The Legend of the Holy Drinker

Watch The Legend of the Holy Drinker

  • NR
  • 1988
  • 2 hr 8 min
  • 7.2  (2,115)

The Legend of the Holy Drinker is a 1988 drama film directed by Italian filmmaker Ermanno Olmi. The film is based on a novel of the same name written by Joseph Roth, a famous Austrian writer. The movie stars Rutger Hauer in the lead role, with a supporting cast that includes Anthony Quayle and Sandrine Dumas. The movie tells the story of Andreas Kartack, an alcoholic who lives on the streets of Paris. One day, while begging for money, he is approached by a mysterious and wealthy stranger named Charlier who offers him 200 francs. Andreas is skeptical at first, as he is used to being ignored or chased away by the wealthy people he encounters on the streets. However, something about Charlier's demeanor and the way he speaks to Andreas causes him to reluctantly accept the money.

The next day, Andreas wakes up in a park with a headache and no memory of what happened the night before. He realizes that he has lost the 200 francs that Charlier gave him. However, to his surprise, he receives another 200 francs from Charlier the following day. This begins a pattern that continues over a period of weeks as Andreas repeatedly loses the money and is given more by Charlier.

Andreas soon discovers that Charlier is a member of a group of wealthy men who have made a bet on whether or not Andreas will be able to keep the money for a month without spending it all or losing it. Charlier is the only member of the group who believes that Andreas can succeed in this challenge, and he is willing to risk a large sum of money to prove it.

Over the course of the film, Andreas navigates the challenges of living on the streets of Paris while trying to keep the money that Charlier has given him. He encounters various characters, including a prostitute named Gabi who he becomes close with. The film explores themes of poverty, addiction, and redemption as Andreas struggles to overcome his alcoholism and make a better life for himself.

Rutger Hauer gives a strong performance as Andreas, bringing depth and nuance to a character that could easily have been one-dimensional. He portrays the character's struggles with addiction and his attempts to improve his life with a sense of authenticity and vulnerability. The supporting cast also delivers strong performances, particularly Anthony Quayle as the enigmatic Charlier.

The movie is shot in a naturalistic style, with Olmi's understated direction giving the film a sense of intimacy and realism. The cinematography is beautiful, capturing the streets and parks of Paris in a way that feels both gritty and poetic.

The Legend of the Holy Drinker is a moving and memorable film that explores complex themes with sensitivity and grace. It is a testament to the power of human connection and the possibility for redemption even in the face of overwhelming odds.

The Legend of the Holy Drinker is a 1988 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 8 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.2.

The Legend of the Holy Drinker
Where to Watch The Legend of the Holy Drinker
The Legend of the Holy Drinker is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, The Roku Channel, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and YouTube VOD. Some platforms allow you to rent The Legend of the Holy Drinker for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 8 min
  • IMDB Rating
    7.2  (2,115)