364. The Scarlet and the Black (1983)
IMDb Rating: 7.8/10
Runtime: 143 min | Spain:136 min
IMDb Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086251/
Director: Jerry London
Gregory Peck....................Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty
Christopher Plummer...........Col. Herbert Kappler
John Gielgud......................Pope Pius XII
"- Fr. Hugh O'Flaherty is a Vatican official in 1943-45 who has been hiding downed pilots, escaped prisoners of war, and Italian resistance families. His diplomatic status in a Catholic country prevents Colonel Kappler from openly arresting him, but O'Flaherty's activities become so large that the Nazi's decide to assassinate him the next time he leaves the Vatican. O'Flaherty continues his work in a variety of disguises. Based on a true story."
- This is a pretty good movie. Gregory Peck and Christopher Plummer are strong in the leading roles, but the edge goes to Plummer. Peck's on-again-off-again Irish brogue is distracting, but he makes an acceptable hero. Plummer, on the other hand, is deliciously wicked--charming on the outside, ruthless underneath. Even so, there are occasional glimpses of a less-brutish man; a man who loves his family and wants them to be safe; a man not entirely content with the horrors he has helped to create. So, when Plummer is forced to ask his archenemy for help, we can feel a bit sorry for his shattered pride and can share some of his resulting disillusionment and despair. One of the really wonderful moments in the movie comes at the end. Kappler is asked a question and the camera moves in for a close-up of his face. He doesn't have to say a word--the answer is in his eyes. Fantastic! This inspiring story of heroism and courage is also, ultimately, about forgiveness and about asking ourselves what we would have done. It's an excellent reminder that one should never under-estimate oneself--one good person can do a heck of a lot!
- Gregory Peck and Christopher Plummer give outstanding performances as Monsr. Hugh O'Flaherty(Peck) and SS Col. Herbert Kapler(Plummer). The action and suspense of the movie keeps it going at a brisk pace. The story follows Peck as a Vatican official trying to save Italian Jews and Allied escaped POW's from the hands of the German SS. Plummers portrayal as Col. Kapler is both chilling and frightening, especially when he personally executes a Catholic priest who was caught helping the Resistance. Peck's portrayal of Father O'Flaherty is very moving to watch. The intelligence and compassion of this man truly shows through and shows how much Father O'Flaherty deserved the awards and decorations he received from the Allies after the war. And the ending is very surprising as well! It is also a plus having the movie shot in Rome where the actual events took place. A truly classic movie. I highly recommend it
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