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The Scarlet and the Black (1983)

This is a fabulous movie. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Based on a true story, Gregory Peck plays Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, and Irish monk trapped in the Vatican during the Nazi occupation of Rome. Unwilling to turn his back on anyone in need of help, he agrees to assist escaped prisoners of war avoid the Gestapo. Going against the Pope’s official position and even against his private council, O’Flaherty organizes an “underground railroad” in Rome to keep escapees safe. 

His actions first annoy Col. Herbert Kappler, head of the S.S. in rome. Then they infuriate him. Eventually, with immense pressure from Berlin, he becomes obsessive about stopping the monk. 

Gregory Peck (Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird) gives an outstanding performance as a devout, talented, witty, and athletic (yes, athletic) priest of the Vatican. Christopher Plummer (Capt. Von Trapp in The Sound of Music) plays a chillingly realistic German commander: the perfect family man and the perfect murderer. The interplay between the two actors is gripping.

The ending is incredible, intense, unexpected, and best of all: true. With just the right mix of action, drama, emotion, humor, morals, and old fashioned good vs. evil, this film is sure to please anybody. A real classic, worthy of this blog.

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Rating: PG  (For war violence. Nothing graphic. Nothing glorified.)

Details: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086251/

Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Scarlet-Black-Gregory-Peck/dp/B00008J2PG (~$9.99)

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