Review: ‘The Rosary Murders’

A string of a half-dozen murders committed by someone with a grudge against the Catholic Church, his victims being nuns and priests in a Detroit parish, is lacking in suspense or dramatic buildup, and what should have been the final climatic sequences are as flat as a holy wafer.

A string of a half-dozen murders committed by someone with a grudge against the Catholic Church, his victims being nuns and priests in a Detroit parish, is lacking in suspense or dramatic buildup, and what should have been the final climatic sequences are as flat as a holy wafer.

Pic [from the novel by William X. Kienzle] revolves mostly around a priest, Father Koesler, who sets about trying to solve the murders while the police seem to be twiddling their thumbs. The priest turns sleuth after the murderer drops a few clues to him during a confessional box session. As a man of the cloth, latter can’t tip off the police or probable victims because of his secrecy vows.

Donald Sutherland puts in a good performance as the liberal-minded investigating priest, and Charles Durning is fine as the hard-line father superior.

The Rosary Murders

Production

First Take. Director Fred Walton; Producer Robert G. Laurel, Michael Mihalich; Screenplay Elmore Leonard, Fred Walton; Camera David Golia; Editor Sam Vitale; Music Bobby Laurel, Don Sebesky

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1987. Running time: 105 MIN.

With

Donald Sutherland Charles Durning Josef Sommer Belinda Bauer James Murtaugh John Danelle
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