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The Shoes of the Fisherman (2006)

Anthony Quinn , David Janssen , Michael Anderson  |  G |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (345 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Anthony Quinn, David Janssen, Vittorio De Sica, Leo Mckern, Sir John Gielgud
  • Directors: Michael Anderson
  • Writers: John Patrick
  • Producers: George England
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 4, 2006
  • Run Time: 162 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (345 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000E1MXT6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,556 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Shoes of the Fisherman" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Vintage featurette The Shoes of the Fisherman
  • Theatrical trailer

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

If you find during the 160-minute running time of The Shoes of the Fisherman that you don't like the plot, wait 10 minutes. It will surely change and there will be another story thread to entice you. The screenplay is literally all over the map: Siberia, where Archbishop Kiril Lakota, played splendidly by Anthony Quinn, has been exiled to a work camp in the oppressive Soviet regime; Moscow, where a genially scene-chewing Laurence Olivier plays a Soviet ruler with history with Lakota; China, where famine threatens to bring the world of the late '60s to the brink of World War III; and Rome, where Lakota travels after being freed (and where dissolute reporter David Janssen does his best to groove on the Swinging Sixties). Yet despite its flaws, the movie's central drama is riveting: the current Pope dies suddenly, and for a good bit of the film, viewers are treated to the Vatican's inner workings on the election of a new Pope. The events unfold at a leisurely pace, which allows you to drink in the spectacle and wonder of the ancient traditions. The Alex North Oscar-nominated score is lovely, and Quinn's performance is the somber-with-a-humble-twinkle glue that holds the film together. Anyone interested in the traditions and rituals of the Vatican will find plenty to savor. --A.T. Hurley

Product Description

All eyes are focused on the Vatican, hoping to see the traditional puffs of white smoke that signal the selection of the next Pope. But this time, much more is at stake. The new pontiff may be the only person who can bring peace to a world hovering on the edge of nuclear nightmare. Year: 1968 Director: Michael Anderson Starring: Anthony Quinn, Oskar Werner, David Janssen, Vittorio De Sica, Leo McKern, Sir John Gielgud

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
116 of 119 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quinn and Werner make this a winner June 22, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
This epic film has a few bumpy moments, but overall, it's vastly entertaining, with its fascinating cast, interesting premise, excellent cinematography and art direction.
Anthony Quinn is fabulous as the Russian Pope. It's a powerful portrayal, and not the type of role one would normally associate with him. Oskar Werner, in a part based on Teilhard de Chardin, is absolutely superb.
Other notable performances come from Laurence Olivier (as the Soviet Premier), John Gielgud (former Pope), Leo McKern and Vittorio de Sica (Cardinals), and Arnoldo Foa (the Pope's valet).
The part of a journalist (David Janssen), is used as a narrator, to move the plot along, and explain certain Vatican procedures, like how a new Pope is elected. I only wish less time had been spent on his petty romantic problems...the film feels more like an "Airport" movie while these scenes are taking place.
This is a sprawling 60's Hollywood treatment of Morris West's best seller, and I think it succeeds. It's thought-provoking, good for several viewings, and Quinn and Werner are riveting.
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Glimpse At Papal Succession May 1, 2005
Format:VHS Tape
With the recent passing of Pope John Paul II--and the subsequent Conclave of Cardinals to select his successor--this film came to mind. Although it was years since I've seen THE SHOES OF THE FISHERMAN, I was able to view it recently, and the pageantry, tradition, and ritual of the Conclave overwhelmed and impressed me once again.

Anthony Quinn gives a remarkable performance as Father Kiril Lakota, a Russian political prisoner freed by the Kremlin and dispatched to the Vatican, where he becomes a Cardinal. Quinn's Kiril is soft-spoken and humble, yet all his years of suffering in Siberia have convinced him the Church must champion human rights--even if blood is shed for that very cause. His subtle teachings impress his fellow Cardinals, and, when the current Pope dies, after several insufficient votes during the Conclave, Kiril becomes a darkhorse candidate and is eventually selected--despite his vigorous protestations. Thus concludes the first half of this film, which was fascinating.

The second half of the movie deals with Pope Kiril's coronation and infant papacy; here, unfortunately, the film becomes a bit too farfetched. (Example: On the evening of his selection as Pope, Kiril sneaks out of the Vatican and wanders the streets of Rome. Another example: Kiril's brokerage of a "deal" between Russia and China to avoid a nuclear war.) The Cold War was certainly topical when this film was made in 1968, yet now much of the plot of the second half comes across as contrived and banal--especially Pope Kiril's speech at St. Peter's Square on the day of his coronation.

Despite these flaws, THE SHOES OF THE FISHERMAN is grand drama and allows the viewer access to the Vatican behind closed doors.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This film is on my personal list of all-time favorites. Anthony Quinn portrays a decent, thoughtful, and forward-looking pope who eventually overcomes his own self-doubts concerning his election and coronation, which takes place within a backdrop of possible conflict between China, the USSR, and the United States. His attitude toward the young priest who assists him is refreshing in the fact that, while the priest has been barred from teaching and writing due to his questionable views, Pope Kiril still considers him a close personal friend and keeps him in his official family. Kiril's momentous decision at the end of the film regarding the role of the Church is somewhat far-fetched but nevertheless satisfying.
The detail of the sets and costumes is brilliant. The scenes featuring the conclave in the Sistine Chapel are some of my favorites, as they really show in some detail what the election of a pope is like (the rules regarding election have been changed somewhat since the film's release) I remember reading somewhere that the director asked permission to film in the real Sistine Chapel, but was refused. The walls of the Sistine Chapel set were composed largely of cardboard. I am uncertain about the accuracy of that account, but it doesn't seem too unbelievable.
The only disappointing parts of the film involve Janssen's TV commentator role. They are silly for the most part (revolving around his marital problems), and seem to serve no purpose but to set a background for the moment when his estranged wife runs into Pope Kiril, who is incognito, in the streets of Rome (you'll see what I mean when you watch the film). I've seen the film many times, and I usually fast-forward through the scenes of marital discord.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deserving of a heavenly rating April 4, 2005
Format:VHS Tape
This 1968 movie was based on the book, The Shoes of the Fisherman, by Morris West, and stars Anthony Quinn. I saw the movie first, then read the book, which helped me understand the book, although they are quite different (Hollywood, you understand). The movie does a superb job of helping the lay person, and non-Catholics, understand the process of electing a new Pope. Quinn is excellent as Kiril Lakota, a Russian eventually elected to the Papacy after the current Pope dies (circa 1963, the time of John XXIII's death).

Lakota is imprisoned in Siberia for 20 years (17 in the book) and tormented by his jailer, Kamenev. Kamenev, who later becomes the head of the Soviet state, eventually frees Kiril Lakota. Lakota goes to Rome where finds he's been made a Cardinal. He takes his place at the Vatican among his peers. Sometime thereafter, the Pope dies and Lakota, the dark horse, is elected to the Papacy.

The viewer not only learns much about the process of electing a new Pope, but has the opportunity to see inside the physical structure of the Vatican. It is breathtakingly beautiful. There is real footage, including scenes of the crowds in St. Peter's Square awaiting word, the black/white smoke being released from the conclave after a vote, the processional after the election of Pope Kiril, among others. The viewer is privy to the internal conflicts that plague some of the Cardinals, including major characters Cardinal Leone and Cardinal Rinaldi. Each is aware that his shortcomings make him an unlikely papal candidate.

Thrown into the mix is a subplot surrounding unfaithful newsman George Faber, his wife, his mistress, and his job. Then there's the desperate world hunger situation with which the new Pope must contend.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars These Shoes Are Somewhat Worn
What once seemed fantastic is now commonplace. The mere idea of a non-Italian pope in 1968, when "The Shoes of the Fisherman" was made, was a sufficient plot hook to drive a... Read more
Published 7 days ago by Silver Screen Videos
5.0 out of 5 stars Gud movie... I watch it often.
Gud movie...I watch it often.
Published 13 days ago by Linda Mucher
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Thank you
Published 17 days ago by toni dettling
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved the movie
Shipped out quickly. Loved the movie. Thanks again!!
Published 18 days ago by noone
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Movie About a Pope who is Different From Previous Popes.
Great movie. Watch this and see if he doesn't remind you a bit of Pope Francis!
Published 21 days ago by Cherie Manzano
5.0 out of 5 stars 😀Good for all ages!
This is a movie for all ages. Saw it at the drive-in when it first came out, and would try to see it when ever it was on t.v.. So glad I was able to buy it on Amazon.
Published 24 days ago by oklahoma
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great classic move Anthony Quinn in one of his best performances!
Published 1 month ago by Lawrence H.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I always loved this movie and was happy to vioeew it again
Published 1 month ago by Marian E. Paul
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb and Historically Predictive
One of the best movies with an all-star cast! Ironic how predictive it was with the election of a Russian Pope in the movie predating the election of Pope John Paul II. Read more
Published 1 month ago by John W Roberts
4.0 out of 5 stars Shoes of the Fisherman movie
Good movie. Interesting look at the Pomp & Circumstance of the Vatican. Interesting about how they chose a new Pope then.
Published 1 month ago by Teacupz
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This One should be on Blue Ray
Perhaps you should stop seeking answers about the Catholic Church in pop-culture fiction and try some honest to goodness scholarship instead. You don't learn anything from a movie or, in your case, movies. Both movies are fictional.

"I hoped Quinn (whom I didn't care for in this role at... Read More
Feb 18, 2013 by Henry F. Stanco |  See all 3 posts
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