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Romero


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Editorial Reviews

The life and work of Archbishop Oscar Romero who opposed, at great personal risk, the tyrannical repression in El Salvador.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Raul Julia, Richard Jordan, Ana Alicia, Eddie Velez, Alejandro Bracho
  • Directors: John Duigan
  • Writers: John Sacret Young
  • Producers: Ellwood Kieser, John Sacret Young, Lawrence Mortorff, Lewis Abel, Michael Ray Rhodes
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: September 26, 2000
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (170 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004W203
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #133,634 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Romero" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

84 of 86 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Hubbell on February 28, 2003
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
The most unlikely of heroes, Romero, with owlish glasses and demeanor, is reluctantly thrust into a role much like Thomas More almost five centuries earlier.

20th century El Salvador, like 16th century England, is enduring bloodshed and havoc. Insurgent Communist rebels compete with paramilitary squads and the oligarchy for control of the tiny Central American nation. Priests and the flock they lead are caught in the middle. Those who cry for justice are photographed and marked for extinction because they speak the language of Marxism.

Archbishop Romero recognizes that Marxists and the ruling oligarchy are merely obverse sides of the same coin-- ideologies who rule by force contrary to the the rule of God.

He is equally harsh with Communist sympathizers as he is with the paramilitary squads who rape, torture and execute advocates of justice and human rights.

Like a nail driven into wood, Romero meets each new situation, bewildered at first, but rising to the occasion with increasing faith, anger and determination.

In one scene, he arrives at a church which has been turned into an army barracks. He announces that he has come to remove the Blessed Sacrament. A belligerent soldier responds by unloading a round of bullets into the tabernacle and shatters the crucifix hanging above the altar. Romero stands transfixed, astonished at the utter desecration, then leaves. He pauses outside where a crowd has gathered, unsure as he himself is what he will do next.

Suddenly, collecting his courage, he wheels around. He brushes past the insolent soldier and stoops to gather the consecrated wafers in trembling hands. The soldier fires another round above Romero's head.
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54 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Elderbear VINE VOICE on May 4, 2002
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Oscar Romero, Archbishop of El Salvador, had the courage to live the teaching of Jesus, even though this meant alienating the rich and powerful who oppressed, tortured, murdered, and defrauded the poor of that nation. He stood in the pulpit of the national cathedral and urged soldiers to obey their Lord and disobey commands of oppression. He paid for this, taking a bullet to the heart while blessing the wine during mass.
This movie portrays the story of a quiet, bookish man who stood in the gap between the machine of dehumanizing globalization and the children of Jesus. We watch him wrestle with discovering an authentic Christian response to the injustices and oppression prevalent in El Salvador. We see him reprimand all those who would practice violence, whether as military authority, rebels, or institutionalized violence that robs people of their humanity and ability to feed their families.
The movie was filmed in Mexico, not Hollywood. Raul Julia deserved an Oscar for his performance as Romero. Mexican extras bring a feeling of authenticity that could not have been realized in Hollywood. The telling manages to avoid most of the "splatter" depictions of violence that most box office draws include, and by so doing, makes the violence even more heinous.
This is a powerful story, whether you are Christian or Pagan, Marxist or Capitalist. It is superbly told. This is the story of a person finding his authentic place in the midst of a struggle for justice.
(If you'd like to discuss this review or video in more depth, please click on the "about me" link above and drop me an email. Thanks!)
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Jean E. Pouliot on September 29, 2004
Format: DVD
Through this imperfect movie, I learned to love a saint.

The movie depicts Oscar Arturo Romero from his new appointment as El Salvador's archbishop until his murder while saying Mass in 1980. Between those endpoints Romero experiences the poverty of his people and their suffering at the hands of the military government. More and more, he takes an active role in opposing the brutalization of his people, opposing also his bishops who preferred to deal with purely spiritual matters. But Romero's vision of the gospel doesn't let him off so easy. To live as a follower of Jesus means encountering the Cross. Romero comes to see that avoiding "politics" means abandoning the poor and oppressed to their tormentors.

Raul Julia does a creditable, if somewhat plodding job of portraying the Archbishop. Julia doesn't quite get down to the interior fire that drove Romero to a date with martyrdom. Romero's real speeches are fiery and poetic, qualities that Julia's Romero does not seem able to capture.

In spite of its shortcomings, "Romero" delivers a stirring portrait of a man who risked all, opposing his institution's placidity in the face of evil, challenging its reluctance to engage the world as well as his sacrificing own inclination to live quietly.
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45 of 53 people found the following review helpful By A. Hogan VINE VOICE on March 16, 2001
Format: DVD
Oscar Arnulfo romero,reluctant martyr and hero will one day be officially canonized a saint. In much of central and Latin America he is monsingnor romero,the one and only true hero that el salvador has ever known. This movie produced by the late lamented Fr. Ellwood keiser{known as the hollywood priest for his ability to get big name stars to work for scale},was under obvious budget constraints.This might be the most catholic movie I have ever seen,though many would not view it as such. It tells the story of Romero, a quiet bishop, who, as a compromise,is elevated to be archbishop of San Salvador{the equivalant of cardinal of new york 50 years ago]. The eight familes{the name given to the oligarchy that ran[runs] the country} celebrated. here was a man they could manipulate,who would bless the armed forces,condemn the "radical elements$Q,and restore the status quo. All was well save for one thing:Romero changed. His friend{and "radical element"} fr Rutillio Grande{wwonderfully played by the late Richard Jordan}was asassinated along with a poor farmer and a young boy.From then on,and early in this movie, Romero becomes transformed.All seven sacraments are portrayed in this film{trivia,perhaps, though they work seamlessly} Romero trudges foward,though it becomes apparent to all what his ending will be. Raul Julia is simply wonderful as Romero{wearing a pair of the archbishops actual glasses] Tony Plena is ,as always, superb, as a tortured priest{interesting, in America a conscience striken portrayal of a cleric is always sexual}Harold Gould is fine as a member of the"eight families". As fine as this movie is, i was left wanting more. This is an excellent portrayal of what can only be descrbed as a saint.
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