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Leon Morin, Priest
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Leon Morin, Priest

1961
Romance
Drama
1h 57m
A little French town during the Occupation. Barny is a young sexually frustrated widow, living with her little girl France. She is also a communist militant, and one days she enters in a church, randomly choses a priest and starts criticizing the religion. But the priest is a young handsome clever one, Leon Morin. He does not offer her the reaction she was expecting. She is disturbated. She starts frequenting him, impressed by Morin's moral strength. (imdb)
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Leon Morin, Priest

1961
Romance
Drama
1h 57m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 66.27% from 286 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(284)
Compact view
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Rated 17 Jul 2021
65
71st
Perhaps not a great film, but a very interesting one: the fact is that films that really try to explore female desire and sexuality are very rare, then and now, and even rarer, if not totally forbidden today, are films about the education (at the hands of a man, and a Catholic priest, no less) of that desire, which is to say, films mounting a case that such an education may be worthwhile or necessary. The use of very short scenes that convey only what is strictly necessary is also quite unusual.
Rated 07 Apr 2015
2
21st
Melville on spiritual torment and repressed sexuality during wartime occupation. This film has many angles rich with dramatic potential, and yet it falls somewhat flat. Emmanuelle Riva is outstanding, but Belmondo's title character is too one-note, too faultless and all-knowing. All of Riva's solo scenes without him are far more interesting, but unfortunately the meat of the film consists of Morin waxing existential, easy and unchallenged.
Rated 08 Oct 2011
75
54th
Melville brings a lot of interesting touches to this story, especially in his editing techniques. There's very little narrative filler, cutting right to the heart of matter. It's an unusual movie with a lot going for it, including some engaging dialogues. But I had difficulty connecting with the characters. Barny is too malleable, and while Belmondo is surprisingly not too distracting as a priest, Morin is too idealized. He always has the exact right thing to say. But I'm glad I watched it.
Rated 10 Oct 2021
68
31st
I understand why it was a schock in 1961
Rated 11 Sep 2011
66
49th
The best interpretation I have: a film about the interrelationship between sexual desire and spiritual yearning. However, the film--or at least the priest--felt like the brainchild of Catholic Church's PR department.
Rated 08 Jan 2021
80
78th
A very philosophical film, with religion and sex all tangled up together. For the first twenty-some minutes, Melville channels the New Wave with some really weird editing styles, but maybe that's because the story takes a little while to set up. Belmondo and Riva are compelling even when they're just sitting in a room together, although he seems way too wise for his years. I wouldn't call it Melville's best; it's still a strong entry in his catalog.
Rated 21 Nov 2020
65
42nd
A surprising return to the subdued direction and novelistic scripts of early Melville. Lots of food for thought, but not really the kind of thing that stays engaging for 2 hours. Jean-Paul Belmondo is absolutely as sexy as everyone says, though.
Rated 10 May 2020
50
22nd
Önce İtalyanlar, sonra da Almanlar tarafından işgal edilen bir kasabada yaşayan bir dul (eski kocası Yahudi) ile kasabanın Katolik rahibi arasındaki ilişki. Beni sarmadı, meraklısına...
Rated 21 Mar 2019
65
52nd
Good. Loved Rivas, and belmondo is fine too. And it's interesting, but tbh also pretty boring at times
Rated 19 Feb 2024
70
63rd
By no means a perfect film. I think Melville is still experiencing some stylistic uncertainties here, as with many of the close-ups that isolate, and make symbolic, certain objects or features: they are a rupture in the flow of the film. The whole story, for me, rests upon the strength of the Leon Morin character, played brilliantly by Belmondo, and this alone elevates it to something I could recommend highly.
Rated 19 Feb 2018
80
86th
Contemplatively sharp.
Rated 07 May 2012
87
85th
87.250
Rated 18 Feb 2014
75
26th
Viewed February 17, 2014.
Rated 15 Sep 2012
90
95th
A great film about sexual yearning pitted against religious conviction. Some of the theological back-and-forth went a bit over my head, but it was still interesting, and the chemistry between Belmondo and Riva was enough to keep me captivated throughout.
Rated 01 Sep 2017
83
87th
The humorous undertones play nicely with the dynamics between the characters.
Rated 16 Nov 2012
92
93rd
Inventive framing/editing with a consistently surprising story make this a fascinating exploration of its thematic interests: politics, religion, and sex. Further, Melville gives us yet another portrait of occupied France (see also Army of Shadows), with characters looking for a way to live outside that oppression. Barny initially chooses politics, but the movement toward religion, bound up with her desire for the powerful priest, raises fascinating questions about the clarity of our actions.
Rated 19 Sep 2013
87
91st
86.500
Rated 24 Dec 2010
5
0th
This extraordinary drama doesn't just play games with sexual disorientation and philosophical argument; it's also implicitly about life turned upside down.

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