Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Legend of the Holy Drinker (movie)

Imagine my surprise to find that there is a marvelous movie version of Joseph Roth’s novella The Legend of the Holy Drinker (IMDb link). Rutger Hauer does a wonderful job as Andreas and director Ermanno Olmi allows the story to unfold at a natural pace, letting the viewer see the impact on Andreas of the minor miracles and his deterioration from his failings and the abuse from others. There are minor changes from Roth’s story but they do nothing to detract from the power of the tale. Trivia—Robert De Niro was interested in playing the role of Andreas but Olmi went with Hauer. Highly recommended.

This clip shows the opening scene where the distinguished gentleman provides the first miracle, a scene where Andreas hallucinates seeing St Thérèse de Lisieux, and most of the ending in a café (although stopping short of the final scene) where he mistakes a young girl for Thérèse.

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