HE SCARLET AND THE BLACK stars Gregory Peck and Christopher Plummer. You’ll probably recognise Plummer from his role as the Captain in The Sound of Music. This time, instead of tearing up swastikas, he is proudly wearing them. The situation is grim and this is why this particular DVD stayed up on the shelf for so long in my house, until yesterday.
But now I am very glad to have watched it and to have been so caught up in the story as to be shouting at the screen towards the end – a really phenomenal ending.
It does contain Gregorian chant (some rather mournful alleluias – maybe underlying the paradox of the glories of martyrdom?), but much of the soundtrack really reveals the movie’s proximity to the 1970s. If you can bear with that, then you will enjoy the acting and the fact that truth is sometimes stranger than fiction.
Pope Pius XII is portrayed maybe as well as he could have been at the time. His role in the war still being revealed today. There have been some more recent films about Pius XII. Maybe one of them will feature in our next movie night.