DirectorJean-Pierre Melville Initial DVD releaseJuly 1, 2011 Duration LanguageFrench
Release date22 September 1961 (1961-09-22) Based onLeon Morin, pretre
by Beatrix Beck WriterBeatrix Beck (novel), Jean-Pierre Melville (screenplay) Initial releaseSeptember 22, 1961 (France) CastJean-Paul Belmondo (Leon Morin), Emmanuelle Riva (Barny), Irène Tunc (Christine Sangredin), Nicole Mirel (Sabine Levy), Gisèle Grimm (Lucienne), Marco Behar (Edelman) Similar moviesRelated Jean-Pierre Melville movies
L on morin priest 1961 trailer criterion
Léon Morin, Priest (French: Léon Morin, prêtre) is a 1961 film directed and scripted by Jean-Pierre Melville, and starring Jean-Paul Belmondo and Emmanuelle Riva. Belmondo was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actor. It is based on the 1952 Prix Goncourt-winning novel The Passionate Heart (French: Léon Morin, prêtre) by Béatrix Beck.
In a town in the French Alps during the Occupation, Barny (Riva) is a young, wayward, sexually frustrated widow, living with her little girl. She is also a communist militant who long ago decided that the easiest way was the best. One day she enters a church, randomly chooses a priest (Belmondo) to confess to and, while in confessional, attempts to provoke him by criticizing Catholicism. Instead of being affronted, the priest engages her in an intellectual discussion regarding religion. The priest is Leon Morin, young, handsome, smart and altruistic. He invites Barny to continue the conversation outside of confessional. She begins regularly seeing him and is impressed by his moral strength, while he makes it his mission to steer her onto the right path.
Jean-Paul Belmondo as Léon Morin
Emmanuelle Riva as Barny
Irène Tunc as Christine Sangredin
Nicole Mirel as Sabine Levy
Gisèle Grimm as Lucienne
Marco Behar as Edelman
Monique Bertho as Marion
The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray by The Criterion Collection in July 2011.