MOVIES: The Shoes of the Fisherman

has anyone seen this movie with Anthony Quinn in it? It was on TBN Sunday. From what I read it is a Catholic movie which tells how the Pope is elected. Is it a good movie? Does it portray the Catholic Church correctly in this movie? I found it curious that it is on TBN if indeed it does explain things about the Catholic faith. I have also seen a movie about Mother Theresa on TBN also.

I have seen it and I would say it is a good movie. In fact I would say its almost prophetic because the movie was made in 1965 but you would think it was 1978 in that the movie was about a Non Italian Cardinal from a Communist Country becoming Pope. In the movie he is Russian.

Excellent movie!!! I have an actual copy of it.

Yes, there are many things you can learn about the Catholic Church in it. However, some disciplines will be out of date.

Does anybody have any comments about it being played on TBN? Anybody else think that is curious considering it is overtly Catholic and may teach someone about the Catholic faith?

They do things to get more viewers and donations… They don’t care about whether someone is converted or not. If it’s in their library of films they will run it now and then.:slight_smile:

I particularly like the plot line how compassionate yet firm “Pope Kyril” was with the young priest who had been his secretary during the conclave. The young priest was bordering (or had crossed the line) into heretical teachings. Kyril read his work, discussed it intelligently, yet affirmed the faith that had kept him going as a bishop of the Church imprisoned in a work camp. Kyril affirmed the man, but was able to reject the man’s work with compassion. The young priest died in the arms of the Church, but with his heretical works unpublished.

Indeed, it was a prophetic film.

I love this movie!!!:thumbsup:

I got it for Christmas. It is wonderful, inspiring and uplifting.

Anthony Quinn is exceptional!

This is a ‘must see’!:thumbsup:

This is a very fine movie.

It is based on the book by Morris L. West. It was assigned reading for us in English class in the mid 60s. The book is far better than the movie and it is still in print. I recommend the book!


Though I am reminded of the cartoon of a goat at a dump eating a reel of film saying, “I liked the book better.” :smiley:

In the book he was Ukrainian Greek Catholic and possibly named after (now Blessed) Hyrohy Lakota, a martyr bishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church…

It just so happens that I saw this film was on this weekend and set the handy-dandy DVR to record it. I am pretty sure he was Ukie in the movie too. I will now keep an eye out for that detail!


Having re-watched the film, I did note that the newscaster character did refer to him as a Russian. It should be noted, that in those days it was fairly common to call all Soviets Russians… which was simply inaccurate.

A good movie that is #30 on the National Catholic Register’s list of Top 100 Movies that celebrate Catholic life.

Thanks for the list!:smiley:

It’s different from the book. I can’t remember too much about it. The only fault might be that it portrayed Fr. Telemond too easily, kind of the good guy being picked on by old fashioned nasty dogmatists living in a different age. A jealous Cardinal as well.

But I have one nitpick :smiley: Wrong ceremonies. Bad altar set up. Nasty candles. Incorrect Apostolic Benediction.
Yes, I’m feeling grumpy today:coffeeread:

(To be fair, I suppose they couldn’t fit everything into the time-space and approximated it)

ASimpleSinner: he was Ukrainian in the movie, IIRC.

no, they sometimes show old movies with Catholic themes, so I don’t find it odd, they also sometimes have speakers or panel discussions that present Catholic viewpoints. not often enough to make this channel regular viewing, but it happens

the movie is very good, and the process of papal election is very accurate and not sensationalized

the movie ends however with the new pope contemplating selling all church property and giving the proceeds to the poor, a simplistic and naive conclusion, which I don’t think was in the book, but I have not read it for years.

there is a more recent movie where the pope gets accidentally locked out of the Vatican and ends up in a village trying to rebuild the church, which is vandalized repeatedly, and encounters a lapsed priest living as a hobo. anybody know this movie and its title?

Saw the movie years ago and am currently reading the book.

Just to be a bit of a movie critic…

Well, the laying down of the tiara seemed right since it is not used.
Also, the altar looked wrong with the crucifix facing the camera with six modern candle holders. Also, since he was Eastern Rite, I would think he would use Eastern Mass vestments as opposed to Roman vestments. Also, the papal announcement was incorrect by not announcing the name of the pope. He also should have said the whole benediction and not just the last part.
I did not like him wearing the suite and tie. I didn’t like the sneaking off thing he did at some point in the movie.

What bothers me is that Pope Kiril pledged all the Church’s property and possesion for charity. I wonder if that meant there would be no St. Peter’s Basilica, no parish churches (land owned by the Church).

Anyway, despite some issues, I liked the movie.

By the way, why did he pray in the orans position with his fingers in a certain position? Is that an Eastern Rite thing too?

In the book they mention Kiril has a beard and wears the icons of an Eastern bishop. IIRC, two members of the curia argue over whether this Easternism would be a stumbling block to his acceptance as a papal candidate by the more Latin-oriented cardinals; they agree that since his “outsiderism” is what makes him an ideal candidate (given the politics in Rome in the novel), he should keep his Eastern externals. In the movie, he is shorn of his beard (he had it early in the film) and wears the standard white papal habit and zucchetto. I wish they had stayed closer to the book, because Kiril’s Easternness was a central theme. If they were going to thoroughly Latinize him and come from the Eastern Bloc, they might just as well made him Polish…hey, waitaminnit…:hmmm:

I agree the book was good but in my humble opinion the movie was better than the book. It usually doesn’t work that way:shrug:

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