The Reluctant Saint


The Reluctant Saint

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 17
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Movie Info

Giuseppe is a simple-minded peasant in this uneven story of religious miracles. His worried mother sends him to his brother at a monastery, where he eventually become a man of the cloth. When he prays to a broken statue of the Madonna, the newly ordained priest miraculously floats on air.


Lea Padovani
as Francesca Desa
Harold Goldblatt
as Father Giovanni
Arnoldo Foà
as Felixa Desa
Giulio Bosetti
as Brother Orlando
Elisa Cegani
as Sister Nunziata
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Critic Reviews for The Reluctant Saint

All Critics (2)

Audience Reviews for The Reluctant Saint

  • Jun 10, 2014
    Cupertino, Italy, 1623. The uneven Edward Dmytryk tells the "essential elements" of the story of a man who was considered by everybody around him, including his mother, to be... well... a stupid idiot, but would later be proclaimed a Saint by Pope Clement III on July 16th, 1767. With a proper pace, we witness how, supernaturally, a sequence of events begin to happen in Giuseppe's life that subsequently fit like pieces into the machinery of his future priesthood. Considered by many to be a spiritual follow-up of Rossellini's superior The Flowers of St. Francis (1950), and indeed with a brief reference to the teachings of St. Francis, The Reluctant Saint has, unfortunately, a whole cast speaking English with an "Italian accent" and addressed with sometimes inappropriate comedy touches and a rather unlikeable lead character, despite that his presence is supposed to represent naïveté and saintliness without the need to acquire tons of theoretical and theological knowledge. This is saved, nevertheless, by proper geographic settings and landscapes which have the power to transport us to the 17th-Century Italy. The film also avoids to proclaim itself as the absolute truth, challenging some liturgic fundamentalisms of the Catholic Church proclaiming itself to be "Christian", and even some interesting glimpses of the highest ecclesiastical authorities discussing the confusing "properties" of the Trinity. "The more I study, the more ignorant I realize I am". That's absolutely true. If only the film had explored also this daring horizon more, as it showed itself to be a feature open to metaphysical discussions involving faith rather than taking these "theories" as a given, I would be even recommending a more interesting and underknown American classic. It is not, nevertheless, quite a "classic". 69/100 P.S. Thanks, Nino Rota.
    Edgar C Super Reviewer

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