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 Features 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.
This is a Region 1 DVD (playable ONLY in Bermuda, Canada, the Cayman Islands, United States and U.S. territories).
NOTE: Ignatius Press previously released this film on VHS. This new DVD transfer from the original archive copy, courtesy of Sony Home Entertainment, is better and clearer than the previous release, and restores the “lost ending” to this film which was omitted from the VHS release. A must see!
"An amusing, amazing story."
- Time Magazine
"Quite a remarkable transformation for Maximilian Schell.
... Ricardo Montalban is outstanding."
- Los Angeles Times
“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