Cardinal: Special Edition (Dbl DVD)
Youthful pride. Yearnings of the flesh. Moments of doubt. The courage of conviction. All enter into a dedicated American's decades-long rise from priesthood to the leadership elite of the College of Cardinals. Otto Preminger presents The Cardinal, winner of a Golden Globe Best Picture Award and nominated for six 1963 Academy Awards, including Best Director. Typical of Preminger's films, The Cardinal is packed with stars and issues. Tom Tryon, Carol Lynley, Ossie Davis, Burgess Meredith and Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominee and Golden Globe winner John Huston are players in a rich storyline embracing interfaith marriage, abortion, racism and war.
At once sprawling and intimate, Otto Preminger's coolly observed story of the education of a Catholic cardinal (Tom Tryon) spans 25 years of 20th-century social history, hops from Rome to Boston to Vienna, and confronts abortion, celibacy, and racism along the way. If those issues seem tame today, Preminger turns them into vivid drama in his hero's crisis and triumph of faith. Tryon is rather stolid and stiff, but the supporting cast helps liven scenes: Romy Schneider as a tempting Fräulein, Ossie Davis as an American priest who requests the Vatican take a stand against racism, John Huston's Oscar®-nominated performance as an irascible archbishop. It's a religious epic unlike any other of its time: thoughtful and serious, with a magnificent yet austere sense of composition and a graceful elegance. --Sean Axmaker