Youthful pride. Yearnings of the flesh. Moments of doubt. The courage of conviction. All enter into a dedicated American's decades-long rise from priesthood to the leadership elite of the College of Cardinals. Otto Preming... more »er presents The Cardinal, winner of a Golden Globe Best Picture Award and nominated for six 1963 Academy Awards, including Best Director. Typical of Preminger's films, The Cardinal is packed with stars and issues. Tom Tryon, Carol Lynley, Ossie Davis, Burgess Meredith and Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominee and Golden Globe winner John Huston are players in a rich storyline embracing interfaith marriage, abortion, racism and war.« less
"Otto Preminger was never a director to shy away from controversy. To decide to film Henry Morton Robinson's novel was a stroke of genius. Here is an intelligent movie whose subjects are controversial even today: abortion, racism in America, the Catholic Church's complicity in the rise of Nazism and the challenge of celibacy in today's church. In addition, the story covers the true nature of faith, service and self-sacrifice. The questions posed and answers presented are not easy just like real life. The acting is fine, the photography is beautiful, the music is inspiring and, of course, the direction is impeccable. While Mr. Preminger was never an easy director to work with, especially on this film, the results of his work are always an excellent credit to the actors and the crew. This is definitely one of his best films and one of my favorite films of all time. As one of the other reviewers mentioned, you will not forget this movie. I cannot understand why this film has almost disappeared from sight."
One of the best films I have ever seen in my life
clare hynes-pope | Bronx, NY | 12/01/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first saw The Cardinal at the movies in New York in 1964, and I thought about it for a long time afterwards. This film dealt with historical, religious, and psychological issues which are still controversial in the present day. One of the most powerful, psychological parts of the story was the priest who had really not accommplished, to all outward appearances, very much in his priestly life. However, this priest with his prayerfulness, and humility in some French Canadian fishing village in Massachusetts had a powerful impact on Father Fermoyle, and Fermmoyle's pastor who worked directly with the archbishop of Boston. The Fermoyle family were so well presented that I came away feeling as though I knew each one of them personally and as friends of mine. There was the realistic approach because the Fermoyles, a staunch Boston Irish Catholic family were not presented as holier than thous, but as human beings with their faults and problems. The way that Mona Fermoyle's birth of the baby was dealt with is still a large concern in our society today. It is 35 years since I first saw this film, but I remember each and every part of it as if I had only seen it yesterday. Oh, yes my plans are to buy this video, and watch it frequeently, and each time that I watch it, I can see it from a different perspective such as abortion, religious prejudice initiated by the KuKluxKlan, politics within the Catholic Church, and the onset of Nazi invasion in Europe just prior to WWII. I also hope that I will be to share this movie with my family and close friends."
An underrated classic from Otto Preminger
gobirds2 | New England | 11/10/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Cardinal" is an excellent film for Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Tom Tryon is perfectly cast as Father Stephen Fermoyle, an Irish-American priest who rises from meager beginnings to the College of Cardinals. Tryon's performance is one of conviction of a man repeatedly put to the test of his own religious convictions. Preminger uses the images on the screen and composer Jerome Moross' effective score to convey the inner turmoil of the stoic Tryon. The film is long and very episodic but is all held together again thanks to Tryon's performance. Raf Vallone is excellent as Cardinal Quarenghi, Fermoyle's mentor. Murray Hamilton also gives a fine performance as Lafe, a bigot with a conscience."
Priceless liturgical history
David P. Kubiak | 11/03/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The dramatic defects of this film are well known; my rating is based on its completely accurate treatment of Catholic liturgical forms before the Second Vatican Council -- uniquely correct in my experience with Catholic-based movies. It was filmed just in time, in 1963, the last year before major changes in liturgy made it increasingly difficult to recreate accurately the older traditions. And Preminger took the trouble to be precise even with things that had disappeared earlier, like the train of the prelatial choir cassock, which was abolished in 1952, but is historically correct for the period of the film. All the vesture is right, and the two scenes of Stephen's ordination to the priesthood and consecration as a bishop are flawless reproductions of the rubrics then in force.Despite the weakness of its dramatic effects to a contemporary audience, this film should certainly be in the library of anyone who has an interest in the ceremonial traditions of the Catholic Church."
Marilyn Collins | New Bedford, Ma | 04/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Cardinal is an excellent story of the early times in the church. It is nicely done and portrays the very difficult life of a priest who becomes a Cardinal and all the struggles he had to overcome. It is an excellent movie."