www.byzcath.org

Shoes of the Fisherman

Posted By: Alice

Shoes of the Fisherman - 07/16/13 10:37 AM

Has anyone read this book or seen the movie?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shoes_of_the_Fisherman

I caught the movie the other night on television. The book was apparently a #1 best seller on the NY Times list in 1963.

Anthony Quinn played the Ukrainian Pope, but I don't think that he did a good job of either conveying 'popeliness' or of having a Ukrainian/Slavic accent at all. He sounded Italian! LOL!

Quinn was Mexican and he did a superb job every time he played a Greek in a movie (Zorba, Onassis), but he really did not play, in my opinion, this part very well as well (I couldn't get over the accent).

What do you think? The plot was fascinating, considering the historical time in which it was set, and was almost prophetic in some instances...
Posted By: Two Lungs

Re: Shoes of the Fisherman - 07/16/13 12:02 PM

For an authentic slavic accent there were limited choices in Hollywood.

Jack Palance, Walter Slezak, Yul Brynner, can anyone think of others?

Posted By: Alice

Re: Shoes of the Fisherman - 07/16/13 01:08 PM

Originally Posted by Two Lungs
For an authentic slavic accent there were limited choices in Hollywood.

Jack Palance, Walter Slezak, Yul Brynner, can anyone think of others?



True, but a good actor or an actor that is talented on affecting accents, could have done a better job.

Quinn's Greek accent was pretty good. Another actor's Slavic affectation could have been better than Quinn's..

It reminds me of another terrible casting (just to have a 'name')--that of Nicholas Cage in one of the most poignant and beautiful movies I have ever seen: 'Corelli's Mandolin'. His Italian accent was pretty bad!
Posted By: Fr. Deacon Lance

Re: Shoes of the Fisherman - 07/16/13 04:38 PM

It was such a powerful performance I didn't mind the accent or lack of beard. Kyril Lakota was based on Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky
Posted By: Ung-Certez

Re: Shoes of the Fisherman - 07/17/13 07:44 AM

I thought the book/movie was based on the life of Patriarch/Major-Archbishop/Cardinal Josip Slipyi, who was released from a Soviet prison camp in the early 1960's?
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Shoes of the Fisherman - 07/17/13 01:15 PM

It was.
Posted By: Lemko80

Re: Shoes of the Fisherman - 07/17/13 02:24 PM

Yes the book and movie are based on the life of Cardinal Slipyj who was released from the gulag and arrived in Rome just as in time to participate in the Second Vatican Council.
Posted By: Fr. Deacon Lance

Re: Shoes of the Fisherman - 07/17/13 08:06 PM

Sorry, you guys are correct. I had the wrong Ukrainian Catholic Archbishop.
Posted By: JLF

Re: Shoes of the Fisherman - 07/17/13 10:46 PM

And did you realize there are many parallels between Pope Francis and Pope "Kyril" from the movie/book?

- both are "firsts" for the name they chose
- both are from outside of Italy
- both take a very different approach than expected to their ministry
- both have concern for the poor
- both have close connections to the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church
- both receive "a box of earth" from their homeland (Pope Kyril receives Ukrainian soil when the Russian interrogator visits Rome with the message from the Communist leader; Pope Francis received a box of earth from Argentina from Metropolitan Tarasios, Greek Orthodox from Buenos Aires who was part of EP Bartholomew's group for the inauguration; I saw Metr. Tarasios, a friend of mine from his early days as Archdeacon in Constantinople 15 years ago, and an American-born Greek Orthodox, give the box at the audience with other ecumenical leaders which was reported in the press as containing dirt from Argentina so His Holiness would "never be far from home")

Interesting, eh?

The movie is one of my favorites, and I would love to find a DVD of it -- I have a well-worn VHS tape that won't play on any of my machines anymore!

Jack
Posted By: Jaya

Re: Shoes of the Fisherman - 07/17/13 11:18 PM

you can get it here:

Amazon
Posted By: Alice

Re: Shoes of the Fisherman - 07/18/13 09:52 AM

Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
Sorry, you guys are correct. I had the wrong Ukrainian Catholic Archbishop.


Could this part of the fictional Pope 'Kyril' (who speaks Hebrew fluently in the movie and even chants their prayers) have been borrowed from Metropolitan Andrey Sheptysky:

Quote
As a student he learned Hebrew in order to better relate to the Jewish community. During pastoral visits to Jewish villages he was sometimes met with the Torah.[citation needed] During World War II he harbored hundreds of Jews in his residence and in Greek Catholic monasteries.[4] He also issued the pastoral letter, "Thou Shalt Not Kill,"[5] to protest Nazi atrocities. During this period he secretly consecrated Josyf Slipyj as his successor.


Although this about Cardinal Slipyj is definitely inspiration for Pope 'Kyril' in them movie:

Quote
Slipyj's prison writings managed to circulate. In 1957 Pope Pius XII sent him a congratulatory letter on the 40th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. It was confiscated, and also on account of his circulating writings, he was sentenced to seven more years in prison. On 23 January 1963, he was freed by Nikita Khrushchev's administration after political pressure from Pope John XXIII and United States President John F. Kennedy. He arrived in Rome in time to participate in the Second Vatican Council.


In other words, to create a fictional character, often the inspiration is borrowed from more than one real life person.


Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: Shoes of the Fisherman - 07/18/13 10:47 AM

Dear Alice,

The author of the book, "Shoes of the Fisherman" did indeed take his inspiration for the main character from the Hierarch-Confessor Josyf Slipyj.

The creators of the movie, however, emphasized a mythical "Russian Catholic Archbishop of Lvov" where there were never any such (there was only one reference in the movie to "Ukrainian" when Kyril Lakota was on the plane to Rome and was told he would be assigned to the Ukrainian college etc.).

They did this when they learned Slipyj had blessed the Galician Division that had trained in German arms to fight Soviet forces.

Those that are quick to judge here will forget the mass murders by starvation, secret police terror and mass deportations to Siberia unleashed by the Soviet Union on Ukraine and their other victim-nations.

Alex
Posted By: eastwardlean?

Re: Shoes of the Fisherman - 07/18/13 11:51 AM

Originally Posted by JLF
And did you realize there are many parallels between Pope Francis and Pope "Kyril" from the movie/book?


Except for the name, many of those parallels might also be drawn to Pope John Paul II. I think it was his shadow that I cast within the story when I first watched the movie in the 1980's. But then again, that was in the 1980's.
Posted By: eastwardlean?

Re: Shoes of the Fisherman - 07/18/13 11:52 AM

Originally Posted by eastwardlean?

I think it was his shadow that I cast within the story when I first watched the movie in the 1980's.


...it was his shadow that I SAW cast...
Posted By: griego catolico

Re: Shoes of the Fisherman - 11/02/17 12:21 AM

Originally Posted by Alice
Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
Sorry, you guys are correct. I had the wrong Ukrainian Catholic Archbishop.


Could this part of the fictional Pope 'Kyril' (who speaks Hebrew fluently in the movie and even chants their prayers) have been borrowed from Metropolitan Andrey Sheptysky:

Quote
As a student he learned Hebrew in order to better relate to the Jewish community. During pastoral visits to Jewish villages he was sometimes met with the Torah.[citation needed] During World War II he harbored hundreds of Jews in his residence and in Greek Catholic monasteries.[4] He also issued the pastoral letter, "Thou Shalt Not Kill,"[5] to protest Nazi atrocities. During this period he secretly consecrated Josyf Slipyj as his successor.


Although this about Cardinal Slipyj is definitely inspiration for Pope 'Kyril' in them movie:

Quote
Slipyj's prison writings managed to circulate. In 1957 Pope Pius XII sent him a congratulatory letter on the 40th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. It was confiscated, and also on account of his circulating writings, he was sentenced to seven more years in prison. On 23 January 1963, he was freed by Nikita Khrushchev's administration after political pressure from Pope John XXIII and United States President John F. Kennedy. He arrived in Rome in time to participate in the Second Vatican Council.


In other words, to create a fictional character, often the inspiration is borrowed from more than one real life person.


Another real life person who served as inspiration for the character of Pope Kiril Lakota was Blessed Hieromartyr Hryhorij Lakota, hence the name "Lakota".
Posted By: Fr. Al

Re: Shoes of the Fisherman - 11/02/17 02:14 PM

As for actors with Slavic accents, there was number in Hollywood, many of them Jewish. There was Oscar Homolka. an Austrian born Jew . I don't know whether he actually spoke a Slavic language. I recall him playing a Soviet General in "Billion Dollar Brain. " In that movie there was also a scene where people supposed to be speaking Latvian were actually speaking Polish! It may be that Hollywood simply couldn't find Latvian speakers or there may have been other considerations. The average American would not have known the difference. Of course, a Slavic language speaker would have recognised the Polish. Latvian and Lithuanian are somewhat related to the Slavic languages. I would say that if the Slavic languages are siblings, Latvian and Lithuanian would be first cousins.
Which brings me to another actor, Charles Bronson. He grew up near Johnstown , PA. He spoke Lithuanian and Russian before he learned English. I couldn't see a tough guy like him playing a Pope!
Posted By: Mark R

Re: Shoes of the Fisherman - 11/03/17 06:21 PM

Bronson was also a Lithuanian Tartar.
Hollywood had a community of exiled Russians and a fair number of Russian Jews. I am married to an (unsuccessful) trained stage actress who is also a polyglot. Most film actors have a bad ear for accents. Recent actors also benefit from horribly inaccurate accent coaching. At one time good New York actors probably had good ears for accents from constant exposure. British actors used to be tops but they couldn't nail accents and even now they barely speak Standard English themselves. It is really tacky in American films in which actors are given accents when they would be just speaking their own language among themselves...or where the bad Germans have German accents and the good Germans talk American.
Posted By: Fr. Al

Re: Shoes of the Fisherman - 11/10/17 09:46 PM

You are correct about Charles Bronson. It appears that Oscar Homolka was not Jewish, although one of his wives was. Homolka is a very Czech sounding surname.
Posted By: seven_mansions

Re: Shoes of the Fisherman - 01/01/18 07:23 AM

Karl Malden was born Mladen Sekulovich in Chicago: his father was a Bosnian Serb and his mother was Czech. According to Wikipedia, Malden's first language was Serbian, and he was fluent in it all his life. He did not learn English till he was in kindergarten. I think that it might have been very interesting had Karl Malden played Pope Kyril in The Shoes of the Fisherman instead of Anthony Quinn.
© 2020 The Byzantine Forum