Strong and fervent, these clerical characters shine a light on faith in dramatic cinematic fashion.
Throughout the years, priests have appeared on the silver screen in many guises. From the determined Father Brown, who uses his detective skills to stop a thief; to the beloved Father Chuck O’Malley, who sings his heart out as he tries to inspire those in his new parish. Yet, there are also stories of clergymen whose love of the Gospel and Christ Himself forces them to overcome doubt, opposition, and fear to spread God’s love, even if it jeopardizes their own safety.
Priest of Ambricourt played by Claude Laydu, Diary of a Country Priest (1951)
This film follows the struggles of a sickly priest who is sent to a difficult parish whose hostile inhabitants lead him to question his faith. Available to buy on Amazon.
Nameless Catholic priest played by Henry Fonda, The Fugitive (1947)
Based on Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory, the story follows a fugitive priest in hiding in a country where religion is forbidden. A beautiful story of love, faith, and forgiveness. Available to rent on Amazon $2.99.
Padre Nazario played by Francisco Rabal Nazarin (1959)
The honorable and devout priest, who freely gives his possessions to those in need, faces rejection and feelings of despair but never strays from his Christian duty. Available on Amazon from $18.
Father Francis Chisolm played by Gregory Peck, The Keys to the Kingdom (1944)
The humble and kind Scottish priest Chisolm, who never falters from his beliefs despite the odds, spends four decades in China as a missionary. Available on YouTube and Amazon from $6.50.
Father Christopher played by Peter O’Toole, Cristiada – For Greater Glory (2012)
After the civil war in Mexico in 1917, authorities targeted Catholic priests, including Fr. Christopher, who paid the price for his faith with his life. Available to rent on Amazon for $3.99.
Father Gabriel played by Jeremy Irons, The Mission (1986)
Nominated for 7 Academy Awards, pacifist Jesuit priest Father Gabriel is fearless in his mission to spread God’s word in the South American jungle. Available on Netflix and YouTube.
Father Janovich played by Christopher Carley, Gran Torino (2008)
A young Fr. Janovich tries to encourage a disgruntled war veteran, played by Clint Eastwood, to fulfil his wife’s dying wishes that he goes to confession. Available to rent on Amazon from $3.99.