic Church, the moral problems of the Cardinal may be remote from any analysis of today's Catholicism, an outgrowth of Vat II. Nevertheless, the Cardinal is faced with some moral dilemmas, e.g., can he permit a late term abortion by his sister (too sick to chose) or not? This problem is quite contemporary.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece
The Cardinal (1963) is one of my favourite films. It restores my faith in human nature when I've momentarily lost it; and it reminds me of how amazing the church is now; and used... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Michael
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of the film "The Cardinal"
I havn't watched it yet, as it has to be played through from my computer.
The reason for my giving it a 5 star rating is because I remembered watching it in the cinema in 1963... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Dr. Michael Pretty
1.0 out of 5 stars the dvd I received is only suitable to operate in ...
the dvd I received is only suitable to operate in usa or Canada so I cannot use it here. I require either a dvd I can use here or a refund
Published 7 months ago by hugh stitt
5.0 out of 5 stars The Cardinal an original story by Henry Morton Robinson
I first saw this film in the early 1960's and was so impressed by it I bought the book. I recently recommended to my daughter and when I found it on amazon I just had to buy it. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Patrick J. Devoy
2.0 out of 5 stars What's the use of going to all this trouble to be Catholic?
The Cardinal is directed by Otto Preminger and adapted to screenplay by Robert Dozier from the novel of the same name written by Henry Morton. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Spike Owen
4.0 out of 5 stars very good
just read the book,wanted to see the film
really enjoyed it,well worth it good value.
obviously a bit dated but would recomend
Published 16 months ago by joseph p perkins
3.0 out of 5 stars Cardinal
Was bought for a present for my mom. She was very disappointed with the quality of the film and there is a BLACK screen halfway through for 2 minutes just says "INTERMISSION". Read more
Published 24 months ago by janey
4.0 out of 5 stars Film Sweepingly Portrays the Libido (Differently Oriented Sexually)...
This film seemed daring (though still hagiographic) in its time (when I saw it in a cinema house at the time of its initial release), but it would have been much more shocking if... Read more
Published on 2 July 2012 by Gerald Parker
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