Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville • 1961 • France
Starring Jean-Paul Belmondo, Emmanuelle Riva
Jean-Paul Belmondo delivers a subtly sensual performance in the hot-under-the-collar LÉON MORIN, PRIEST, directed by Jean-Pierre Melville. The French superstar plays a devoted man of the cloth who is desired by all the women of a small village in Nazi-occupied France. He finds himself most drawn to a sexually frustrated widow—played by Emmanuelle Riva—a religious skeptic whose relationship with her confessor turns into a confrontation with both God and her own repressed desire. A triumph of mood, setting, and innuendo, LÉON MORIN, PRIEST is an irreverent pleasure from one of French cinema’s towering virtuosos.