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Saturday, June 02, 2012

Movie Review: For Greater Glory

There may be spoilers in this review.  You have been warned....

For Greater Glory is a movie about the Cristero movement which arose in response to the Mexican government's crackdown on the Catholic Church.  This occurred in the 1920's, and gave the Church many martyrs to the Faith, such as Blessed Miguel Augustin Pro.

This movie features several characters who were involved in the struggle against repression of the Catholic Church.  It seems providential that this movie shows up at the same time our own government is mandating that the Catholic Church participate in things which are against our core beliefs.  I also found a line from the movie amusing - you can see it in the trailer above - where the General tells Jose that 'I never had a son, but if I did, I would want him to be just like you.' 

That line reminded me of the quote from our fearless leader:

"If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon Martin."

Which reminded me of this picture and quote:

But back to the movie.  The movie is 'R' rated because of a lot, a WHOLE LOT of violence.  Granted, a lot of people get shot and stabbed in the movie, but at least one doesn't see intestines and other viscera go splat all over the place.  We are spared a close look at some of the more gruesome and disturbing things which happen in the movie.

We went to the movie after instructing two of our oldest children that we would leave if there were any nude scenes.  Thankfully there were not any scenes, but we spent the whole movie anticipating them.  There was one very brief scene where we see some young women smuggling bullets by placing them in cloth wrapped around their middles, but the camera did not spend a long time lingering on this subject.  Compared to a couple of movies from the 1950's, where a lot of women dance around in their undergarments (think dance scenes in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and Oklahoma), For Greater Glory is rather tame.

There is another scene where a married couple are in bed - modestly dressed - and kiss each other.  That is as far as the scene goes, without implying anything followed that rather chaste kiss.

One of the best scenes in the movie had to be where a priest refuses to give Holy Communion to a character who had been away from the Church for years.  The priest insisted that he must go to Confession first, even after the man points out that God already knows his sin.  It was great to see proper respect for Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament in a movie. 

There were times I had to remind myself that I was just watching a movie.  Even so, I found it very hard to watch a child suffer and die.  For me, such scenes bring to mind things which have happened in my own life.

The actors were all good, with no stereotype 'saintly' Cristeros or nasty government folks.  I was kind of surprised that Andy Garcia has gotten oooooold.  I recall he was in the movie 'Stand and Deliver' twenty five years ago.

I would watch this movie again, and I would recommend it for older teenagers and up.  This is not a movie for the little children, as the body count is enormously high and there are many tense moments throughout.  Like so many other movies, I left the theater wanting to learn more about the history of the Cristero movement.

One last thought:  if you stay to watch all of the credits, pay close attention to one which mentions tobacco products.  I kidded with Carolyn that they should have added that 'no cigar was wasted in the making of this movie.'

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