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The Reluctant Saint

4.7 out of 5 stars 129 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Made from the original archive film master

Maximilian Schell stars as "the flying friar", St. Joseph of Cupertino, in this heartwarming and amazing true story of the humble Franciscan friar who literally rose to sainthood. In the impoverished village of 17th century Cupertino, Italy, Joseph s peasant mother convinces the reluctant Abbott (Ricardo Montalban) to accept her son into the monastery. With the support of the kindly local Bishop who sees in him a great deal more than others, and by a series of miraculous incidents, the simple but pious Joseph is ordained a priest. Yet some are convinced that it is the devil, not God, who is responsible for Joseph's miraculous powers until a final miracle reveals to all his true sanctity.

A profound and humorous film for all ages. Also starring Lea Padovani and Akim Tamiroff. Directed by Edward Dymtryk.

Special Feature include:

- New DVD transfer from the original archive film master.
- Includes a 16-page Collector's Booklet with an essay by film critic Steven Greydanus and a biography of St. Joseph of Cupertino by historian and journalist Sandra Miesel.
Includes the "lost ending"!

This DVD contains the following language tracks: English with optional Spanish or English subtitles. Shown in Black & White.

Review

Filmed on location in Italy with a supporting cast of Italian players, The Reluctant Saint evokes an authentic sense of time and place eluding most period productions of Golden Age Hollywood. It offers an Italian peasant milieu rich with authenticity and persuasive detail. Adding to the authentic Continental feel is the effective score by Italian composer Nino Rota.
Maximilian Schell projects only sweet simplicity, uncomprehending patience and uncomplicated joy as Guiseppe. More important than Giuseppe's flying, in the film's schema of values, is the saint's humble love of obscurity and of animals, both of which mark him as a true son of Francis... In a film in which every supporting player shines, the film's funniest moments undoubtedly belong to Lea Padovani as Giuseppe's formidable mother, a woman who is the terror of every man who knows her. --Steven Greydanus, Editor, Decent Films.com

Quite a remarkable transformation for Maximilian Schell.
... Ricardo Montalban is outstanding. --Los Angeles Times

An amusing, amazing story. --Time Magazine

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Maximilian Schell, Ricardo Montalban
  • Directors: Edward Dmytryk
  • Format: NTSC
  • 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: January 15, 2010
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002QXOYQK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,230 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Reluctant Saint" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Now available in a new DVD transfer from the original archived master copy, The Reluctant Saint is a classic black-and-white movie about the "flying friar" St. Joseph of Cupertino, a 17th century Franciscan friar who earned sainthood. From his acceptance into the monastery at a young age, to his abiding personal piety, to denouncements by his rival Don Raspi (played by Ricardo Montalban) claiming that his powers came from the Devil, not God - an accusation that would require nothing less than a miracle to disprove - The Reluctant Saint is the amazing dramatization of an extraordinary man's life, seasoned with dashes of wry humor. A 16-page collector's booklet with an essay by film critic Steven Greydanus and a biography of St. Joseph of Cupertino enhances this excellent addition to personal and church library DVD collections. 104 minutes, black-and-white, widescreen, English with optional subtitles in English or Spanish.
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Format: DVD
I have an old VHS copy of this movie and love it. Our family has watched it many times and it has continued to hold a place on our favorites list. I put the DVD on my wish list because I want an updated format. But this is a beautiful little story, with warm and funny characters and situations. And the message is sound.

It is so nice to have a movie like this where I know my children are not going to be exposed to sex, violence, blood, guts, swearing........
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The Reluctant Saint

This movie shows how God choose a simple-uneducated man to become a saint. Saint Joseph Desa or Saint Giuseppe Desa in Italian had the mind and heart of a small child. Although Giuseppe couldn't read or write, he understood the Gospel and prayed.

Because Giuseppe had the mind and heart of child, he was humble like a child. God exalted Giuseppe to the priesthood and gave him the power to fly or levitate. This honor confounded some of the intelligent priests in the Franciscan order, who accused Giuseppe to be a fraud. An Inquisition was made as a result of the accusation of fraud, but Giuseppe was vindicated as shown in the final two scenes of the movie and in the sainthood granted to him.
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Very well done and so much better than the VHS we have. tHey have truly restored it and did a great job. It will always be one of our favorite movies. thank you V Bronga
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Format: DVD
This a true gem of a movie. It has amazing performances from great actors such as Maximilian Schell and Ricardo Montalban, and would suit anyone who likes a good movie. If anyone is Catholic, this is especially a great movie, orthodox to its core and accurate with the life of this amazing saint, Saint Joseph of Cupertino (the patron saint of astronauts,pilots, and students preparing for exams--watch the movie to see why). There is nothing weak about this movie. It is especially great in showing how the virtue of humility is the most important in one's efforts to attain holiness and how we are called to do what God wants us to do, not what we want to do. It also shows that anyone can become a saint and also that we should never put our own ambitions above what God wants us to do, or what God is calling others to do, no matter how great or small the task may be.
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This movie was a great tribute to the "Reluctant Saint". It was a warm and moving story. My children and I have watched it several times and was inspired each time.
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By Tonya on March 30, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This movie is by far my favorite. Maximilian Schell did an excellent job as Guiseppe. I would highly recommend reading about this saint because a movie can not portray all the miracles's this saint performed. Usually the lives of saints, moves a person to tears. This movie however is not that way. You will laugh and it's simply a great movie for the entire family.
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By G on July 8, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
My family is always looking for good movies to enjoy quality time together. This is a good family choice, good for everyone.
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