Clerics have played principal roles in some of our best-loved movies and television series.
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With the movie Father Stu hitting screens recently, we’ve taken a look back at some other remarkable priests who’ve inspired and entertained us over the years — from those in good old classics like Fr. Brown, the famous detective series, to more recent depictions of men of the cloth, such as Fr. Michael Kerrigan, played by Sean Bean in Broken.
So take a trip down memory lane to get a little inspiration for your next movie night…
Fr. Brown – played by Alec Guinness, Father Brown Detective(1954)
The beloved detective priest tries to thwart a thief in his tracks and persuade him to change his ways to save his soul.
Fr. Charles Clark – played by Don Murray, The Hoodlum Priest (1961)
Based on the works of Fr. Charles “Dismas” Clark, who devoted his life to serving the dispossessed of St. Louis. Funds from the film were to go to creating a halfway house for ex-convicts.
Fr. Alek – played by Christopher Lambert, To Kill a Priest(1988)
The story of the real-life Fr. Jerzy Popieluszko, a much-loved Catholic priest who was killed for speaking out about Communism in his native Poland.
Fr. Robert Koesler – played by Donald Sutherland,The Rosemary Murders(1987)
Amateur sleuth Fr. Koesler goes on the trail of a murderer who is killing off his fellow clergymen. The friendly priest is in a fix when the killer makes a confession.
Mgr. Hugh O’Flaherty – played by Gregory Peck, The Scarlet and the Black(1983)
The film set in Rome brings to life the true story of the charming Irish priest dubbed “The Scarlet Pimpernel of the Vatican,” who rescued thousands of Jews during the war.
Fr. Michael Kerrigan – played by Sean Bean,Broken (2016)
This hard-hitting series tells the story of a flawed but compassionate priest who uses his own traumatic childhood to help vulnerable members of his parish.
Fr. Barry – played by Karl Malden, On the Waterfront(1954)
The winner of 8 Academy Awards sees Fr. Barry go up against the mob and give an impassioned sermon reminding the hardworking dockers that Christ is always among them.
Fr. Ruffino – played by Ben Cross,The Assisi Underground(1985)
This film depicts the role the Catholic Church played, through the efforts of Fr. Ruffino, who put his own life at risk in rescuing Jews from the Nazis in Assisi in 1943.
Fr. Damien Karras – played by Jason Miller, The Exorcist (1973) and The Exorcist III (1990)
In exorcising demons, Jesuit priest Fr. Karras, who is a complicated, troubled character questioning his own faith, is led to make the ultimate sacrifice.
Fr. Chuck O’Malley – played by Bing Crosby,Going My Way / The Bells of St. Mary’s(1944/5)
Winner of 7 Academy awards and presented to Pope Pius XII at the Vatican, this comedy drama follows an inspirational young priest who takes over a parish with the occasional mishap.
Fr. Peter Lonergan – played by Ward Bond,The Quiet Man(1952)
This light-hearted romantic comedy set in Ireland sees a Catholic priest involved in a bit of meddling, all in the name of love.
Fr. Janovich – played by Christopher Carley, Gran Torino (2008)
The young priest tries to encourage a disgruntled war veteran, played by Clint Eastwood, to fulfill his wife’s dying wish that he go to confession.
Fr. Francis ‘Dago Red’ Mulcahy – played by Rene Auberjonois and William Christopher in M*A*S*H (1970 and 1972)
If ever there was a tough job for a priest, it was working as a US army chaplain for the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital during the Korean War. Fr. Mulcahy appeared in both the movie and the TV series.