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Francis of Assisi
     

Francis of Assisi

5.0 2
Director: Michael Curtiz

Cast: Bradford Dillman, Dolores Hart, Stuart Whitman

 
This penultimate film by director Michael Curtiz, perhaps best known for his 1942 Casablanca, is a verbose, routine religious drama on the life of St. Francis of Assisi. After quickly passing over St. Francis' early life as the son of a wealthy cloth merchant in Assisi, the story notes his talents in and out of battle. St. Francis hears the call to the cloth

Overview

This penultimate film by director Michael Curtiz, perhaps best known for his 1942 Casablanca, is a verbose, routine religious drama on the life of St. Francis of Assisi. After quickly passing over St. Francis' early life as the son of a wealthy cloth merchant in Assisi, the story notes his talents in and out of battle. St. Francis hears the call to the cloth (in his hagiography, the call was repeated several times before he finally responded completely), and gives up all his worldly goods to dedicate himself to God. The main focus of attention is then on his relationship to Clare (Dolores Hart) a young aristocratic woman who was so taken with St. Francis that she left her family and became a nun. St. Francis by this time (1212 A.D.) had a well-established reputation for his vows of poverty, and aside from the dubious aspersions cast on his interest in Clare, the drama goes on to note miracles and other aspects of his life, up to and including his death on October 3, 1226.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mike Cummings
At the end of his long movie career, Michael Curtiz (1888-1962) directed this reverent biography of St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226). Although the film cannot compare artistically with the masterpieces of Curtiz's heyday--such as The Adventures of Robin Hood, Casablanca, and Yankee Doodle Dandy--it is nonetheless a good film that paints a faithful portrait of Francis, born Giovanni di Petro di Bernadone but later renamed Francesco (Francis). Filmed on location, the production presents the story mainly in the medieval alleyways, churches, and dwellings of Assisi, an Italian hilltop town, and in the surrounding valleys and forests. The script follows Francis from his early adult years to his death, capturing most of the major events of his life, including his reported visions; his decision to forsake the emptiness of wealth for the fulness of poverty; his founding of the Franciscan religious order for men; and his visits with Pope Innocent III and a Saracen sultan. Bradford Dillman portrays Francis with straightforward sensitivity and piety, and Delores Hart ably plays his soul mate, Clare, a young woman so inspired by Francis that she founded her own religious order, the Poor Clares. Hart, an exquisitely pretty young woman who played Elvis Presley's love interest in two films, joined the Benedictine order of nuns shortly after making Francis of Assisi, eventually becoming a mother superior. A highlight of the film is the portrayal of the pope by the late Finlay Currie, the rotund, craggy-faced Scottish actor who was a mainstay of Hollywood epics, including Cleopatra, Ben-Hur, Solomon and Sheba, Ivanhoe, and Quo Vadis. Overall, Francis of Assisi contains much to commend it. Although it is not a great Michael Curtiz film, it is good enough to allow Curtiz to rest in peace, knowing that he made a final motion picture of merit.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/22/2005
UPC:
0024543148371
Original Release:
1961
Rating:
NR
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:45:00
Sales rank:
9,414

Special Features

Closed Caption; Movietone news: "Behind the Scenes of Francis of Assisi" and "Mayor of San francisco Receives A Statuette From Assisi, Italy"

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Bradford Dillman Francis Bemardone
Dolores Hart Clare Scefi
Stuart Whitman Paolo
Pedro Armendariz Sultan
Cecil Kellaway Cardinal Hugolino
Eduard Franz Pietro Bernardino
Athene Seyler Aunt Buona
Finlay Currie Pope Innocent III
Mervyn Johns Brother Juniper
Russell Napier Brother Elias
Harold Goldblatt Bernard
Edith Sharpe Donna Pica Bemardone
Jack Lambert Scefi
Oliver Johnston Father Livoni
Malcolm Keen Bishop Guido
Evi Marandi Saracen Girl
Manuel Ballard Lucia
Jole Mauro Elfrida
Paul Muller Friars
John Karlsen Friars
Cyrus Elias Friars
Curt Lowens Friars
Walter Maslow Friar
Renzo Cesana Friars
Feodor Chaliapin Cardinal Savelli
Nicholas Hannen Beggar
John Welsh Canon Cattanei

Technical Credits
Michael Curtiz Director
Edward Carrere Art Director
James Forsyth Screenwriter
Vincenzo Labella Consultant/advisor
Louis Loeffler Editor
Mario Nascimbene Score Composer
Joseph Natanson Special Effects
Vittorio Nino Novarese Costumes/Costume Designer
Piero Portalupe Cinematographer
Ferdinando Ruffo Set Decoration/Design
Walter Scott Set Decoration/Design
Plato A. Skouras Producer
Jack W. Thomas Screenwriter
Eugene Vale Screenwriter

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Main Titles [3:32]
2. Chance of a Lifetime [5:41]
3. The Last Evening [:05]
4. To War [2:48]
5. First Battle [4:39]
6. The Voice of God [1:04]
7. A Difficult Favor [1:05]
8. Homecoming Feast [2:16]
9. This Way Madness [4:17]
10. The Ministry Begins [2:34]
11. The First Franciscans [2:33]
12. New Order [3:03]
13. Rejected Suitor [2:48]
14. An Instrument of Peace [4:55]
15. Taking the Vows [3:31]
16. Blessings and Alms [7:27]
17. Go, My Son [1:49]
18. A Test of Faith [1:48]
19. In God's Name [2:25]
20. Betrayal [2:09]
21. The Taste of Failure [3:59]
22. Most Fervent Prayer [4:26]
23. Skylark [:09]
24. Farewell [5:01]

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Francis of Assisi 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Francis of Assisi' is a magnificent dramatization of the life of one our greatest saints. Bradford Dillman is superb in his portrayal.We can feel everything Francis feels, the joys, the disappointments and his final triumph. This film has been criticized by one critic as being spiritless probably because he brought nothing to his viewing. Francis truly lived the Passion of Christ in his life.Thanks Fox, for finally releasing this widescreen epic on DVD
yellowroses More than 1 year ago
I have been looking for this one for quite some time. It is a great movie and one will enjoy it.