Hoodlum Priest

Watch Hoodlum Priest

"The most fantastic story the screen has ever told AND IT'S TRUE right down to its last jolt!"
  • Approved
  • 1961
  • 1 hr 41 min
  • 6.6  (492)

Hoodlum Priest is a 1961 movie directed by Irvin Kershner and based on the autobiography of Father Charles Dismas Clark. The movie follows the story of Father Clark (played by Don Murray), a Catholic priest who works towards rehabilitating young gang members and other troubled youth in his neighborhood. Father Clark is not your typical priest, he goes beyond the regular religious duties and is seen as a social worker in the community. He is compassionate, dedicated, and genuine in his efforts to aid the youth. He understands that the environment, poverty, and lack of education often lead to delinquency. His methods are not conventional, but he is respected and admired by those whose lives he has touched.

Although Father Clark's methods are not favored by some of his fellow clergy members, he continues to offer his services to those who need it the most. He works out of Saint Elizabeth's Church in the center of a destitute neighborhood, and he has built up a bond with the local street gangs. Father Clark's methods include not just preaching and teaching, but also using the language and style that is relatable to the youth he hopes to help.

Father Clark's mission is disrupted when a group of local businesses, which are known to be run by organized crime, approach him with a request. They ask him to speak to a young man who is facing charges, in the hopes that Father Clark will be able to influence the youth to plead guilty. At first, Father Clark is hesitant, but he agrees to talk to the boy. However, when he discovers that the boy was coerced into confessing to a crime he did not commit, Father Clark realizes the depth of corruption within the neighborhood's justice system.

Father Clark's resolve is bolstered by this realization, and he makes it his mission to bring justice to the neighborhood by challenging the unethical practices of the law enforcement and the courts. His reputation as the "Hoodlum Priest" is cemented when he starts helping young boys who are being targeted by the police for petty crimes they did not commit.

Don Murray delivers a powerful and affecting performance as Father Clark. He captures the character's humility, kindness, and commitment to his community. His portrayal is not just moving, but it also portrays the underlying pathos that runs throughout the movie.

Larry Gates, who plays Bishop Gibbons, and Logan Ramsey, who portrays Father Gordon, also put in convincing performances as they struggle to work with Father Clark in spite of their own reservations.

Overall, Hoodlum Priest is a compelling and heartfelt portrayal of a priest who cares for his community and strives to make it a better place. The movie is a fascinating look into the challenges that arise when attempting to make change within a corrupt neighborhood. It portrays the human element of the struggles that Father Clark faced, which makes it a powerful and emotional experience for the viewer.

Hoodlum Priest is a 1961 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 41 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.6.

Hoodlum Priest
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Hoodlum Priest is available to watch, stream, download and on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, The Roku Channel and EPIX. Some platforms allow you to rent Hoodlum Priest for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 41 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.6  (492)