This is the version to buy
Graham Kelder | Cambridge, MA USA | 01/03/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For anyone out there looking for a fairly clean copy of this movie -- variously titled "Catholics" and "The Conflict" -- the slim case, digitally remastered version by Digiview is the one to buy. The sound was crisp and free of the annoying pops and distortions heard on other DVD versions of this film. The picture, while not exactly up to high def standards, was the best I've ever seen of this film. The movie itself -- based on Brian Moore's book "Catholics" -- is a parable about the confrontation between tradiiton and modernity in the Roman Catholic Church after Vatican II. The twist is that in this film, which was produced prior to the John Paul II-Ratzinger counter-reformation, the Vatican representative (Sheen) is the progressive seeking to deal with a traditionalist "rebellion" by Irish monks who are celebrating the mass in Latin again for the people. Strong performances by Martin Sheen and Trevor Howard. This is one of my favorite films of all time, and it's nice to have a pretty clean and enjoyable copy of it available on DVD!"
Interesting, but I really don't get it.
J. Michael | Now Born | 08/16/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Perhaps I'd understand it better with an additional viewing, but I don't find this movie important enough to motivate me to that action. There are enough real dramas and battles in the real, present-day Church to keep one's attention for 100 years. However, I would very much like to one day discover the intent of this curious movie.
After a fictional "Vatican IV" further revolutionizes the Church, Martin Sheen (playing an ultra-modern, Marxist-type priest) is sent to remotest Ireland to bring a group of Traditionalist monks into line with the new de-Catholicized Catholic church. The monks are understandably resistant, and there are some interesting exchanges between the revolutionary and the traditionalists, but the Abbot, who privately admits to a lack of faith, eventually orders them to submit to Rome, rather than defy the abomination of desolation. What exactly is the point of this movie? Is it a modernist message, that the Church must acquiesce to the zeitgeist in order to survive and be relevant? Is it a traditionalist message, that the true Faith would thrive were it not undermined by its leaders? Or is there any message at all? Beats me."