Jack Lemmon stars in ‘Mass Appeal’

Category: Blu-ray's and DVD's

Jack Lemmon was a great comic actor as well as an excellent dramatic actor. He combines a little bit of his comedy ability with his award-winning dramatic talent in the 1984 film Mass Appeal.

Lemmon is Father Tim Farley, a beloved Parish Priest. He combines humor with his sermons and enjoys the attention of his parishioners. He also loves it when they give him bottles of wine. He’s an easy-going fellow who has earned the love and affection of his congregation.

Monsignor Thomas Burke (Charles Durning) is a no-nonsense, by-the-book man who does not want any change in the church. Although he oversees the seminary where young men are being groomed for the priesthood, he is always suspicious about those who are a little off-book.

Now enter Mark Dolson (Zeljko Ivanek), a young man who desperately wants to be a priest. After graduating the first part of the seminary his next step is to be a Deacon. But the monsignor does not feel he is ready for that. The lad is a rebel and although the church is modernizing, the Monsignor doesn’t want it to modernize as much as Dolson does.

On a whim the Monsignor agrees to give Dolson a shot at being a Deacon. The caveat is that Farley must be his mentor and he only has one month in which to straighten out the younger man or else he will be expelled from the seminary for good.

Deacon Dolson is unaware of the time limits on his trial, and Farley does everything in his power to help him learn how to connect with the congregation. Unfortunately, Dolson manages to alienate the congregation causing trouble for Farley. How can Farley get through to Dolson when the younger man refuses to budge?

Dolson sees Farley’s sermons as a show whereas he wants his sermons to be more condemnation of people and their actions in order to bring them closer to the church. This does not go over well with the people. But when Dolson’s career is in jeopardy, it is up to Farley to decide which is more important: saving his own career or standing up for a man he believes will make a good priest?

As ever, Lemmon turns in an amazing performance. This man can do it all, and his facial expressions are priceless.

Mass Appeal is now available on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber. It is rated PG.

About the Author

Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment industry for over 25 years. She also writes about products and travel. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as Internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, is the entertainment correspondent for Good Day Orange County, and has her own TV show, Beyond the Red Carpet, on Village Television in Orange County. She is a longstanding member of the Television Critics Association, was a longstanding member of the Los Angeles Press Club, and is accredited by the MPAA. Follow her on Twitter.