Mass Appeal

Watch Mass Appeal

"Somewhere between laughter and tears, they found something to believe in."
  • PG
  • 1984
  • 1 hr 39 min
  • 6.6  (1,100)

Set in the 1980s, Mass Appeal is a thought-provoking drama starring the legendary actor Jack Lemmon as Father Tim Farley, a Catholic priest who actively fights against the conservative beliefs of the Church. Directed by Glenn Jordan and produced by the esteemed Glenn Close, the film explores issues such as Catholicism, tradition, and morality.

The story revolves around Father Farley, who is a popular and well-respected priest in his local parish. He has a unique approach to his sermons, which he structures like poetry, a style that attracts many parishioners to his masses. However, Father Farley's unorthodox approach bothers the head of the church, Monsignor Thomas Burke (Charles Durning), who feels that he is straying away from the traditional beliefs of the Catholic Church.

The movie takes a deep dive into the complex relationship between Father Farley and Burke, two men with fundamentally different approaches to their faith. Farley is a kind-hearted and compassionate priest who believes that the church should be more welcoming and accepting, whereas Burke is a stern believer in traditionalist practices and is heavily influenced by his political affiliations. The two men have several heated arguments about their ideas, with Burke criticizing Farley for his liberal attitude.

The movie takes an even more interesting turn when Father Farley takes on a troubled individual named Mark Dolson (Zeljko Ivanek) as his personal protege. Dolson is a young man from a wealthy family who is studying to become a priest. However, his attitude towards the Church is skeptical, as he feels that he is being forced into it by his family. Throughout the course of the movie, we see Father Farley's unique way of teaching Dolson more progressive ideas about the Church, which eventually leads to conflict with both Burke and Dolson's family.

One of the major themes that the movie explores is the issue of morality, particularly when it comes to the Catholic Church. Father Farley believes that the Church should be more open-minded and accepting of new ideas, while Burke contends that the traditional practices of the church can never be compromised. The movie does an excellent job of showcasing the nuance in their opinions and the different ways that people interpret religious beliefs.

At its core, Mass Appeal is a film about the tension between tradition and modernity, something that continues to be relevant to this day. The movie deals with contemporary issues that are still being discussed today, such as the place of religion in society and the role of progressive ideas in a faith that has a long history. The movie does an excellent job of showcasing these issues through the lens of an individual story, making it a poignant and insightful drama.

Overall, Mass Appeal is a beautifully acted and well-written movie that explores complex themes in a nuanced and compelling way. Jack Lemmon delivers a captivating performance as Father Tim Farley, and the supporting cast is equally impressive. The movie is masterfully directed, with Glenn Jordan doing an excellent job of bringing the characters to life on screen. Despite being released in the 1980s, the movie's themes and story are still relevant today, making it a timeless classic.

Mass Appeal is a 1984 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 39 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.6.

Mass Appeal
Where to Watch Mass Appeal
Mass Appeal is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Google Play and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Mass Appeal for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 39 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.6  (1,100)