Something fun for the consistory: The Cardinal… locations


Here is something fun for dire times.  In honor of the consistory, I will share something sent to me by a priest friend, Fr. Robert Guessetto, OSA, in Rome.

Most of you know, I am sure, the Otto Preminger movie The Cardinal.  The opening titles show the cleric walking about in Rome.  Some of the places are pretty easy to identify.  Others, not.

Here is a Word document that identifies all the locations.

Click HERE

BTW… The Cardinal has some great liturgical scenes.

And everyone should read the book!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Michael says:

    I loved this movie, as well as the many liturgical scenes in it. Did the Pope Emeritus really help with the details in some of those scenes? I’ve heard that, but I’m not sure.

  2. Nicholas says:

    Just to make you feel old,

    This movie came out 6 years before my dad was born, and 8 years before my mom was.

    I’m sure it’s a classic.

  3. Gerard Plourde says:

    Great post. I’d also recommend the book to give a fuller sense of what Catholic life was like in the first half of the last century. It’s a pretty quick read. Regarding Archbishop Fermoyle’s walk to St. Peter’s – as a Philadelphian I know that Rocky’s 30 mile training run would have qualified him for a marathon. Did Otto Preminger take similar liberties?

  4. rdb says:

    What a great movie. I have a “tradition” of watching it every December 26th as a way to celebrate Christmas and relax after all the public celebrations of Christmas Eve and Christmas day in the parish.

  5. Geoffrey says:

    I finally got the DVD last August. I’ve watched it twice so far. One of my new favourite films.

  6. acardnal says:

    Thanks for the Word doc identifying all the location shots. Interesting.

    I’d forgotten that the great cowboy movie character actor Chill Wills was in this movie.

    I always remember the scene he had with Carol Lynley who played his sister in the movie and the discussion they had about abortion . . . in a film made in 1963.

  7. acardnal says:

    When I said “he” above, I was referring to the Cardinal played by Tom Tryon not Chill Wills.

  8. mburn16 says:

    One has to wonder about the costuming in these types of cinematic endeavors that portray the Church. Where do they get the vestments from? Or what do they do with them? Are they taken on loan from a major diocese that happens to have complete sets as seen above, or are they made in-house? And what about TV series (I’m thinking Showtime’s The Borgias or similar) that use a great many vestments of the style not seen often today? I wonder where All the Copes and Miters end up after production.

  9. Athelstan says:

    And who was the Holy See’s consultant for the movie? Why, none other than Fr. Joseph Ratzinger.

  10. Bob B. says:

    The book is my absolute favorite and I try to re-read it every year. The original was published the year before I was born and it has so much more than the movie shows.

  11. iPadre says:

    One of my all time favorite movies. Love the scenery, the Liturgical scenes and the whole plot of giving up everything to serve Our Lord’s Church.

    Great job on the locations. They used St. John the Evangelist in Stamford, CT for the Boston church because Cardinal Spellman wouldn’t let them in his churches and he intimidated his priests from taking any part in the film. I’m still trying to find out where the little church that was used in so called Stonewall, MA (that doesn’t exist).

  12. tbill says:

    Frank Sinatra recorded a song for the movie, Stay with Me. Bob Dylan has also released that song on his most recent album. Dylan’s version is beautiful, very reverent and moving. He sang it as the final song on his most recent concert tour.

  13. PapalCount says:

    A truly great film. The scenes of the episcopal ordination were shot inside the splendid Roman church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva which is located behind the famous Pantheon and nearby to Gammerelli, the papal tailor. St Catherine of Sienna is entombed there along with the artist Fra Angelico.
    The Cardinal is seen leaving what, in reality is the Spanish Academy, the rear section of Spain’s Embassy to Italy . This same building was used 10 years earlier as the home of Clifton Webb’s character, author John Chadwick, in the film, Three Coins in The Fountain.

  14. Maltese says:

    By trying to align herself to the world, ironically the Church became less relevant to the world. It’s grace, majesty and mystery became another worldly attraction at best and distraction at worst in the novus ordo.

  15. Gerard Plourde says:

    One of the great revelations I got from the book was that the Pope as “prisoner of the Vatican” (an image that I grew up with until Paul VI began traveling the world) was actually a result of the Unification of Italy and a protest of the Kingdom’s annexation of the Papal States.

  16. Mario Bird says:

    Some other great liturgical scenes from the same era:

    –Becket: the excommunication scene
    –The Reluctant Saint: St. Joseph of Cupertino’s ecstasy at the conclusion of the incipit of the Credo
    –The Agony and the Ecstasy: the procession montage (“When will you make an end?”)

  17. Bob B. says:

    A good example from the book, that is not in the movie, is when Stephen and then Cardinal Glennon start a verse against Cardinal Merry del Val (Glennon’s friend) using Horace’s Spring, Ode 4.7 (“Who knows if Jove, who counts our score, will toss us in a morning more?”) in Latin, which Merry del Val must then complete.
    There is much to recommend this book.

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