6.1/10
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5 user 7 critic

To Kill a Priest (1988)

A young priest speaks out against the Communist regime in Poland and is killed for it.

Director:

Agnieszka Holland

Writers:

Michael Cooper (English adaptation), Agnieszka Holland (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Lambert ... Father Alek
Ed Harris ... Stefan
Joss Ackland ... Colonel
Tim Roth ... Feliks
Timothy Spall ... Igor
Pete Postlethwaite ... Josef (as Peter Postlethwaite)
Cherie Lunghi ... Halina
Joanne Whalley ... Anna
David Suchet ... Bishop
Charlie Condou ... Mirek (as Charles Condou)
Tom Radcliffe Tom Radcliffe ... Young Soldier
Wojciech Pszoniak ... Bridge Player (as Wojtek Pszoniak)
Johnny Allen Johnny Allen
George Birt George Birt ... (as Georges Birt)
André Chaumeau André Chaumeau ... (as Andre Chaumeau)
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Storyline

A young priest speaks out against the Communist regime in Poland and is killed for it.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 October 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Popieluszko See more »

Filming Locations:

France

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Richard Dreyfuss was the original choice of the Ed Harris part. See more »

Quotes

Father Alek: A government by brute force is not a government.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK theatrical version was heavily cut by 3 minutes and 41 seconds for a '15' rating:
  • [Reel 4] After man escapes with stolen dog in car, remove sight of dog's head trapped in window as it is wound up (to conform with Cinematograph Films [Animals] Act 1937).
  • [Reel 5] In murder of priest in forest, reduce number of blows to his head.
  • [Reel 6] Reduce to minimum necessary to establish plot the sequence in which priest's head is covered with plastic bag before he is thrown into river, removing in particular all close shots of bloody face through plastic.
  • [Reel 6] When captain returns home to wife after committing murder, remove sight of her legs over his shoulders during sex as well as his facial reaction to orgasm (whole scene removed by distributor).
The video release reinstated much of the cut material and was upgraded to an '18' rating, but still removed 21 seconds of footage (replicating the first compulsory cut to animal cruelty). See more »

Soundtracks

The Many Crimes of Cain
Written by Georges Delerue
Performed by Joan Baez
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good Film, Largely Unknown
26 May 2016 | by gavin6942See all my reviews

A young priest (Christopher Lambert) speaks out against the Communist regime in Poland and is killed for it.

Now, I don't know much about the "solidarity" movement in Poland, or what role the church played in this era of Polish history. But I do know that this film approaches the story from a very odd angle. Rather than focus on the priest, they focus on the spies... and one of them (Ed Harris) seems to have a conscience. Presenting the bad guys as human? A radical idea.

Also, casting Lambert as the priest seems like a bold move. Maybe I am sheltered or ignorant, but when I think Christopher Lambert, I think of B-movies like "Highlander". Granted, that's a really good B-movie, but still not the sort of dramatic gravitas you might think would lead to a role like this.


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