Search - Romero on DVD

Actors: Raul Julia, Richard Jordan, Ana Alicia, Eddie Velez, Alejandro Bracho
Director: John Duigan
Genres: Drama, Military & War
PG-13     2000     1hr 42min


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Movie Details

Actors: Raul Julia, Richard Jordan, Ana Alicia, Eddie Velez, Alejandro Bracho
Director: John Duigan
Creators: Geoff Burton, Ellwood Kieser, John Sacret Young, Lawrence Mortorff, Lewis Abel, Michael Ray Rhodes
Genres: Drama, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Drama, Military & War
Studio: Lions Gate
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 09/26/2000
Original Release Date: 08/25/1989
Theatrical Release Date: 08/25/1989
Release Year: 2000
Run Time: 1hr 42min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English, Spanish
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Movie Reviews

Good story of a good great man
A. Hogan | Brooklyn, NY USA | 03/16/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Oscar Arnulfo romero,reluctant martyr and hero will one day be officially canonized a saint. In much of central and Latin America he is monsingnor romero,the one and only true hero that el salvador has ever known. This movie produced by the late lamented Fr. Ellwood keiser{known as the hollywood priest for his ability to get big name stars to work for scale},was under obvious budget constraints.This might be the most catholic movie I have ever seen,though many would not view it as such. It tells the story of Romero, a quiet bishop, who, as a compromise,is elevated to be archbishop of San Salvador{the equivalant of cardinal of new york 50 years ago]. The eight familes{the name given to the oligarchy that ran[runs] the country} celebrated. here was a man they could manipulate,who would bless the armed forces,condemn the "radical elements$Q,and restore the status quo. All was well save for one thing:Romero changed. His friend{and "radical element"} fr Rutillio Grande{wwonderfully played by the late Richard Jordan}was asassinated along with a poor farmer and a young boy.From then on,and early in this movie, Romero becomes transformed.All seven sacraments are portrayed in this film{trivia,perhaps, though they work seamlessly} Romero trudges foward,though it becomes apparent to all what his ending will be. Raul Julia is simply wonderful as Romero{wearing a pair of the archbishops actual glasses] Tony Plena is ,as always, superb, as a tortured priest{interesting, in America a conscience striken portrayal of a cleric is always sexual}Harold Gould is fine as a member of the"eight families". As fine as this movie is, i was left wanting more. This is an excellent portrayal of what can only be descrbed as a saint."
Powerful Story of Conversion to the Poor
Elderbear | Loma Linda, Aztlan | 05/04/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Oscar Romero, Archbishop of El Salvador, had the courage to live the teaching of Jesus, even though this meant alienating the rich and powerful who oppressed, tortured, murdered, and defrauded the poor of that nation. He stood in the pulpit of the national cathedral and urged soldiers to obey their Lord and disobey commands of oppression. He paid for this, taking a bullet to the heart while blessing the wine during mass.This movie portrays the story of a quiet, bookish man who stood in the gap between the machine of dehumanizing globalization and the children of Jesus. We watch him wrestle with discovering an authentic Christian response to the injustices and oppression prevalent in El Salvador. We see him reprimand all those who would practice violence, whether as military authority, rebels, or institutionalized violence that robs people of their humanity and ability to feed their families.The movie was filmed in Mexico, not Hollywood. Raul Julia deserved an Oscar for his performance as Romero. Mexican extras bring a feeling of authenticity that could not have been realized in Hollywood. The telling manages to avoid most of the "splatter" depictions of violence that most box office draws include, and by so doing, makes the violence even more heinous.This is a powerful story, whether you are Christian or Pagan, Marxist or Capitalist. It is superbly told. This is the story of a person finding his authentic place in the midst of a struggle for justice.(If you'd like to discuss this review or video in more depth, please click on the "about me" link above and drop me an email. Thanks!)"
Patrick Hubbell | Victoria, TX | 02/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The most unlikely of heroes, Romero, with owlish glasses and demeanor, is reluctantly thrust into a role much like Thomas More almost five centuries earlier.

20th century El Salvador, like 16th century England, is enduring bloodshed and havoc. Insurgent Communist rebels compete with paramilitary squads and the oligarchy for control of the tiny Central American nation. Priests and the flock they lead are caught in the middle. Those who cry for justice are photographed and marked for extinction because they speak the language of Marxism.

Archbishop Romero recognizes that Marxists and the ruling oligarchy are merely obverse sides of the same coin-- ideologies who rule by force contrary to the the rule of God.

He is equally harsh with Communist sympathizers as he is with the paramilitary squads who rape, torture and execute advocates of justice and human rights.

Like a nail driven into wood, Romero meets each new situation, bewildered at first, but rising to the occasion with increasing faith, anger and determination.

In one scene, he arrives at a church which has been turned into an army barracks. He announces that he has come to remove the Blessed Sacrament. A belligerent soldier responds by unloading a round of bullets into the tabernacle and shatters the crucifix hanging above the altar. Romero stands transfixed, astonished at the utter desecration, then leaves. He pauses outside where a crowd has gathered, unsure as he himself is what he will do next.

Suddenly, collecting his courage, he wheels around. He brushes past the insolent soldier and stoops to gather the consecrated wafers in trembling hands. The soldier fires another round above Romero's head. Undeterred by the gunfire, the intimidation, and the soldier who shoves Romero with his boot, he completes his work then exits.

But he isn't finished. He returns yet again to restore the church to its rightful owner--the people of God. The soldiers in their turn stare blandly at the audacity of this meek soldier of God who dares to stand up to their jackbooted authority and in his turn expel evil.

Archbishop Romero fights every battle his Redeemer once fought: the apathy of the elite, the treachery of those in power, and betrayal within his own ranks. One of his own priests reveals that he carries a weapon. Romero angrily and loudly denounces him because "You lose God just as the others have!" Another parishioner denounces Romero for betraying their class by "forcing" her baby to be baptized along with "all those indians."

This video should stand next to A Man For All Seasons. Raul Julia, like Paul Scofield, has memorably portrayed one of the Church's most celebrated martyrs."
A must see video.......
Rolltide | Columbia, Tn | 03/27/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is not the type of video you rent for a one time viewing, you have to own it so you can watch it several times and share with friends. The story is simple. A scholarly, non political priest is surprisingly named the arch bishop of el salvador("A nice compromise choice"). Eventually he realizes that he must take a stand against this violence and oppression, as a result he is loved by the salvadoran people and it also leads to his assasination. One must understand the political situation to better appreciate this movie. El salvador was on the brink of civil war and the sandanista takeover in nicaragua brought panic to the military and wealthy landholders as they feared the same thing happening in el salvador. It was only with the military assistance from the united states that kept el salvador from falling to revolutionaries. What makes this movie so special is that it goes beyond the superficial political issue of that time of whether the US should be aiding the military. It's mans inhumanity to man and it is all our responsibility to fight against it. Romero is against all violence including that initiated by the revolutionaries. This movie is powerful and violent. It has to be violent to tell the story but what is depicted in this movie is mild compared to what really happened there. The quality of the production is mediocre and it's obviously a low budget affair. Many of the same extras and tertiary characters appear regardless of where the scene supposedly takes place(aquilares or san salvador). The acting is solid but not spectacular. It is raul julia's romero who steals the show with an oscar caliber performance. The fact that the movie was produced by a religious order of the catholic church(the paulists) is a plus. The most moving scene is when romero and the people of aquilares take back the local cathedral from the military by courageously walking into the church and beginning a mass. The people got the courage to do this when romero risks his life to gather the blessed sacrament(consecrated communion hosts) from the church alter. Another powerful moment is when like jesus in the garden of gethsemene, romero painfully prays at the grave of his fallen friend contemplating his imminent death. "Take me i'm yours" he says. I doubt if such scenes would ever make their way into a hollywood production but they should because romero was a catholic bishop. There is also a paternalistic view that the church alone can help these people which is something of a negative. There is also an attempt to demonstrate all the various views of the situation. In addition to the church, the military and the guerillas one sees the views of the aristocracy, the government and the indifferent. Violence affects all in this film not just the poor or the church. That's not the case in other films about this period like oliver stone's "salvador" which goes so far as to depict the guerillas as if they were freedom fighting hippies.Over all this is a great movie. I would recommend it to any adult but catholics especially will find it moving....................socks"