Watch The Cardinal
- 2 hr 55 min
The Cardinal is a 1963 American drama film directed by Otto Preminger and based on the novel of the same name by Henry Morton Robinson. The movie follows the life of a young Irish-American priest, Stephen Fermoyle (Tom Tryon), as he rises in the ranks of the Catholic Church during World War II. As the movie opens, Fermoyle is a newly ordained priest assigned to a suburban Boston parish. From the outset, it is clear that he is ambitious and highly intelligent. However, he is also struggling with his own doubts about his faith and his vocation. As he becomes increasingly involved in the life of the parish, he finds himself drawn into a web of political and personal intrigue that threatens to consume him.
Fermoyle's story is interwoven with that of several other characters, including the German Cardinal Innitzer (John Huston), who must navigate the treacherous waters of Nazi-occupied Austria; a wealthy American widow, Anne Mulligan (Carol Lynley), who falls in love with Fermoyle and tries to convince him to leave the priesthood; and a Frenchwoman, Mona Night (Romy Schneider), with whom Fermoyle has a brief, passionate affair.
Throughout the course of the movie, Fermoyle faces a number of challenges, both personal and professional. He must navigate the complex world of church politics, deal with the fallout from his relationship with Mona Night, and confront the realities of war and persecution in Europe. As he does so, he begins to mature and to find greater clarity and purpose in his life.
One of the strengths of The Cardinal is its exploration of some of the darker aspects of the Catholic Church. The movie is set against the backdrop of the Vatican's controversial stance on Naziism and the Holocaust, and it does not shy away from depicting some of the brutal behavior of certain members of the clergy. At the same time, however, the movie is ultimately a celebration of the power and beauty of faith, and it portrays Fermoyle's journey as one of redemption and growth.
The performances in The Cardinal are uniformly excellent. Tryon brings a quiet intensity to the role of Fermoyle, and he is ably supported by a talented ensemble cast that includes such luminaries as Huston, Schneider, and Burgess Meredith. The movie is also visually impressive, with lush cinematography and period-appropriate costumes and production design.
Overall, The Cardinal is a compelling drama that tackles some weighty themes with intelligence and sensitivity. It is an ambitious and thoughtful movie that should be of interest to anyone with an interest in the Catholic Church, American history, or the art of filmmaking. While it may not be as well-known as some of Preminger's other films, it remains a powerful and engaging work that deserves to be remembered.
The Cardinal is a 1963 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 55 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.7.