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4.7 out of 5 stars181
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 19 August 2001
This is the story of a catholic monsignor (Hugh O'Flaherty) who risks his life and jepordises the Vatican in his battle to hide escaped POWs in Nazi occupied Rome.
Based on a true story, this film shows the dedication and courage of one man to do what he believes is right - no matter what!
Gregory Peck gives a fantastic performance as the feisty Irish Monsignor, as does Christopher Plummer as Colonel Herbert Kappler the Nazi officer who is obsessed with the capture of O'Flaherty. John Gielgud also gives a brilliant and moving performance as his holiness the Pope.
Based on the novel, The Scarlet Pimpernal of the Vatican because of the many disguises O'Flaherty undertook to evade his hunters, this is a gritty and thoroughly enjoyable film which keeps you on the edge of your seat until the final scene.
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on 24 February 2010
This movie gives an overview of the important and dangerous work that Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty took upon himself during the German Occupation of Rome during World War II. The monsignor, portrayed outstandingly by Gregory Peck, devotes his ingenuity, contacts and time to hiding refugees and escaped allied prisoners of war (POWs). The underground network he built using religious houses, neutral embassies and the local residents was instrumental in assisting keeping thousands of people alive.

His nemesis was the Gestapo Colonel Kapple who is played impeccably by Christopher Plummer. Even though the monsignor had diplomatic immunity the pressures brought to bear on the Colonel demanded he stop all underground activity and gives orders to kill the monsignor on sight when ever he was found outside of the Vatican grounds.

`The Scarlet and the Black' shows us this historical story with a flow of non-stop suspense and excitement. History is brought alive in such a way that you wish to continue to learn more. As an extra bonus the film is filmed on location in Rome where this game of life and death was played out. There is no question that the monsignor deserved the awards the various countries awarded him, but even more important you see that even with all that he lived through and witnessed he lived the Catholic principles he espoused.

Please note that even if you are just a World War II movie buff this movie should be on your must watch list!
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on 3 July 2003
This is the story of a catholic monsignor (Hugh O'Flaherty) who risks his life and jepordises the Vatican in his battle to hide escaped POWs in Nazi occupied Rome.
Based on a true story, this film shows the dedication and courage of one man to do what he believes is right - no matter what!
Gregory Peck gives a fantastic performance as the feisty Irish Monsignor, as does Christopher Plummer as Colonel Herbert Kappler the Nazi officer who is obsessed with the capture of O'Flaherty, Kappler cannot arrest him as o'flaherty is a high ranking official in the vatican. Kappler tries to catch O'Flaherty hiding POWs so that he can arrest him. O'Flaherty is badgering kappler until breaking point, evading his hunters in this gritty and thoroughly enjoyable film which keeps you on the edge of your seat until the final scene.
Sir John Gielgud also gives a brilliant and moving performance as his holiness the Pope trying to be neutral and also guiding o'flaherty.
Based on the novel, The Scarlet Pimpernal of the Vatican
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on 5 November 2003
This is a wonderful film full of hope and encouragement that fills your heart with frequent moments of joy. Gregory Peck gives a superb acting as an Irish Mons. Hugh O'Flahrety trying in a most diplomatic manner to tackle the German Col. Kappler. I wholeheartedly promote this film, I saw this film more then fifty times and the more I see it the more I find myself learning something new. I ordered my DVD copy so to treasure it forever, I hope the transfer to DVD was done in a professional way, for such fascinating acting a professional DVD is an asset. When we watch this great movie let us keep in mind Greogory whom we lost as a great actor but for surely his films will remain with us forever.
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on 13 July 2003
If ever there was a film of cat and mouse (Tom and Jerry in the flesh) then this one surly is hard to better. Set in Rome; the Vatican, during WW 11 Christopher Plummer plays the part of a German Officer who come Hell or high water is out to show that anyone who crosses him will pay the ultimate price; and that will include even a priest, Gregory Peck. What it does show is that Man can rise above circumstances and ultimately effect the lives of others, for good; all be it an upward and sometimes painful task. I saw this film in 1983 and even today it’s message has something to say.
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on 13 January 2008
Whatever your religion, or even if you do not have a religion, you should watch this film and learn from it. It portrays the dedication of one man Mon. Hugh O'Flahrety, a Vatican priest, during the occupation of Rome in the second World War by the Nazi regime.His compassion to those terrified by the German army, inspires him to organise escape routes to the free world, not only of allied personnel, but ordinary Italians persecuted by the Nazi authorities. With the help of many loyal compatriots opposed to the raviges of war, he successfully outwits the German Authorities time and time again, despite frightening threats to his own life and the neutrality of the Vatican itself.
Made in 1983, take no notice of that- the film is timeless. In these troubled times one should take heart and find real inspiration in one mans love of Justice, Humanity, and his own Humility in the site of God.
Based upon a true story, it is one film that should be watched by the whole family.
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on 2 October 2011
Very good interpretation by both protagonists. Based on a true story. A great film even with some humour despite the subject.
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on 19 April 2010
Got this movie a while ago now, very moving story, brilliantly acted by one of my favourites, Gregory Peck, made all the more fascinating as it's a true story. Would highly recommend it - AND it arrived promptly, and well packaged!! Thank you!!

maggiesoup. xx
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This is an awe-inspiring timeless classic. I love this movie in more ways than one. It is not only based on a true story, it is one that fills you with courage, hope and a sense of triumph. Set in Rome in 1943, during the German occupation , it tells the story of the courageous Irish priest - Monsignor Hugh O' Flaherty (played by Gregory Peck), who defied all threats (death, capture, imprisonment) by the Nazis especially the Chief Gestapo officer Col Herbert Kappler(played by Christopher Plummer) to save many allied POWs. He put in every resource at his disposal in hiding these escapees. The Vatican was diplomatically immune form the German occupation, because of this, Kappler and his men could not touch the monsignor, but when Kappler uncovers proof of O'Flaherty's involvement he orders that he be killed or arrested if seen outside the Vatican walls. O'Flaherty became more ingenious in devising ways to carry out his task - he wore many disguises, - a true reflection of the title - `The Scarlet pimpernel of the Vatican' (the book on which the movie is based). What I like best about this movie is that the good guys were always wining and outsmarting the bad guys and not just the triumph of good over evil in the end. The priest gave the Nazis a run for their money. Gregory Peck and Christopher Plummer are both screen legends and they gave life to these characters in a way that only such icons could. John Gielgud also stares as the Pope. Reflecting on the overall suffering and horror of the 2nd world war, this movie goes a long way in restoring hope and confidence in the power of goodness, courage and forgiveness. The Monsignor had all of this and more. His goodness knew no bounds, neither did he judge others. In the end even Kappler approached him for help and he gave it unreservedly. This movie is very inspiring and is one that you will watch over and over again. I am just glad that it is on DVD for all time.
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on 3 June 2014
The role of the Vatican during WWII remains even today somewhat controversial - despite all that has been said and the inevitable confusion caused by none of us actually having been present there during the events portrayed, this film is thankfully sure of foot and has deftly stepped between opposing factions to portry a true story in a credible light.

Gregory Peck plays an individual that obeys his conscience over the orders of his Church superiors and the occupying Germans, which at times exposes him to great personal dangers. Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty is shown as a man of great integrity, courage and intelligence. You might not like the Vatican or it's members, the Third Reich, or even Gregory Peck, yet to observe a man of dignity conducting himself so calmly and even-handedly is to my mind precisely where religion was meant to lead us.

The ending is emotional and (dare I say it) an example of real love ? It brought to my mind the ending of the battle of Malta and the subsequent position of the Italian Navy. American Police cars used to have 'To Serve And Protect' emblazoned upon the bodywork, I couldn't put it better.
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