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Priest (1994)

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1:57 | Trailer
A homosexual Catholic priest finds out during confessional that a young girl is being sexually abused by her father, and has to decide how to deal with both that secret and his own.

Director:

Antonia Bird

Writer:

Jimmy McGovern
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4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Linus Roache ... Father Greg Pilkington
Tom Wilkinson ... Father Matthew Thomas
Robert Carlyle ... Graham
Cathy Tyson ... Maria Kerrigan
Lesley Sharp ... Mrs. Unsworth
Robert Pugh ... Mr. Unsworth
James Ellis James Ellis ... Father Ellerton
Christine Tremarco ... Lisa Unsworth
Paul Barber ... Charlie
Rio Fanning Rio Fanning ... Bishop
Jim R. Coleman Jim R. Coleman ... Funeral director
Bill Dean ... Altar boy
Gilly Coman Gilly Coman ... Ellie Molloy
Fred Pearson ... Patrick
Jimmy Gallagher Jimmy Gallagher ... Mick Molloy
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Storyline

Father Greg Pilkington (Linus Roache) is torn between his call as a conservative Catholic priest and his secret life as a homosexual with a gay lover, frowned upon by the Church. Upon hearing the confession of a young girl of her incestuous father, Greg enters an intensely emotional spiritual struggle deciding between choosing morals over religion and one life over another. Written by Eric Chor <spiritcircle@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In a world of rituals, in a place of secrets, a man must choose between keeping the faith and exposing the truth. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for depiction of mature themes involving sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 March 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Actos privados See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$113,430, 26 March 1995

Gross USA:

$4,165,845

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,165,845
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR | Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Antonia Bird was forced to cut a whole scene of Linus Roache's bare behind to ensure only an R rating in the USA, instead of a notorious NC-17. See more »

Goofs

Father Greg holds up a communion wafer which is smooth. The scene cuts to Graham and then back to Father Greg, and the wafer has a diagonal line across it. See more »

Quotes

Father Greg Pilkington: [addressing Father Redstone in Latin] Abi et futue te ipsum, sordide senex.
[Translation: Go fuck yourself, you dirty old man]
See more »

Alternate Versions

The US version has been cut by seven minutes. See more »

Connections

Featured in Queerama (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

GREEN GREEN GRASS OF HOME
Composed by Curly Putman
Performed by Tom Wilkinson
Copyright Tree International
by kind permission of Burlington Music Co. Ltd./Warner Chappell Music Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

Definitely one of the most controversial films in cinema history
27 February 2004 | by RachelLoneSee all my reviews

Father Greg Pilkinton (Linus Roache) is a young, dedicated, idealistic and yet conservative (comparing to his colleague, Father Matthew Thomas, played by Tom Wilkinson) priest who has recently arrived in his new parish. He works hard with total faith and devotion. Soon after moving in to Father Matthew's house, he discovers that Father Matthew has been having a relationship with his maid. Later on, a school girl, Lisa (Christine Tremarco) confesses to him that her father has been sexually abusing her, Father Greg faces his inner struggle on whether to reveal the truth to the authority, or remain silent in order not to break his vow.

Confused and frustrated, Father Greg goes to a pub and meets Graham (Robert Carlyle) and later they have sex. They are to stay in an on-and-off relationship. Now Father Greg must confront his human desire and his sexuality. Eventually, he also has to deal with his being arrested while making love in a parked car and the devastating consequences.

This film challenges the entire system. Must a priest (or a nun) remain celibate? Should we leave out non-heterosexuals for being Catholics or whatever? Must a priest remain silent when hearing a serious problem or even an about-to-be-committed crime (which happens all the time in Northern Ireland) and do nothing? Can all priests honestly give themselves away completely to God and refrain from letting their human emotion, human desire flow? Don't some priests become child molesters because they've been trying to repress their human desire for too long (this seems outside the subject. On the other hand, not all priests commit such a crime)? Should we refuse to show compassion towards certain people simply because they are different from us and that their life styles are 'not accepted' by society or the usual moral standard? Still, who is the hypocrite here? Father Matthew's relationship with his housekeeper has never been revealed. If otherwise, he would be rejected, too. He leads a double life. Being a 'liberal' priest and breaking his vow of celibacy at the same time. But WHO are the hypocrites? Aren't we all?

'Priest' is not about a story of one priest. It's about any one priest. And the movie is compelling and well-made. One thing for sure, the Roman Catholic Church would not be pleased with this film.


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