Monday, October 11, 2010

Vsvs Antiqvior

Santa Maria Sopra Minerva a.D. 1962 courtesy of Hollywood.

Notice the Dominican extras in the crowd?

The Cardinal, a film by Otto Preminger.


  1. Fr. Aidan Logan, OCsoOctober 11, 2010 at 8:35 AM

    They are Cistercians, probably of the Italian Congregation, not Dominicans. Note that the acolytes have a black scapular with no hood and that the schola sports the Cistercian Monastic Cowl with very wide sleeves. I’m surprised at you, since you have such a good eye for all these things. I check your website every day to nourish my nostalgia for Rome.
    IN XP,
    Fr. Aidan Logan, OCso

  2. I have this classic film by Otto Preminger (starring Tom Tryon, John Huston,Burgess Meredith and Raf Vallone -1962). Filmed right before Vatican II. What tradition we've lost!!

    By the way, they are not Dominicans in the backround, but Cistercian monks of the Italian Congregation of Casamari . Casamari is an abbey in Italy and the motherhouse of a once flourishing Congregation of Cistercians. Before Vatican II, there were about 90 monks at Casamari,today the place is practically empty with only 20 monks.

    Although the segment of the film was shot at Santa Maria Sopra Minerva (a Dominican monastery in Rome), the monks choir that is chanting, and all the monks attending at the altar (with the black scapular), are Cistercians of Casamari.
    Otto Preminger wanted the chant, and the atmosphere to be as authentic as possible. So all the Roman scenes were shot just as ceremonial etc. was really done at that time...often with real monks and priests as extras.
    The scene where Archbishop Fermoyle (Tom Tryon) is notified of his elevation to Cardinal by Pope Pius XII is exactly the type of audiences new Caridnals had in Rome for family, faithful, and the press the day before the ceremonies at St. Peter's.
    This a fantastic movie of Catholic tradition, John Huston was nominated...or actually recieved Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 1963 for his magnificent portrayal of "Cardinal Glennon".

  3. Too bad Otto Preminger didn't treat his star, Tom Tryon, with a little more Christian charity. Preminger reportedly fired Tyron from the picture in front of Tyron's parents when they visited the movie set. After Tyron's parents left, Preminger re-hired Tyron because he felt Tryon had been sufficiently humiliated. The Cardinal was supposed to be Tyron's big break in the movie business; however, after the way the actor was treated by Preminger, Tyron abandoned his acting career and became a successful writer. Now that I've got that off my chest, I must say, I do love those old mitres!