Blu-ray Review – The Cardinal

The Cardinal

Director: Sinclair Hill 

Screenplay: D.B. Wyndham-Lewis

Minutes: 71

Year: 1936

Score: 5.60

Release: Olive Films

One of my favorite aspects of Olive Films is that they constantly keep me on my toes. The Cardinal is a film that I did not know existed and I am glad, now, that I do. I have never been much of a fan of films with a feeling of theater this one works.

From Olive Films:

Depicting the power struggles and political intrigue within the 16th century Italian court, The Cardinal stars Matheson Lang (Drake the Pirate) as Cardinal Giovanni de’ Medici, confessor and co-ruler of Florence.

When the Cardinal’s brother, Giuliano (Eric Portman, One of Our Aircraft Is Missing) is wrongfully accused of murder, the Cardinal is unable to use what has transpired during confession, information that would set his brother free. Faced with a crisis of conscience and an obligation to church doctrine, the Cardinal is torn between his faith and his family.

Directed by Sinclair Hill (Follow Your Star), from a screenplay by D.B. Wyndham Lewis (The Man Who Knew Too Much), The Cardinal co-stars O.B. Clarence (Great Expectations), Wilfred Fletcher (Cross Currents), Douglas Jefferies (A Safe Affair), Robert Atkins (Stairway to Heaven) and F.B.J. Sharp (The Man in the White Suit).

If this film was remade today the music would be unnecessarily ramped up to try and intensify the tension but I am glad that it is not. The film relies on the set pieces, costumes and performances well to rope viewers in.

This is not the strongest film that I have seen and I am not anxious to revisit it but I am glad I have to have the experience. I have a very brief knowledge of the religious corruption during 1500’s Rome but it is nice to have a little supplemental material.

You can order the film from Olive Films HERE.

Director: 7 – Cinematography: 8 –  Edit: 5 – Parity: 1 – Main performance: 6 – Else performance: 4 – Score: 6 – Sound: 4 – Story: 7 – Script: 7 – Effects: 6 – Design: 8 – Costumes: 7 – Keeps interest: 8 – Lasting: 0