The Reluctant Saint

Synopsis: Joseph of Cupertino, a simple young man thought by many in his village to be an idiot, is pressured to enter a monastery. He does so, and surprises everyone by passing the entrance exam to study for the priesthood. But this is only the first of many surprises from the man who would become Saint Joseph Cupertino.
105 min

Leave the stuff alone.

lt's hot!


Throw it back to me, will you?


Why do you let them

do this to you?

l know it's nothing.

With you it's always nothing.

Everything is a joke with you.

School's a joke, life's a joke.

Giuseppe, you're 20 years old.

You're a man!

That's a serious matter.

ln the name of God,

what's going to happen to you?

Giuseppe, you're a cross

l can't bear anymore.

l want to talk to your father.


l know he's working.

Well, let's go

to his place of business.


Come on, get out.

Get out!


Take me now.

Strike me dead.

Two men in the house

and l have to do everything!

My fault.

l should have fixed the door,

but l had more

important things to do.

You show her this.

She'll be better.

l have to see a man about a job.


Milk the goat.

And then you can unload Nino.

And after that you can clean

up the mess in the house.

What's that?

- Diploma.

- Diploma?

Graduating in April.


The dunce of the class.

Whose idea was this?

Ah, l see.

Where is he?

l have a special diploma for him.

l graduate him right through the roof!

Giuseppe, Giuseppe...

You think l kept you in school

all these years

for this piece of paper?

You think it didn't break my heart

to see you a grown man

among school boys?

But at least l knew where you were.

A place to go everyday

where the sisters would look after you.


What will l do with you?

What will you do with yourself?

l can work, as a carpenter,

like Papa.


He hasn't driven a nail

in three months!

lf you could be a carpenter

or a shoemaker or a blacksmith,

l'd be the happiest

mother in the world.

But you can't, Giuseppe.

You can't!

You understand?

There you are, my friend...

Like Nino you'll tug and strain

until the end of your days.

Expect the worse,

then you won't be disappointed.

Now go. Unload Nino.




No more school.

We are going to work.

Giuseppe, 50 pennies a day,

and you are singing?


Fifty pennies a day,

and you are singing?




You've had too much sun

on your head!

The Baron!


Stupid imbecile.

Look what you've done!

My vines.

l'll kill you!


The bailiff has come at last.

He's taking the house

to clear my debts.

Baron Marco.

The Baron?

Here at our house?

You're crazy.


l ruined his vineyards.



Are you there, my son?

l just remembered something.

l have to see

a man about a job.


Giuseppe, we've been waiting for you.

What have you done?

Oh, not again. Not now.

ls Baron Marco here?

Baron Marco...

He never had such a character.

Come inside.

You don't recognize me, do you?

How could you?

The last time l saw you

l held you in my arms

and baptized you.

Uncle Giovanni.

Father Guardian Giovanni.

He's just been

appointed Father Guardian

of the monastery at Martina.

This is Father Raspi...

My nephew, Giuseppe.

He hurt himself

in the service of God.

Sit down, sit down.

The wine, pour it.

Cut some more cheese.

Cut some more cheese!

Come on.

Eat, drink.

This is your house.

That's enough, thank you.

Oh, please, please, Father Raspi.

He is so nervous.

Can you blame him?

Never have we had such

distinguished guests

under this humble roof.

My own brother -

a Prince of the church.

Thank you, Almighty God,

for answering

a poor woman's prayers.

Francesca, please.

l am only a Doctor of the Order.

We have just come from Rome

where even Bishops

are as common as cats.

Don't be so modest.

You are just like Giuseppe.

Hard-working, reliable, intelligent.

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John Fante

John Fante (April 8, 1909 – May 8, 1983) was an Italian-American novelist, short story writer and screenwriter. He is best known for his semi-autobiographical novel Ask the Dust (1939) about the life of a struggling writer, Arturo Bandini, in Depression-era Los Angeles. It is widely considered the great Los Angeles novel and is one in a series of four novels, published between 1938 and 1985, that are now collectively called "The Bandini Quartet". Ask the Dust was adapted into a film made in 2006, starring Colin Farrell. In his lifetime, Fante published five novels, one novella, and a short story collection. Additional works, including two novels, two novellas, and two short story collections, were published posthumously. His screenwriting credits include, most notably, Full of Life (1956), based on his 1952 novel by that name, Jeanne Eagels (1957), and the 1962 films Walk on the Wild Side and The Reluctant Saint. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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