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The Shoes of the Fisherman

Where to Watch The Shoes of the Fisherman

G
1968

The Shoes of the Fisherman is a captivating 1968 film directed by Michael Anderson and stars heavyweights such as Anthony Quinn, Laurence Olivier, and Oskar Werner. Based on the 1963 novel of the same name by Morris West, this movie brilliantly hinges on the intersection of spirituality, politics, and humanitarian needs.

The narrative unfolds around the central character Kiril Pavlovich Lakota, portrayed masterfully by Anthony Quinn. Lakota, a Ukrainian Archbishop, had been a political prisoner in Siberia for about twenty years when he is suddenly released. This unexpected turn of events is a result of the diplomatic negotiations of the Soviet Premier Kamenev, played convincingly by Sir Laurence Olivier, who seeks to improve the USSR's international image. Lakota's journey from freedom, then to Rome, and subsequently to the heart of the Catholic Church forms the backbone of this intriguing story.

Once in Rome, Lakota's life takes an unexpected turn when he's elevated to the position of a Cardinal by the aging Pope Pius XIII, who wishes to have him as a trusted advisor. Leveraging his extraordinary acting prowess, Quinn encapsulates the surprise, humility, and uncertainty of a man suddenly thrust into a position of enormous responsibility and influence.

However, as Lakota grapples with the unfathomable challenges of his role as Cardinal, the Pope passes away making way for the selection of a new Pope via a Papal Conclave. This is where the movie showcases one of its most iconic scenes featuring colorfully-dressed Cardinals from around the world locked in deep deliberation under the majestic ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

As Lakota transitions into an even more consequential position, the narrative weaves in an array of complex issues ranging from ideological conflicts and geopolitical tensions between the West and the East to the dire hunger crisis gripping China. It is within these tumultuous circumstances that Lakota must navigate his new role, guided by his firm principles, deep-seated faith, and an earnest devotion to serving humanity.

A prominent subplot revolves around the relationship between a skeptical Vatican theologian and scientist, Father David Telemond, portrayed by Oskar Werner, and a TV journalist, George Faber, played by David Janssen. Their dynamic relationship provides another layer to the narrative, tinting it with aspects of skepticism, faith, and validation.

Considered a significant film of its time, The Shoes of the Fisherman presents a stimulating blend of religious drama and political suspense. It highlights the paradoxes and the inherent power of the Vatican amidst Cold War tensions. With esteemed performers like Quinn and Olivier, the cinematic execution captures raw emotion and complex characters stunningly on screen.

The visual magnificence of the Roman landscapes, the Vatican interiors, and the elaborate Papal costumes create a spectacular backdrop against which the drama unfolds. The excellent cinematography coupled with the engaging mise-en-scene makes the convoluted world of Catholic politics come alive on the big screen. The powerful music score by Alex North adds to the emotional ambiance throughout the film, making it a treat for both the eyes and the ears.

However, what stands out in The Shoes of the Fisherman, is its interesting exploration of faith, both on personal and institutional levels. The film takes the viewers on a spiritual journey along with Lakota, displaying the dilemmas he faces, the moral choices he must make, and the sacrifices he's willing to make for the broader good.

Although set in the backdrop of the 1960s, the themes of the film - the clash between ideologies, humanitarian crisis, influential diplomacy, and the plight of individual spirituality - bear a timeless relevance that still resonates. Ultimately, The Shoes of the Fisherman is an excellent choice for those seeking a thought-provoking film that delves into the intricacies of faith, politics, and humanity.

The Shoes of the Fisherman is a Drama, Thriller movie released in 1968. It has a runtime of . Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 7.0..

How to Watch The Shoes of the Fisherman

Where can I stream The Shoes of the Fisherman movie online? The Shoes of the Fisherman is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Shoes of the Fisherman for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

7.0/10
Director
Michael Anderson
Stars
Laurence Olivier, Anthony Quinn, John Gielgud, Oskar Werner
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