Decent Films Mail > Mailbag #15

Re: The Exorcist (1973), The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968)

The Exorcist review needs “Satanic forces” upper-cased “S”, as do all name-based words. The Shoes of the Fisherman needs references to the Telemond character to delete “German” since this role was based on a French priest whose works were under suspicion.

  1. “Satan” is not a name, but a word, roughly meaning “adversary,” that sometimes functions as a kind of title for mankind’s chief Adversary. But not always. For instance, Jesus’ words to St. Peter in Matthew 16:23 can be rendered “Get behind me, you satan!” As I used it in my review of The Exorcist, the term “satanic forces” is a middle case, denoting the powers of darkness, i.e., “enemy forces.”
  2. The character in the original novel The Shoes of the Fisherman, Jean Telemond, is presumably French (like his inspiration, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin). However, the character in the movie, David Telemond, played by German-born actor Oskar Werner, is presumably German (felicitously resonating with Hans Küng).

So, what I have written, I have written.

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Review: The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968)

B | *** | +2-1| Teens & Up

Fascinating despite flaws, The Shoes of the Fisherman is impossible to watch first of all as a movie. By a strange twist of chance or fate, it demands to be viewed as a curious, at times almost prescient anticipation of the reign of John Paul II, filtered partly through the lens of the Silly Sixties.

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