Action Alert!

Support Catholic friendly movies

By Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. ( articles - email ) | Nov 08, 2003

Want to see a good Catholic movie that's being stifled by movie studios? No, it's not "The Passion." It's "One Man's Hero," starring Tom Berenger. It's the story of Irish Catholics in America in the 1840s who got fed up with anti-Catholicism in the US and moved to Mexico, a country that was welcoming to their Catholic faith. And they eventually became soldiers in the Mexican Army, forming the "St. Patrick Battalion," fighting against the US in the US-Mexico War (1842-1846). For that they were labeled traitors and some were tried by the US as deserters. This is a true story.

Some may ask why a movie studio should be expected to release a movie about what some would call traitors, especially now that America is at war. However, the movie does present an interesting picture of a problem, in recognizing the historic injustices that America has perpetrated against Irish Catholics. The funny thing is that if it were a movie about black men, rather than Irish, it would probably receive an enthusiastic welcome, like "Glory" or "Amistad."

I don’t think the men were traitors so much as they were betrayed by a country that told them it offered freedom and equality, but denied them both. They were disillusioned and moved on from America to a country that embraced their Catholicism.

America did not live up to her promises then, but America today is a contrast to that. In a way, it shows how far we’ve come and that’s a patriotic message in itself.

The movie was made by Orion Pictures, but when Orion was bought MGM, the new owners seemed determined not to release it in 1998. It was played in only a few theaters in the Southwest and despite critical acclaim and rave reviews during press screenings in Ireland, it was never released there at all.

Now the producers along with Catholics who want to see more family friendly, Catholic friendly fare come out of Hollywood are mounting a campaign to get MGM to sell the distribution rights and allow someone to get this movie out where it can be seen by audiences. This coming Tuesday, in fact, they will be screening the movie for the US bishops at their semi-annual meeting.

What can you do? Go to the One Man's Hero Re-Release Campaign web site for more information. And pray. With Hollywood's track record of making Catholic hostile movies, we can't sit back and ignore it when a major Catholic friendly movie is stifled.

(By the way, the movie is available on DVD, although it is difficult to find it, and has been aired on cable, but because it was not given wide theatrical release, it was denied the wide audience it could have had.)

P.S. Okay, it may not be difficult to find (see below), but there aren't great stocks of it. If you want a copy, you better snap it up before it's gone.

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