A conscientious rendering of a literary study [by Georges Bernanos] of the spiritual anguish of a shy, young priest, this film has ponderous dignity. Made with taste and reverence, pic is slow-moving but impressive.

A conscientious rendering of a literary study [by Georges Bernanos] of the spiritual anguish of a shy, young priest, this film has ponderous dignity. Made with taste and reverence, pic is slow-moving but impressive.

Film shows the priest’s entries in the journal, underlines it with his soliloquies, and then shows it through images. The priest (Claude Laydu) suffers the hostility and misunderstanding of the townspeople. Suffering from a severe stomach ailment, he subsists on bread and wine. The hostile villagers soon take him for a drunkard. All his attempts to win the confidence of his flock lead to failure, except in the eyes of the curate who understands his internal suffering.

Director Robert Bresson has ruthlessly stamped out any incident not in keeping with the mood and feeling of the young priest. The camera dwells on the priest for interminable closeups. All facets of his character and reactions are fully explored.

Diary of a Country Priest

France

Production

UGC. Director Robert Bresson; Screenplay Robert Bresson; Camera Leonce-Henry Burel; Editor Paulette Robert; Music Jean-Jacques Grunewald; Art Director Pierre Charbonnier

Crew

(B&W) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1951. Running time: 120 MIN.

With

Claude Laydu Nicole Maurey Nicole Ladmirale Marie-Monique Arkell Jean Riveyre Serge Bento
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