"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
Golly, what a lot of slapping in this movie! Cagney slaps Humphrey Bogart, he slaps the Dead End Kids, the Dead End Kids slap each other AND other kids, even the good Father O'Brien slugs a guy in a bar. Happily, no one slaps Ann Sheridan.
Cagney is fascinating as always as the tough guy with the heart of gold -- nobody does it better. O'Brien is thoughtful and subdued as the priest torn between his loyalty to his pal and his duty to the kids of his parish, who idolize Rocky and want to be just like him when they grow up. Their final scene together could have been overblown and mawkish, but they made it work beautifully.
Going My Way – Bing Crosby and Barry Fitzgerald and Toora-loora-loora.
Nun's Story – Audrey Hepburn among the missionaries in the Belgian Congo.
I Confess – Hitchcock, with Montgomery Clift as a Quebec priest who hears a murderer's confession, then is himself accused of the crime.
Honorable Mention: Gregory Peck as China missionary priest in Keys of the Kingdom; Ward Bond's parish priest, leading the cheers given by the Catholic villagers to the Anglican vicar to impress the visiting Anglican bishop, in The Quiet Man; Rudy, in which underdog becomes football hero under the Golden Dome; Eugene Pallette's friar in Robin Hood and Mark of Zorro; Emperor Maximilian lying in state at the end of Juarez is a POD-fest; Spencer Tracy's Fr. Flanagan; and the Sound of Music, of course.
Not on the list: I haven't seen Black Robe but think I'd like it. I haven't seen The Passion of the Christ and am not sure I'd like it. Ingrid Bergman certainly is a pretty nun, but the plot sinks Bells of St. Mary's.
Nominations, refutations and arguments welcome.
(Inspired by a post at Through the Narrow Gate, a new blog devoted to Catholic arts and letters and the promotion of the Old Mass that is worth a visit.)
10. Excessive hugging at Mass, unless it's the Roman Pax.
9. Someone saying "Hey, that relic of the shriveled dismembered hand of St. Veneranda of Smaragdina, patroness of sock-weavers, is just too weird for me, man."
8. A picture of Fr. Richard Vosko.
7. Jacques Derrida look-alike contests (with a bathing suit requirement).
6. A picture of Fr. Richard Vosko on a mantle piece with an apple, a dollar bill, a glass of water and lots of candles around it.
5. Diminutive nuns with bowls of incense.
4. Bizarre references to Rap Music. (Wait, too late).
3. Unitarians (or anyone else) attempting to win convers through interpretive dance.
2. High Mass translated into High Elvish
1. One word: Chasu-alb.
Another thing you're likely not to see is a Blessed Sacrament Chapel in which the walls are covered by 600 pounds of beeswax.
Or a Mass featuring John Lennon's Imagine, Bette Midler, Eric Clapton and the Sean Hannity Independence Day theme all in one, as at this South Dakota outpost. (Via Dale Price)