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Monsignor

2.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Christopher Reeve, Geneviève Bujold, Fernando Rey, Jason Miller, Joe Cortese
  • Directors: Frank Perry
  • Writers: Abraham Polonsky, Jack-Alain Léger, Wendell Mayes
  • Producers: David Niven Jr., Frank Yablans, Kurt Neumann
  • Format: Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Shout Factory
  • Release Date: Jan. 31 2012
  • Run Time: 121 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B005TMGY86
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #46,796 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Monsignor

Customer Reviews

2.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

The plot of this movie is excellent and meaningful. It takes us behind the golden façades of the Vatican's walls and makes us take a plunge into its controversial policies and hipocritical acts. The only thing that ruins the plot is a love story of the main character à la "Torn Birds", which is meant as a "reminder" to us, that even priests have a heart (well, we know already). For the rest, the movie is flawless, and follows a very sinister path that at times crosses into true facts, which unfortunately, did happen. Christopher Reeve plays convincingly. Absolutely not recommended for those who "believe" in the Church. For all the others, it is a worthy insight into the machineries of power and corruption, even among the Holy Walls. To you, the final judgment...
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Christopher Reeve's best work, with an exception of Superman 1-2 and Somewhere in time...
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This is a horrible horrible movie. I saw it at the theatre, and I spent the entire long horrible process laughing at it. In fact, the entire theatre (except for the woman sitting next to me) was laughing and hurling out comments (It was like being on Mystery Science Theatre!).
This movie was supposed to be controversial, but it was laughable, horribly written and horribly acted. When Reeve deadpanned "I only have an hour" as he an his nun girlfriend prepared to get cosy (Right across from the Vatican), the entire theatre (save one) burst into laughter, and a man at the back of the theatre yelled out "He's faster than a speeding bullet."
I enjoyed the experience of seeing this in a theatre because we all had such fun laughing at this movie (Similarly to Starship Troopers), but I would NEVER want to own this movie. What a waste of money.
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By A Customer on June 14 1999
Horrible. Do not waste your time or money
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa4c4a210) out of 5 stars 47 reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa43275d0) out of 5 stars Underrated Film March 14 2005
By R. Shaw - Published on Amazon.com
It's amazing to me to read such widely opposing comments about this film. Mostly ignored, this film has perhaps a storyline that's rather difficult to believe, but many problems in Christiandom read more like fiction than fact in real life. Some Catholics may be offended by the film.

The movie starts out as a young Christopher Reeves, then a chaplin, has to make a choice as the Nazi troups close in, whether to open fire or not, as one of his soldiers dies of a bullet wound. Reeves ends up in the Vatican and through an unusual set of circumstances, relieves the church of its financial woes during WWII by selling Vatican supplies through the black market. He is befriended by a Cardinal, (Fernando Rey) whose performance in this film was perhaps the best of all the cast. Reeves ends up having an affair with the lovely Genevieve Bujold, their first encounter romantic, yet painful. The story continues with Reeves becoming involved in high finance as a bank manager for the Vatican, taking the blame for a multi-million dollar scandal brought on by a rogue mafia operative.

The film has been criticized for its fanciful plot, but at least we're not dealing with a child molestation, but a priest making very difficult choices while other priests are quick to condemn. It is a story of sin and redeption. Beautiful score by John Williams.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa432990c) out of 5 stars Despite bad reviews, a great movie! Jan. 4 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I generally only like movies which movie critics think are exceptional movies, but this movie is an exception. The critics and many people really trashed this movie, many because it is so anti-catholic. Don't be put off by the bad reviews. I think Chris Reeves has a great performance in this movie.
21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa432f834) out of 5 stars Another misunderstood movie, worth to be re-evaluated Nov. 4 1999
By Patrick Selitrenny - Published on Amazon.com
The plot of this movie is excellent and meaningful. It takes us behind the golden façades of the Vatican's walls and makes us take a plunge into its controversial policies and hipocritical acts. The only thing that ruins the plot is a love story of the main character à la "Torn Birds", which is meant as a "reminder" to us, that even priests have a heart (well, we know already). For the rest, the movie is flawless, and follows a very sinister path that at times crosses into true facts, which unfortunately, did happen. Christopher Reeve plays convincingly. Absolutely not recommended for those who "believe" in the Church. For all the others, it is a worthy insight into the machineries of power and corruption, even among the Holy Walls. To you, the final judgment...
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4327354) out of 5 stars Chris Reeve - Monsignor March 27 2006
By D. S. HARDEN - Published on Amazon.com
I too, found the story to be very far-fetched, 'til I read an article in the Los Angeles Times concerning the American Cardinal that was in charge of the Vatican Bank concerning some 'slight' irregularities of one (financial) type or another. Interesting timing?

My ultimate view of the movie is that it was a love story. The love that a man had for his church and for his girl. Never mind that the girl was a nun-in-training.

For me, the confrontation scene in the church just messed with my head - that is - I could actually 'feel' Monsignor Flaherty's agony. Don't get me wrong, people in the theatre actually laughed, but there was nothing even remotely funny about 'being caught' like that, and the ramifications should have been nothing less than catastrophic for him.

For those who termed the movie Campy, Cheesy or whatever other adjectives you may choose to describe this movie, I say get yourself a copy and see for yourself. Oh, and the acting was actually decent! Three stars for the film! R.I.P. Mr. & Mrs. Chris Reeve!!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4329900) out of 5 stars Excellent Movie!!! July 7 2012
By KRob - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
When it comes to reviews and individual taste, it makes sense for there to be varying opinions; therefore, I can only offer my thoughts while trying to make them as unbiased as possible. There has not, in my opinion, been a detailed précis of the film that will adequately inform people of the storyline. It is my hope to provide one. However, it should be noted that I absolutely love this movie, and have ever since I first saw it around the age of 13. I have literally worn my VHS copy out, and have been waiting with bated breath for it to be released on DVD. Having my bias regarding the film stated, let's begin the plot synopsis (WARNING!!!!! Spoiler alert!).

This movie always struck me as a "darker" version of the 1963 Academy-Award winning classic, The Cardinal; and has elements that will appeal to those who enjoyed Mario Puzo's, The Godfather. Though it is NOT based on a true story, the film does bring to light several issues that have the potential of offending those with Roman Catholic sensibilities, but - as I suggest - it doesn't have to. The story begins with the ordination of a young New York priest, Father John Flaherty (Reeve), who decides to act as an army chaplain during WWII. Before leaving for the frontline, the audience learns that Flaherty is the favorite of a powerful New York bishop, and best friends with a man - Varese (Cortese) - married into a mafia family (more on that to follow). In the heat of battle, and after hearing the faithless comments of a dying soldier, Flaherty opens fire on an approaching German contingent, allowing a counter-attack to take place. News of his actions and bravery reach Rome, along with recommendations from his supportive New York bishop, and Father Flaherty is called to the Vatican to exercise his skills in economics (we learn that his non-ecclesiastical degree was in finance) as a junior officer within the Vatican's financial department. Along the way, Father Flaherty earns the trust and friendship of Cardinal-Secretary Santoni (Rey), "the next important man after the Pope."

Shortly after being appointed a mere junior advisor, Flaherty discovers that the war has plunged the Church into dire financial troubles, and he is also fortuitously reconnected in Rome with his childhood friend, Varese (recently decorated by the United States Army for outstanding service). Varese, due to his mob affiliation in New York, has been appointed the underling of a powerful don in Italy. His business is to oversee the running of mafia-based black-market operations in Rome. Knowledge of this gives Flaherty an idea that will rescue the Church from its economic depression. He proposes to Cardinal Santoni that he should be placed in-charge of the Vatican commissary so that he may be able to conduct black-market business deals, and by having sole control, Flaherty states that he will take complete blame should the actions be brought to light. Flaherty encounters a problem with Don Appolini (Miller), however, who does not believe in conducting such business with the Church, whom he says is one of the three things he loves; but, the don quickly changes his mind when Flaherty tacitly tells him that he has Cardinal Santoni's support in the matter. Flaherty's ultimate justification is that by entering the black-market, the Church will be able to divert funds from other criminal activities and use the money for good.

Interestingly enough, on the way back to Rome from his first meeting with Don Appolini, Flaherty and Varese (both in U.S. military attire) happen across a nun and her postulants in training who are caught in a storm. One of the postulants, Clara (Bujold) - contrary to other reviews, she is NOT a nun yet - catches Flaherty's eye, although she does not know that he a priest (a fact he keeps from her). The two set up a secret rendezvous, and develop a clandestine romance. Clara explains that she is entering the Carmelite Order because of her failed relationships with men, but the superiors of her convent do not believe that she is willing to be fully committed to religious life due to this reason for worldly renunciation (turns out they are right). Flaherty continues trying to tell Clara that he is a priest, but fails at each attempt; and Clara explains that she is willing to leave Holy Orders for him. However, should he not want her, she will return to France with her convent and take Holy Vows. This acts as a subplot to the overarching storyline.

Flaherty discovers that the black-market scheme was only a temporary solution to the economic troubles facing the Vatican, and after WWII the Church is once again plunged into economic depression. Deciding that he can once again fix the problem, Flaherty - with the blessing of Cardinal Santoni - is put in charge of restructuring the Vatican banking system, and is also elevated to the level of "monsignor" within the Church. Basically, Flaherty uses the Vatican banks to house and invest the riches of the major mafia families in Italy: thereby putting it to good use while allowing the money to be laundered. It is during this time, and during a special ceremony held by the Pope, that Clara learns Flaherty's true identity. In my opinion, the best scene of the movie follows when Clara confronts Monsignor Flaherty in the beautiful Roman Church near where they met secretly. Clara's seething hatred really comes across in Bugold's performance, and I applaud the scene.

Lastly, Flaherty is appointed a Prince of the Church (Cardinal), and has amassed great wealth as the Vatican's chief banker. However, after his old friend Varese embezzles millions of dollars, his banking activities are called into question, and the College of Cardinals and the Pope deliberate on what to do with him. Before entering a retreat and leaving Vatican life for an unspecified amount of time, Flaherty - with Don Appolini's help - fixes the financial mishaps, thereby preventing the Church from being implicated in criminal activity. Subsequently, Appolini hunts down and kills (executes? You choose which word fits best) Varese. Later, the current Pope dies, and Cardinal Santoni is elected to the Throne of Saint Peter, and he recalls Flaherty from his seclusion to once again be his council. Fin.

Hopefully this more detailed synopsis will allow the individual to better decide if he or she will be interested in this film. It is, in my opinion, one of the best movies in circulation, and I encourage its viewing.


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