“THE LEGEND OF THE HOLY DRINKER” (“La leggenda del santo bevitore”)
Exiled in Paris
Andreas Kartack (Rutger Hauer) is a tramp who is exiled in Paris and haunted by a criminal past. He sees no way out of his predicament until, almost miraculously, he is offered 200 francs by a wealthy stranger whose only request is that, when and if he can afford it, he return the money to a chapel dedicated to St. Thérèse. Andreas is a man of honor but with a weak will. He decides to try to rejoin the world from which he became a stranger. He finds work, goes out with women, dines out and sleeping real beds. However, these new luxuries make him forget his obligation. such luxuries, however, distract him from his promise. The film is an adaptation of Joseph Roth’s novella and like the book is simple.
Andreas shows us his pride, his dignity and his vulnerability. The film comes across as a parable with its religious elements subordinated to a story that is told minimally yet is very affecting. A lot is communicated with a few words and for whatever reason, we fall in love with Andreas. We see in him a sense of being in the moment and living the life that happens. When things change, he quietly follows where they lead. He finds joy in the small moments.
The film is about his epiphany and we see that there is always more than one chance, and that somehow not succeeding completely is okay as long as we do not stop trying. Although the story is primarily about Andreas, there are other wonderful characters including the stranger (Anthony Quayle) and the young prostitute, Andreas’s parents and so on. Italian director Ermanno Olmi adapted from the novella for the screen.
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
Brand-new 4K restoration from the original negative, produced by Arrow Films exclusively for this release
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations of both the English and Italian versions of the film
5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and Stereo 2.0 options for the English presentation with optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
Stereo 2.0 audio for the Italian presentation with optional newly translated English subtitles
Brand-new interview with actor Rutger Hauer, recorded exclusively for this release
Interview with screenwriter Tullio Kezich
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: New writing on the film by Helen Chambers, author of Joseph Roth in Retrospect: Co-existent Contradiction