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on 26 July 2017
I saw this film when it first came out and it always stayed in my memory. Lovely to now own it after all these years. Several story lines all bought together skillfully and an insight into the Roman Catholic Church (as it then was). The quality of the DVD was much better than I expected. It's not wide screen but is 4 x 3 format. After adjusting the 'menu' I ended up with the orginal english soundtrack but with french subtitles, but this Church of England verger can live with that.
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on 8 November 2015
The film of my second favourite book. First impression is that life in the Vatican has changed little. Loved it back in the day but the pace of life has quickened considerably so there are times when the slowness of this film really jars. But... for a rainy afternoon or if you're struck down with the flu - this is your film.
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on 24 June 2017
I enjoyed it 24.6.17 when it was shown on Danish Television.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 7 January 2014
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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on 5 December 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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on 20 July 2005
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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on 21 September 2012
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.

Nonethess, on its own terms, the film is highly enjoyable, however much it romanticises Church life and its inner workings. There was a time when the Catholic Church merited the respectful homage that "The Cardinal", book and film, rendered to it, before the indignities and degradation of what ensued upon the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council. Those chages were to diminish drastically the life, inwardly spiritual and outwardly institutional and liturgical, of post-conciliar and trivialised Catholicism. Seeing this film, putting aside the personal shallowness of the real Cardinal O`Connell and of his careerist ilk, reminds the viewer of how much the world has lost with the regrettable developments and decline that so have diminished present-day Western Catholicism in ways far more detrimental to it than anything that the real Cardinal O`Connell of history could do to subvert it. There was a time, indeed, when the Roman Catholic Church had, to a large degree, the kind of moral grandeur and vibrant collective life and piety that the Cardinal, other clergy, and the faithful laity portrayed in this film call to memory so effectively.
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on 26 November 2013
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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on 3 August 2015
I have had the DVD of the Cardinal for a number of years and enjoyed the story.,the copy I have was distributed by Warner Bros,and was remastered..This new Blu_Ray edition is very clear and his an upgrade on the DVD,so i would Recommend that all you move buffs purchase this new Blu-Ray of this classic movie.

Ken Barrett
Mooroolbark Vic
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on 29 June 2015
So pleased to have found this particular d.v.d saw the film when it came out a story which I never forgot so seeing it again convinced me that it was a truly memorable film and Tom Tryon a very talented actor.
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