Léon Morin, Priest


Drama / Romance / War

IMDb Rating 7.7 10 3,318


Downloaded 8,383 times
July 22, 2019


Jean-Paul Belmondo as Ferdinand Griffon, 'Pierrot'
Volker Schlöndorff as Un soldat allemand
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
61.25 MB
23.976 fps
117 min
P/S N/A / N/A
120.55 MB
23.976 fps
117 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bob998 9 / 10 / 10

Barny, the war, and a certain priest

My thoughts about this film don't seem to follow any precise structural pattern. I will just note the things that struck me and leave it at that. This movie affected me as no other story set in an occupied country ever has. It has a dreamlike pace and texture. Barny sees young Italian soldiers appearing in her town, their hats have plumes--are they with a circus?... She forms a passionate friendship with Sabine, her boss: there will be a scene in which Sabine's breasts are pressed against Barny's neck and shoulders... later we find that Sabine's brother has been deported to a concentration camp... Barny and two other women have their children (who are half-Jewish) baptised. They figure that the church will legitimize their kids in the eyes of the enemy... Barny and Léon start to debate the meaning of faith. Léon makes it clear to her that he is not available, but her yearnings know no bounds. Reading Papini as a substitute for sex... Barny is involved with the Resistance, will hide Jews if required to, but her emotional life must take precedence over these activities. There is much more, but I will just say that Riva and Belmondo are superb. After seeing her in Hiroshima, mon amour--in which she played well, but not memorably so--I was startled with her accomplished acting here. Belmondo is tough and moving; Léon is no Don Camillo.

Reviewed by MartinHafer 9 / 10 / 10

Not at all what I'd expect from a Jean-Paul Belmondo film, that's for sure!

The film is about the relationship between an atheist woman and a local priest. It seems she's come to the church not out of a desire to convert but to join in order to protect herself from the Nazi occupiers, as communist atheists would not be safe. Yet, oddly, during the classes she has with the priest, the woman slowly begins enjoying her meetings and actually gets quite a bit out of them. What happens next, see for yourself. "Léon Morin, Priest" is a very well made but very unusual film that took me by surprise. The biggest surprise was the casting of Jean-Paul Belmondo as the title character. In so many other films, Belmondo is cast as rogue--cocky, self-absorbed and charming. This isn't a criticism, but it is odd that the same guy from "Breathless" now plays a very humble and decent priest! As I said, this is NOT what I expected. The notion of an uplifting religious drama and Jean-Paul Belmondo going together is a bit of a shock to me! The other big surprise is how slow the film is and how unexciting it was considering most of it took place during the Nazi occupation of France--yet, the film was still very interesting and compelling! This is no action film but one that is very deliberate and satisfying if you give it a chance. In fact, it's exceptionally well written and acted and I enjoyed it considerably. And, you certainly don't need to be a Catholic to enjoy this one.

Reviewed by druid333-2 9 / 10 / 10

Forbidden Territory

For years now,the over all theme of religion in cinema has managed to touch more than it's share of raw nerves,both in the U.S.A.,as well as Europe (does anyone remember the brou-ha-ha that was raised over Jean Luc Goddard's 'Hail Mary',back in the mid 1980's,or 'The Last Temptation Of Christ',in 1988,or even 'The Life Of Brian'in 1979?). Long before all of that,there was a film that I'm sure raised some folk's eyebrows in 1961. That film was 'Leon Morin,Priest'. The story concerns a newly widowed young woman known as Barny,played by Emmanuel Riva,who is a self avowed atheist,who is seeking advice from a local priest,named Leon Morin,played by (then)France's matinée idol,Jean Paul Belmando ('Breathless',and way too many to mention here). The time is world war 2,and the small village Barny lives in is being invaded by Germans,Italians & later,American soldiers. What starts out as a series of conversations on spiritual matters,turns to unrequited love,which turns more serious as the story unfolds. Jean Pierre Melville (who was generally more known for his film noir crime epics, such as 'Le Cercle Rouge','Le Samourai','Army Of Shadows',etc.)directs & writes the story & screenplay,based on the novel by Beatrix Beck, in a film that tests one woman's temptation for the heart of another man. The rest of the cast (unknown by yours truly)turn in fine performances. The crisp,black & white cinematography by Henri Decae makes real good use of light & shadow (especially if the print quality is good to excellent),and the use of distance between the two characters,which eventually merge closer as the story goes on. Not exactly top shelf Melville,but none the less,still worth a look. Most European prints of this film originally ran 130 minutes,but unfortunately,the North American distributed print clocks in at 117 minutes (including the newly printed re-issue edition). Spoken mostly in French,with a wee bit of German,with English subtitles. Not rated by the MPAA,this film contains some minor adult content,and a rude word,or two.

Read more IMDb reviews


Be the first to leave a comment