Ratzinger, Otto Preminger, and The Cardinal

Hello all.

Something has been bothering me for a while. I bought a copy of Otto Preminger’s “The Cardinal” (released in 1963) at a thrift store, and, knowing nothing about the film, I looked it up on wikipedia, and found this interesting factoid:

“The Vatican’s liaison officer for the film was Joseph Ratzinger, later to become Pope Benedict XVI.”

Curious for more information, I clicked on the source for this statement. It was imdb.com. The trivia section states:

“The Vatican bankrolled some of the film, and the Vatican liaison was a young Joseph Ratzinger, who in 2005 became the 265th Catholic Pope as Benedict XVI.”

However, there was no source for this statement. I have searched online and looked at several books to see if this is true, but I have not been able to find any information about Pope Benedict’s Hollywood career. Does anyone know of any source (other than those that have just copied the statements from imdb.com and wikipedia) that confirms Ratzinger was an advisor on “The Cardinal” or is it just an example of user generated nonsense?

I don’t know that either but I loved the movie! And I did buy the DVD for it. I believe it may have won an Oscar that year. At the end of the movie, does it say anything about the Vatican?

By the way, I then bought the paperback and much of it is entirely different then the movie. The movie I think is better.

It does seem suspiciously fortuitous. However, the movie was released in 1963, so presumably it was filmed in 1962. And Joseph Ratzinger was in Rome during those years as the theological advisor of Cardinal Joseph Frings, Archbishop of Cologne.

Apparently part of the film was shot in Rome, and possibly even at the Vatican. So perhaps a priest might have been assigned to work with Preminger, coordinating events. But would a priest from another country be assigned that role?

I’ve looked in the credits before, but it has been a while. I need to get the DVD back from my friend who borrowed it (it seems at least a quarter of my DVD collection is lent out to different folks).
I find it facinating if it is true that the current pontiff worked with Otto Preminger, one of the individuals most responsible for the end of the Motion Picture Code, a document of film morality written primarily by Fr. Daniel Lord.

I wish I had seen this thread earlier. I had just borrowed The Cardinal from the public library. It had a second disc of material about the making of the movie and Otto Preminger. But I didn’t have time to watch that stuff so I don’t know if there was a reference to Ratzinger.

The movies is beautiful and very clearly illustrates Catholic theology especially when it came to the abortion scene. I also liked the way it showed how even good people were deluded by Hitler.

I’m picking the book up from the library today. None of our local libraries carried it and I had to wait for it to come from across the state. I read this book years ago and had seen the movie many, many years ago but felt I would enjoy them again.

It is so very hard today to find any films or books that are pro Catholic or even just respectful of Catholicism.

I picked up a used copy of “The Cardinal” from Amazon.com. I’ve found they do have a lot of older Catholic books and some are used. I ordered “The Devil’s Advocate” the older book, and that was really good. Am thinking of purchasing the rest.

who is the author of Devil’s Advocate?

I agree with you. I love the book, but I think this was one time I liked the movie better.

It’s Morris West. He also wrote “Shoes of the Fisherman”. Devil’s Advocate is about the process the Vatican does before they beatify a Saint. I think the name has changed since Vatican II. All of his books are good, written in the '50’s.

I’ve read several of Morris West’s books and enjoyed all but one.