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   Image: "Fresco of St. Francis of Assisi" by Cimabue. Francis of Assisi

Image: portion of illuminated manuscript page from "The Book of Kells."

DVD

Color / 110 Min.

Twentieth Century Fox Presents a CinemaScope Picture - A perseus production of "Francis of Assisi."  Bradford Dillman, Dolores Hart, and Pedro Armendariz as "The Sultan" - Sceenplay by Eugene Vale, James Forsyth, and Jack Thomas - Produced by Plato A. Skouras - Directed by Michael Curtiz.  

1961 Perseus Productions N. V.  Renewed 1989 Perseus Productions N. V.   Distributed by Ignatius Press under license from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Inc.   _________________

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  Photo: Stuart Whitman and Dolores Hart in a scene from "Francis of Assisi."  Paolo (Stuart Whitman) seeks the hand of the future St. Clare (Dolores Hart) in marriage.

A Life Devoted to Christ

     Shot on location in Assisi, this beautiful film stars Bradford Dillman as St. Francis and Dolores Hart as St. Clare in the story of one of the most popular saints who ever lived.  Francis Bernardone, popular son of a wealthy cloth merchant, after hearing the voice of Jesus speak to him, had a radical conversion from a worldly man of adventure to a life devoted to Christ lived in Gospel simplicity and service to the poor.  Men of all walks of life, moved by his shining witness, soon joined him in the new Franciscan Religious Order.  The lovely young Clare, also influenced by the transformation of Francis, left a life of nobility to found a new order of nuns.

Photo: Francis and Clare in a scene from "Francis of Assisi."  Clare, like Francis, dedicates her life to God.

     Full of rich color and wonderful cinematography, this inspiring film, based on the novel by Louis de Wohl, was directed by Michael Curtiz (Casablanca) and also stars Stuart Whitman and Pedro Armendariz 

(-from the Video's Back Cover)    __________________________________

Our Comments:

     We watch Zefirelli's masterwork on the early ministry of St, Francis Brother Sun, Sister Moon, at least four times a year.  We want to watch this one at least once a year.  This excellent movie, Francis of Assisi tells the entire story of his ministry, up to and including his early death at age 44.  It includes his missionary trip to Egypt and his preaching of the Gospel to the Sultan Malik al-Kamil.  Sultan Malik al-Kamil was nephew to Saladin, the founder of the Ayyubid dynasty in Egypt and Syria (1171-1250).

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Image: Front cover of "Francis of Assisi" Video."

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 It also tells the sad story of how the Church hierarchy and evil men in the Franciscan Order (Brother Elias in particular) stripped St. Francis of his own Order, and then turned it against everything St. Francis taught and stood for.  Francis' body had been broken in God's service, but perhaps he really died of a broken heart.  In the midst of all the corruption, Francis' life is a light that shines brightly.  As he told Brother Elias, "Christ wants us to teach the world by the example of how we live our life."

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