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Monthly Film Series – The Reluctant Saint
July 28, 2018 @ 6:45 pm - 9:00 pm
6:45 p.m. for popcorn; movie starts at 7:00 p.m.
Everyone is welcome. Please invite your friends to join us!
The Reluctant Saint (1962) stars Maximilian Schell as Saint Joseph of Cupertino, a 17th-century Franciscan friar whose proneness to miraculous levitations is honored in his patronage of air travel. (Famously slow-witted, he is also patron of mental handicaps and students.)
The film is a gently humorous celebration of Franciscan simplicity, poverty of spirit and love of nature and animals. Though reverent and grave, it is lighter and earthier than other pious Hollywood Golden Age fare, able to laugh both at its protagonist and even more at his formidable mother, the terror of every man who knows her.
Ricardo Montalban plays the antagonist, a learned but proud Franciscan offended by the divine favor bestowed on this holy fool, even ascribing his miracles to diabolical influence. The film includes perhaps the first extensive Hollywood depiction of an exorcism ritual — an exorcism that fails, of course, since Joseph isn’t possessed!
The movie ends with a humorously uplifting final coda.