Pope John Paul II (1984)
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Filmed in Rome and Austria on a budget of $5 million, the made-for-TV biopic Pope John Paul II stars Albert Finney, making his American TV debut as the Polish-born Pontiff. The film begins in 1938, when teen-aged Karol Wojtyla (Michael Crompton), a would-be actor, decides instead to enter the priesthood. Played from age 26 onward by Finney, Wojtyla spends the war years in the Polish anti-Nazi movement. He continues battling for his beliefs with the Communist-ruled Polish government in the postwar years. In 1978, Wojtyla is elected to succeed Pope John Paul I, thereby becoming the first non-Italian pope in four centuries. Pope John Paul II was written with reverence and intelligence by Christopher Knopf; it was originally telecast April 22, 1984. … More
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