Léon Morin, Priest (1961)

Jean-Pierre Melville directs Emmanuelle Riva, Jean-Paul Belmondo and Irène Tunc in this wartime drama where a bolshy priest and an agnostic single mother begin a passionate friendship over intellectual conversations and small acts of resistance.

Should really be called Barny, Legend! Riva’s single mum, refugee hider and bisexual romantic is the focus of the film. She takes on office collaborators, Nazis and lusty Yanks with zero nonsense. She has dreams and desires of her own. She has agency. Belmondo’s priest is attractive in a pushy, superior kinda of way but he could do far worse for himself. He only gets half the screentime of Riva so he can keep an air of alluring brute mystery to him. A really captivating, no nonsense drama that will have you hooked from first ecumenical book talk to last moment of quietly tragic chaste stoicism.


Check out my wife Natalie’s Horror blog https://cornsyrup.co.uk

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/

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