Sunday, 15 May 2011

Underrated Films (2)

It is some time since I posted about neglected or underrated films. Here is surely one of the best films ever made about a saint; "The Reluctant Saint". It is available through Ignatius Publishing or on the American Amazon site. I am not sure if the English site carries it. It was made in 1961 and directed by Edward Dymytrik, surely an enigma since he was for some time a member of the Communist party and was put into prison for refusing to give information about others. He soon recanted and named names. He seems to have poked fun at those with faith, but then, strangely, began making VERY religious films. This is one of them. Personally I think it is a masterpiece. The real St. Joseph Cupertino was quite unattractive. Maximilian Schell does a good job of making himself look awkward and unappealing. Most of the incidents in the film are based on fact although the real story is more involved. The scene here is now one of my favourite film scenes.


  1. Now I feel like watching the whole film!

  2. I'll get hold of this.
    Two films which give insight into human nature are:
    Far from the Madding Crowd
    (the irrationality of human emotion)

    Oh What a Lovely War!
    (the sheer waste of lives clinging to a nationalist ideal)

    Also the first TV series of Star Trek can be very profound.

  3. It looks a wonderful film--on the subject of films/books I read recently the story of a monk from Caldey Island--he left and got married, and I need to check the details again, like name and title which I have forgotten. However, I was really really put of the whole situation, and Caldey by the fact that they kept BATTERY hens quite cheerfully in very nasty conditions, for trade, the monks actually being vegetarians.I could not understand the "holiness" of these monks alongside, lets face it, animal cruelty.I don't think they do it any more--I sincerely hope not!

  4. "Far from the Madding Crowd" is one of my favourite books and John Schlesinger made a good attempt at filming it. Some Hardy purists did not like Julie Christie's Bathsheba and there are other elements that seemed out of place, but even with the more accurate BBC remake, the Schlesinger film is much better. Both the characters of Boldwood and Troy are beautifully realised and the camera work is superb. Alan Bates is the perfect Gabriel Oak.

  5. The mad sheep-dog driving the flock over the cliff is one of the most memorable images of all time.

    I can't fault it. Julie Christie admirably conveyed the obsessive nature of attraction, rejecting more worthy men against her better judgement.

    One problem with continuity though. Her hair was darkened to make her more the country girl and less the glamorous blonde but the shade fluctuated noticeably over the months of filming!