To all the Catholic priests I’ve known before…

News this morning (yesterday morning by the time I publish this) is that Richard Armitage has a new role coming up…

… and I really like the sound of this. Finally an Armitage project for me to get excited about! He’s going to be playing a Catholic priest, “handsome Father Quart”, who solves mysteries. I know nothing of this story or this character but I am curious and I am quite partial to priests. In fact, priests have been on my mind recently, ever since Herba blogged about “The Thorn Birds syndrome” on her blog last week. It’s as if she felt some priest-announcement in the air. 😉

Due to my father’s work, we were friends with a lot of religious people. We grew up around nuns, we were friends with rabbis and priests. One of our favourite people was a Dutch Melkite (Greek Catholic order) priest who lived on top of a mountain in the Lower Galilee in Israel. Father Jacob, but we called him Uncle Jacob, was like a granddad to us and we visited him and his tiny community regularly. He had this beautiful little chapel hewn into the rock which I think still may be my favourite chapel ever…

Until we saw The Thorn Birds in the early 1980s I had never thought of priests as sexy, but then Richard Chamberlain was on the screen as Father Ralph de Bricassart and we loved it. I think my mum even had a bit of a crush on Father Ralph, I had the same crush. Can you blame us? Just look!

Now that’s a handsome and sexy priest. Will Richard be anything like that as Father Quart? I wouldn’t mind! By the way, not only Richard Chamberlain was sexy in this, I quite liked Christopher Plummer as a cardinal as well.

And my fave actor during my teens, Gregory Peck, has also played priests. It’s been ages since I’ve seen him in Keys of the Kingdom from 1944, one of his first starring roles, where he plays a priest that starts a mission in China. Even though he ages to an old man in the movie, he really is baby-Gregory as a priest. Very cute. 🙂

In the 1980s I also saw him in The Scarlet and the Black, a TV miniseries where he plays a Monsignor at the Vatican who hides POW’s during WWII. That too I haven’t seen in ages… In that one Christopher Plummer was a Nazi Commander, by the way.

Another priest I remember seeing in a movie was Bing Crosby in The Bells of St. Mary’s. I never was much of a Bing Crosby fan, I saw this movie for Ingrid Bergman, whom I do love. In the last picture of this group, they’re petting a kitten. Awww!

There was some comedy in St Mary’s and another movie about a priest (and a rabbi) that had some light-heartedness to it was a faith and romantic comedy called Keeping the Faith, starring Edward Norton, Ben Stiller and Jenna Elfman. I actually saw Keeping the Faith again recently and yeah, I still like it. Edward Norton looks very nice in a collar.

From comedy to darkness and Max von Sydow as a priest in The Exorcist. I have only ever seen that movie once (not my genre) and also barely remember it, but I do remember thinking that Von Sydow was good.

Another priest I liked was Jeremy Irons in The Mission, which I saw in the cinema in the 1980s, but also haven’t seen since, I don’t think. In class, in high school, we had to write a poem about a picture and I even wrote a poem about this one from that movie…

mission irons flute

I wonder if I still have that poem somewhere, I remember writing it before I had even seen the movie, I just liked the image so much. That movie also starred Robert DeNiro and Liam Neeson as priests…

… and Liam Neeson as priest reminded me of a movie called Silence that I saw two years ago, which impressed me. Besides Neeson, it mostly starred Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield and also briefly Ciaran Hinds. Ciaran looks very dashing as a priest, I have to say.

That movie was a little grimy and gritty, just like Pilgrimage was, in which Richard killed priests instead of being one…

At least he could already practice with taking Communion…

pilgrimage communion

These are all the Catholic priests that sprung to my mind (I’m sure there must be more but they didn’t pop-up in my head) when I read about Richard’s new role. He’ll be joining this nice line-up of actors before him and  I can hardly wait to see him dressed and act as a priest. He already looks good in a collar (of sorts) after all…


… he’ll be a knock-out in a priest’s robes.

I think I’m going to see if I can track down the book somewhere, my curiosity has been awakened! It feels good to be excited about an Armitage project again. 🙂

30 thoughts on “To all the Catholic priests I’ve known before…

  1. Wow – I had no idea there were so many priests in film already… Interesting compilation (although the theme doesn’t tickle me as much as it does you – but I am happy to be convinced otherwise).

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m sure there are many more! I’m suddenly also remembering Don Camillo now: I remember seeing the one movie with Terence Hill.
      Yeah, this won’t be everyone’s theme. Priests have also had a bad reputation with all these abuse scandals, but luckily my experience of them hasn’t been bad. As long as they aren’t overly zealous then, yes, I’m digging it. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Servetus

    — despite my love for facial hair, I feel that many Greek / Orthodox priests take it to an unnecessary extreme 🙂
    –the tonsure (Br. Geraldus) is totally out!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. squirrel.0072

    J’ajouterai “The Name of the Rose” avec une représentation de la religion au Moyen-age. D’autres sont plus difficiles à présenter, moins consensuels.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. squirrel.0072

      “Don Camillo” with Fernandel of course and
      I should add a few other movies of historical interest:
      “Des hommes et des Dieux” with Lambert Wilson, Michael Lonsdale
      or “La Controverse de Valladolid” with Jean-Pierre Marielle, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Jean Carmet
      I hope you’ve heard something about them, because THEY ARE FRENCH MOVIES SORRY!
      Have a nice friday!

      Liked by 2 people

        1. squirrel.0072

          Si vous êtes intéressée par le fait religieux (ceux que je pense), le visionnage de ces deux derniers films pourraient vous convenir.


  4. Kate

    Hear, hear!! I’m throwing in my support for some cassock shots and a white collar. If you’re gonna do it, go for broke.
    That was a great roundup of movie priests through the ages. I also loved Keeping the Faith, though I haven’t seen it in ages. And Gregory Peck is nothing short of divine. I’m trying to think of movie priests and am coming up empty atm. Don Camillo is great. I saw the play in our local open air theater a few years ago and it was fantastic. Three hours, at times in the rain, they really knocked it out of the park.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, another fan of cassocks and collars. 😊 The celibacy thing must be an interesting thing to throw into the mix, because I can’t think of any Anglicans they made movies about, and they wear collars too sometimes. Apart from The Vicar of Dibley, of course. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Kate

        It certainly adds an element, that‘s not commonly encountered. It‘s a built-in obstacle to romance and an anomaly in general. I‘m not a fan of the concept as a prescribed way of life in RL (and I am Roman Catholic), but use it in the movies all you like. 😉
        Re the cassock: He doesn’t have to wear it the whole movie. They could start him out at the Vatican, purposefullz striding along in a cassock, when he is called into a superior|s office where he receives his mission. He then ventures forth to Spain with just the collar. And occasionally, he can leave that behind when he‘s working in the field. Sooo many possibilities.😃

        Liked by 3 people

  5. Das ist eine beeindruckende Galerie, die du da zusammengetragen hast.
    Obwohl ich mich immer wieder über die klischeehafte Darstellung ärgere, haben Männer in dunklen Roben einen gewissen Reiz. Wahrscheinlich ist es der Reiz des Verbotenen…
    Noch versuche ich, mir nicht allzu viele Hoffnungen zu machen.


  6. Thanks for mentioning Mister H., Esther. Besides Himself, my favorite priests are Gregory Peck and Bing Crosby singing Ave Maria : ) Father Liam makes me laugh out loud for some reason–maybe because of his tough-guy revenge movies… I think Richard will make a great crime-solving priest!


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