Cardinal, The (1963): Preminger’s Oscar Nominated Drama

Columbia (Gamma Productions)

Based on Henry Morton Robinson’s intriguing novel, “The Cardinal” centers on an Irish American priest (Tom Tryon) whose strong commitment to social issues runs against church politics and puts him in conflict with the top level of Catholic hierarchy.
When the story begins, the priest fights the Ku Klux in the South and then Nazis in Austria.
Crossing several countries, this ambitious epic traces his journey, which tests his very faith and belief system.
The film would have been much better if Preminger cast a more skillful actor than Tryon, who is not commanding or compelling.
However, the supporting cast is good, especially John Huston (who was Oscar nominated) as the Boston cardinal and Burgess Meredith as the old priest, who serve as his mentors.
The ensemble also includes Carol Lynley as Tyron’s sister, who is in conflict herself when she falls in love with a Jewish guy (played by John Saxon), and Ossie Davis is the black priest attacked by the Klan
 
Oscar Nominations: 6
Director: Otto Preminger
Supporting Actor: John Huston
Cinematography (color): Leon Shamroy
Art Direction-Set Decoration (Color): Lyle Wheeler; Gene Callahan
Film Editing: Louis R. Loeffler
Costume (Color): Donald Brooks
Oscar Awards: None
 
Oscar Context
 
The winner of the Best Director was Brit Tony Richardson for “Tom Jones,” which also won Best Picture.
 
Melvyn Douglas won the fist of his two Supporting Actor Oscars for “Hud”; the second was in 1979 for “Being There.”
The much-maligned “Cleopatra” won the Art Direction and Costume Design, and Harold F. Kress received the Editing Oscar for the anthology, “How the West Was Won.”