The saint of the title (Bradford Dillman) begins as a very secular young man, eager to sign upfor the war in which the Pope is engaged. But it is during this conflict that he receives a visionfrom God, and renounces violence. This is perceived as cowardice by some (such as the father ofhis sweetheart) but as inspiring principle by others (such as said sweetheart, Dolores Hart). Thehumble holy man eventually runs up against politics within the Church.
Michael Curtiz …ave us Casablanca, Mystery of the Wax Museum andMildred Pierce (among others), so he can be forgiven for non-events such as this one.There’s all sorts of would-be epic grandeur, but the film is ponderous, and the casting is bizarre.Not satisfied with the unlikely Dillman as Francis, we are also given the sight of tough guy StuartWhitman in medieval costume (and just what kind of accent is he adopting here, anyway?) What,wasn’t Charles Bronson available to play the Pope?
The audio is in both the original mono and 4.0. The latter has a few surround elements, butthey are few and far between. Even the music is far from enveloping. Granting that this is a 40+year-old film, I have still heard more exciting remix tracks. But if it doesn’t do anything veryimpressive, it doesn’t do anything wrong, either, and there are no inappropriate surroundmoments.
The print is in very good shape, with no damage or dirt to speak of. Nor is there anynoticeable grain or edge enhancement. The colours are decent, if not always very vibrant, and theimage is a bit on the soft side. Still, a solid transfer of a good print. The aspect ratio is not, asindicated, 1.85:1, but is the full CinemaScope 2.35:1.
Not much: two Movietone News segments, and the theatrical trailer. The menu is basic.
If you like period pieces, this has a certain built-in entertainment value, plus there’s the weirdcasting. Otherwise, this is a bit of a slog.
Special Features List
- Movietone Newsreels
- Theatrical Trailer