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Francis of Assisi

Director Michael Curtiz has 178 titles to his credit (according to IMDb), so he can be forgiven if some of them are less impressive than others. While 1961’s Francis of Assisi certainly falls into the category of lesser Curtiz, it’s not exactly bad so much as it is uninspired. This biopic covering the life of Francis Bernardone, the privileged son of a 13th-century merchant who would abandon a life of secular pleasures to devote his life to monastic pursuits, frequently feels phoned in to a degree that will surprise no one familiar with Curtiz’s late-career works. It’s an overwrought melodrama that fails to capture the emotional core of its subject amid its excessive pomp and self-importance. Primarily of interest to hardcore Catholics or Curtiz completists.  

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