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The Cardinal (2003)

Tom Tryon , John Huston , Otto Preminger  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (147 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Tom Tryon, John Huston, Burgess Meredith, John Saxon
  • Directors: Otto Preminger
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: February 25, 2003
  • Run Time: 179 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (147 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007K01W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #204,494 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Cardinal" on IMDb

Special Features

  • All new digital transfer
  • Feature-length documentary: Otto Preminger: Anatomy of a Filmmaker
  • Vintage making-of featurette
  • Award notes

Editorial Reviews

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

Product Description

Tom Tryon, John Huston, Burgess Meredith. On his way up the ladder into the politics of the Catholic Church, an Irish-American Catholic priest has a chaotic and emotional experience, which includes confronting the most controversial issues of the times and testing his faith at every rung. This Otto Preminger epic is now available in a two-disc special edition. 2 DVDs. 1963/color/179 min/NR/widescreen.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
109 of 117 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Otto Preminger's masterpieces August 28, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Otto Preminger was never a director to shy away from controversy. To decide to film Henry Morton Robinson's novel was a stroke of genius. Here is an intelligent movie whose subjects are controversial even today: abortion, racism in America, the Catholic Church's complicity in the rise of Nazism and the challenge of celibacy in today's church. In addition, the story covers the true nature of faith, service and self-sacrifice. The questions posed and answers presented are not easy just like real life. The acting is fine, the photography is beautiful, the music is inspiring and, of course, the direction is impeccable. While Mr. Preminger was never an easy director to work with, especially on this film, the results of his work are always an excellent credit to the actors and the crew. This is definitely one of his best films and one of my favorite films of all time. As one of the other reviewers mentioned, you will not forget this movie. I cannot understand why this film has almost disappeared from sight.
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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An underrated classic from Otto Preminger November 10, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
"The Cardinal" is an excellent film for Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Tom Tryon is perfectly cast as Father Stephen Fermoyle, an Irish-American priest who rises from meager beginnings to the College of Cardinals. Tryon's performance is one of conviction of a man repeatedly put to the test of his own religious convictions. Preminger uses the images on the screen and composer Jerome Moross' effective score to convey the inner turmoil of the stoic Tryon. The film is long and very episodic but is all held together again thanks to Tryon's performance. Raf Vallone is excellent as Cardinal Quarenghi, Fermoyle's mentor. Murray Hamilton also gives a fine performance as Lafe, a bigot with a conscience.
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57 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best films I have ever seen in my life November 30, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
I first saw The Cardinal at the movies in New York in 1964, and I thought about it for a long time afterwards. This film dealt with historical, religious, and psychological issues which are still controversial in the present day. One of the most powerful, psychological parts of the story was the priest who had really not accommplished, to all outward appearances, very much in his priestly life. However, this priest with his prayerfulness, and humility in some French Canadian fishing village in Massachusetts had a powerful impact on Father Fermoyle, and Fermmoyle's pastor who worked directly with the archbishop of Boston.
The Fermoyle family were so well presented that I came away feeling as though I knew each one of them personally and as friends of mine. There was the realistic approach because the Fermoyles, a staunch Boston Irish Catholic family were not presented as holier than thous, but as human beings with their faults and problems. The way that Mona Fermoyle's birth of the baby was dealt with is still a large concern in our society today.
It is 35 years since I first saw this film, but I remember each and every part of it as if I had only seen it yesterday. Oh, yes my plans are to buy this video, and watch it frequeently, and each time that I watch it, I can see it from a different perspective such as abortion, religious prejudice initiated by the KuKluxKlan, politics within the Catholic Church, and the onset of Nazi invasion in Europe just prior to WWII. I also hope that I will be to share this movie with my family and close friends.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
By Nix Pix
An intercontinental journey spanning nearly 25 years, "The Cardinal" is a masterfully told saga. Otto Preminger directs with his usual adroit perception of the human condition as he tempts the faith of a Catholic cardinal (Tom Tryon) from Rome to Boston and Vienna. Along the way the film tackles such grandiose social issues as abortion, racism, celibacy and Fascism. Co-star John Huston was Oscar-nominated for his role as the fiery archbishop. Catholic priest, Steven Fermoyle (Tryon) returns to his home from taking his vows to discover that his sister, Mona (Carol Lynley) is in love with a Jewish man who is unwilling to give up his faith and that his brother, Frank (Bill Hayes) has abandoned the priesthood. Mona?s obsession to marry leads her to a life of wanton debauchery that results in her death. In the meantime, Cardinal Glennon (John Huston) is determined to drive all of Steven?s false pride from his soul. To this end he sends the young novice to work in a forgotten, frozen parish presided over by the Rev. Ned Halley (Burgess Meredith). When Halley dies, Steven is recalled to Rome where he meets a black southern priest, Father Gillis (Ossie Davis) who has come to ask for aid in fighting racism in his parish. The Vatican denies Gillis? request but Steven does indeed quietly take a leave to administer aid to Gillis? parish. He is attacked and brutally beaten by a sect of good ol? boys and nearly dies. The plot, from this point forward is rather rushed, unworthy of Preminger?s usually sterling attention to pace. One gets the sense that Preminger would have liked another two or three hours to unfold the remainder of his tale which includes having Stephen return to Rome, then travel to Austria to regain is moral center. Read more ›
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A complex, entertaining film that leaves you thinking January 1, 2004
To be sure, Otto Preminger was inconsistent (compare this with "EXODUS") but he was always interesting. THE CARDINAL is no exception. Covering 20 or so years in the life of Father Stephen Fermoyle (Tom Tryon), the film deals with issues like abortion, racism, religious conversion, degradation, and more. Fermoyle makes some wrong choices(allowing his sister to die; abruptly quitting his leave of absence), and yet you can't hate the guy; he did what he thought was right at the time, though he may regret it. The acting is excellent through and through, and the lack of really big names removes the possible artifice of a star performance. Tryon, Carol Lynley (Fermoyle's doomed sister), John Huston (the intimidating Cardinal Glennon), and Raf Vallone (Fermoyle's friend Bishop Alfeo Quarenghi) stand out, but there are no weak links. Preminger directs with a sure hand, aided by the striking visuals and Jerome Moross's beautiful music. The DVD is the roadshow 70mm 179 minute version with intermission. The bonus DVD contains an interesting documentary, a nondescript 1963 featurette, and a trailer.
Jamie Teller
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars THE CARDINAL
Published 11 days ago by Kathleen C. Prybylo
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring
Boring, it's like a commercial to bring more lambs into the fold.
Published 24 days ago by amazonfan#1
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
like the movie
Published 1 month ago by RICHARD P. RAU
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it. Got it to see whenever I want ...
Saw this ages ago. Loved it. Got it to see whenever I want to. Love that. Thanks, mary ellen
Published 1 month ago by maryellen
5.0 out of 5 stars always liked tom tryon
always liked tom tryon,, he did a outstanding job in this movie .. if your catholic you should like this
Published 1 month ago by buffy111
4.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful movie, based on an even better book!
As I recall, the critics were not exactly enthralled by this move. I have never quite figured out why. Read more
Published 1 month ago by GARY KAPLAN
5.0 out of 5 stars Great score. Great delivery time
Classic movie.... Great score. Great delivery time. Arrived as promised. Love Amazon.
Published 1 month ago by raf dog
3.0 out of 5 stars Problem of Pace
This movie carried with it all of Otto Preminger's signs of excellence; i.e., good background music, fine acting, strong directing, impressive filming, intelligent casting, etc. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jim Roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent video on what it is to me a priest ...
Excellent video on what it is to me a priest in the Catholic Church. It is a summarized version of the book. I saw the video first and read the book second. Read more
Published 2 months ago by James M. Nolan
5.0 out of 5 stars Use it between book studies
Use it between book studies as a break for fellowships with our group... it was well enjoyed!
Published 2 months ago by sdmk
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