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Pope John Paul II (2007)

4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)

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Pope John Paul II + Witness to Hope - The Life of John Paul II + Karol: A Man Who Became Pope
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Product Details

  • Actors: Jon Voight; Cary Elwes; Ben Gazzara; Christopher Lee and James Cromwell
  • Directors: John Kent Harrison
  • Format: Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Ignatius Press
  • DVD Release Date: October 16, 2006
  • Run Time: 180 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000JR0BYE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,827 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Pope John Paul II" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Review

Watching this film has renewed in me a sense of profound gratitude to God for having given the Church and the world a Pope of such an exalted human and spiritual nature. --Pope Benedict XVI

"Writer-director John Kent Harrison wisely finds a narrative focus... as the pope stares down the unraveling Soviets hoping to help free his native Poland. More than anything, Voight's performance... taps into John Paul's emotional life... it's a remarkable performance." --Variety

"Succeeds brilliantly... it does reveal why most of those who criticized [Pope John Paul II] also loved him." --Pittsburg Post-Gazette

Product Description

This epic film follows Karol Wojtyla's journey from his youth in Poland through his late days on the Chair of St. Peter. It explores his life behind the scenes: how he touched millions of people and changed the face of the Church and the world; how he defended the dignity of mankind. Jon Voight's powerful, Emmy-nominated performance as John Paul II was widely praised, as was Cary Elwes as the young Karol. Shot on location in Rome and Poland in close connection with the Vatican, this is the definitive epic film on the life of Pope John Paul II. DVD includes Spanish subtitles and special sixteen-page collectible booklet. Closed captioned.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary Production on JP II November 18, 2006
By A. Ryan
Format:DVD
This moving film truly captures the personality, spirit and character of Pope John Paul II thru the two powerful performances by Cary Elwes ("Princess Bride" fame) as the younger Pope, Karol Wojtyla, and the critically acclaimed performance by Academy Award winner, Jon Voight. Both actors give stellar performances to show the many facets of the Pope's personality and life, from his challenging youth in war torn Poland through his last days in the papacy.

Contrary to what another reviewer said about budget limitations, this is actually a big budget movie for television, a 20 million dollar production. It also had a full theatrical release throughout Poland, and had tremendous box office susccess, second only in revenues to "The Passion of the Christ". This is a very beautifully filmed production that has a great look to it, shot on location in Rome and Poland.

Director John Kent Harrison also wrote the screenplay, after interviewing those who were closest to the Pope, and Harrison just nails the story of the Pope's life so well. Both Elwes and Voight have publicly stated how greatly honored and humbled they were to play JP II, and they both said they worked extremely hard to portray the Pope as best as possible. They both succeeded admirably.

Voight was nominated for an Emmy Award for his performance, one that Variety called "remarkable", and USA Today said "Voight stands out as he closely mirrors our image of the Pope . . .with a mix of majesty and humility, humor and steel." Finally, the renowned Peggy Noonan said it was "Brilliant and warm . . the best work of Jon Voight's storied career."

I wholeheartedly agree. A memorable and deeply inspiring movie on John Paul II.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful & Compelling Portrayal of a Beloved Figure October 30, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Cary Elwes and Jon Voight lovingly and skillfully portray one of the most beloved figures of our times. The research and numerous interviews with the Vatican and Pope John Paul II's close associates, make for a humorous and insightful storyline. It emphasizes his connections with Poland even after he becomes Pope and the "little stories" that reveal his humility and his devotion to God and to his friends and homeland. This is a much more personal and intimate portrait than we are accustomed to, and it was very moving.

The lead actors are excellent and the pope's devoted assistant and his secretary of state are especially interesting. Karol Wojtyla's fellow cardinals from Poland are played powerfully by Christopher Lee (Star Wars, Lord of the Rings) and James Cromwell (Babe).

On the down side, this was made as a TV movie and the budget limitations show in a number of the crowd scenes. Sadly incongruent with the overall quality.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MAGNIFICENT November 25, 2006
Format:DVD
Jon Voight should receive an Oscar for this one, his best performance yet. Truly the best picture on the Life Of John Paul THE GREAT Buy this NOW you wont be disapointed.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By mpolo
Format:DVD
This film is moving and enjoyable. Two different actors play John Paul II -- Carey Elwes until he becomes Pope, and John Voight after. Both get his voice down very well, so that the change in actor is not jarring at all. Voight portrays the slow decline of John Paul II's health extremely well. A very moving portrayal. The weak points of the film are primarily due to the limited (3 hour) time span. Especially the events of the pontificate seem to fly by, and it can sometimes be confusing as a result -- did he just visit Poland again? The first half is less emotionally moving than, for example "Karol, A Man who became Pope", but seems much more grounded in the facts.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Movie November 13, 2006
Format:DVD
This movie will make you cry. When I first saw it on T.V, I was very please in the way the movie was played and set up. This movie explains the life Karol(Pope John Paul II)and how he suffer during the World War II. Karol was a brave man with a great heart. I have never seen a man with a great and kind heart like Karol a.k.a John Paul II. This man is truely a servant of God. Two thumbs up!!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meeting an abyss of hate with an abyss of love August 3, 2007
Format:DVD
Jon Voight provides a moving portrayal of one of the most under-stated personalities of the late 20th century. As a young man facing the Nazi invasion of his homeland he expresses the theme of his life saying that such an abyss of hate can only be met with an equal abyss of love. Becoming a priest in defiance of the Nazi followed by Communist authorities, he planted the seeds that would lead that country to freedom once again. As Pope he stood up for what was right and encouraged non-violent resistance as the tool of revolution. His homilies on the what he called, "the theology of the body" gave the logical and inspiring defense of human sexuality based on dignity and respect for human life. A man unimpressed with the difficulty of the cause so long as the cause was just and the methods of fighting for it did not contradict the dignity of mankind, his impact on the world will ripple out to the centuries that follow. He was a hero worthy of imitation and veneration. This portrayal is a good start at carrying on that message.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie December 27, 2006
By Monika
Format:DVD
I was born in Warsaw, Poland and I was only 8 years old when Karol Wojtyla became our Pope. I think this movie is excellent, true story.

There are some political and historical inconsistencies - but only Pope and his polish fellows would know the difference. Besides it - A+ ! Jon Voight did wonderful job portraying this great man. God Bless Him.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Historical story.
I really enjoyed it because of the history, so many things I didn't know or remember. I lived during this time but was too young to remember it all.
Published 7 days ago by Mary Jo McNulty
5.0 out of 5 stars Real life story of Pope John Paul II ----an ADVENTURE!
This hisorically accurate adventure about rising above evil in a real world through faith and persistence, will leave you enlightened and strengthened by this man's triumphs!
Published 10 days ago by susan leonard
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
Great Man, great performance by Voight, loved the movie. He was the right person to lead the Church and most of the world in his time.
Published 27 days ago by Norm Bolduc
5.0 out of 5 stars GOOD VIDEO
EXCELLENT GIFT FOR EVERYONE. VERY INTERESTING AND COLORFUL
GREAT DEALER FAST AND TO THE POINT ON DEALS. WOULD BUY AGAIN
FROM THIS DEA;ERS. Read more
Published 1 month ago by KENNETH H.PAKULSKI
5.0 out of 5 stars POPE JOHN PAUL II
An excellent family film on DVD that explores the early life of the beloved pontiff, as played by Cary Elwes, and the older man who became Pope, as well portrayed by Jon Voight,... Read more
Published 1 month ago by William J., Bly
3.0 out of 5 stars video review
Received the correct video but the dvd is scratched in one part and won't play several key scenes in the movie.
Published 1 month ago by Teresa Rhoades
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for Catholics and interesting for all
Part 1 of the movie is is a rare view of the Pope's life before he became Pope,
where he grows up, makes his friends for a lifetime, and endures the the Nazi invasion. Read more
Published 2 months ago by karen n devlin
5.0 out of 5 stars Now I know why he will be a SAINT!!!!!
What a remarkable man. A must watch for all Christians. I will certainly ask for his intercession and prayers. Can't wait to for his canonization this spring.
Published 2 months ago by Marty
5.0 out of 5 stars A realistic picture of this ordinary man who answered a call .
A realistic picture of this ordinary man who answered a call and became a beloved Pope. John Paul II will be canonized a Saint
in a few months and this film shows why so many... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Patsy Sue
5.0 out of 5 stars In His image and likeness
Gary Elwes and Jon Voight give the audience very fine performances. Gary (as the young Karol) gives veritable insight to the future Pope's young life and the struggles of living... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Lady
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