Uploaded on Apr 2, 2009
The Reluctant Saint is a 1962 film which tells a somewhat fictionalized version of the story of Joseph of Cupertino, a 17th Century Italian saint. It stars Maximilian Schell as Joseph, as well as Ricardo Montalban, Lea Padovani, Akim Tamiroff, and Harold Goldblatt. The movie was written by John Fante and Joseph Petracca and directed by Edward Dmytryk.
Saint Joseph of Cupertino was an Italian saint. He was said to have been remarkably unclever, but prone to miraculous levitation and intense ecstasies. This movie follows Joseph (Maximilian Schell) from his final days living at home with his mother (Lea Padovani). Because of his slow wits, she has kept him in school despite his being a grown man, older than the other students.
He is seen bearing patiently and good-heartedly with being ridiculed by fellow villagers, and enduring failed attempts at work as a laborer. At the insistence of his mother (who saw no viable alternatives), we see him joining a Franciscan monastery through the influence of his uncle (Harold Goldblatt), an authority at the monastery.
But trouble follows Joseph wherever he goes, including the monastery, because of his slow wits.
Eventually his good heart is noticed by a visiting higher up in the church hierarchy (Akim Tamiroff), who orders that he be trained to be a priest. Despite his incapacity for the necessary scholarly studies, and preference for merely managing sheep and other animals in the monastery's stable, Joseph does become a priest.
Despite learning little from tutoring from the monks, Joseph passes the necessary examinations for the priesthood through a series of unlikely or possibly miraculous events. Soon after, when Joseph is seen levitating at the time of his ecstatic prayers to the Virgin Mary, one of the monastic authorities (Ricardo Montalban) claims that Joseph suffers from demonic possession.
Joseph is therefore exorcised, but his levitations continue, persuading everyone, including his former opponent, of the divine origins of his levitations.
Most of they key events in the movie are based on historical events or reports about the life of Saint Joseph of Cupertino.
AVAILABLE IN VHS & DVD
Standard YouTube License