Taglines: Somewhere between laughter and tears, they found something to believe in.
For years, as pastor of an affluent, suburban Catholic parish, Father Tim Farley has maintained a close relationship with his congregation by delivering folksy homilies filled with practical advice and adhering to clerical policies without waver.
One Sunday, his sermon is interrupted by seminarian Mark Dolson, who questions Farley’s position on the ordination of women. The older priest charmingly sidesteps the young man but is annoyed that he was placed in an uncomfortable position. This is a man who relies on charm, harmless white lies, and inane jokes when interacting with his parishioners, and he always has been careful not to get involved in controversial issues.
Dolson defends two seminarians who were expelled after being suspected of engaging in a homosexual relationship. After he is ordained a deacon, frustrated Monsignor Thomas Burke assigns him to Farley’s parish in the hope the older man will inspire him to toe the line and become more complacent. Although in some ways conservative—he criticizes his sister Liz for her affair with a married man—the young man primarily is a liberal firebrand who is anxious to make changes in the church, whereas Farley prefers study with a bottle of alcohol and not make waves.
The pastor tries to become a mentor to his new charge, but Dolson ignores the priest’s efforts to teach him the necessity of tact. He enrages the congregation with his first, highly critical sermon. Questions as to why Dolson defended the gay seminarians arise. He confides having spent two years engaging in sexual relations with both men and women, saying he now is committed to celibacy. Farley urges him to keep quiet about his past, but the deacon admits his secret to the monsignor and is expelled.
Mass Appeal is a 1984 American dramedy film starring Jack Lemmon, directed by Glenn Jordan. The screenplay by Bill C. Davis is based on his 1980 play of the same name. İt starred Jack Lemmon, Zeljko Ivanek, Charles Durning, Louise Latham, Alice Hirson, Helene Heigh, Sharee Gregory and Talia Balsam.
Mass Appeal (1984)
Directed by: Glenn Jordan
Starring: Jack Lemmon, Zeljko Ivanek, Charles Durning, Louise Latham, Alice Hirson, Helene Heigh, Sharee Gregory, Talia Balsam
Screenplay by: Bill C. Davis
Production Design by: Philip M. Jefferies
Cinematography by: Donald Peterman
Film Editing by: John Wright
Costume Design by: Shari Feldman, Bruce Walkup
Set Decoration by: Robert Checchi
Music by: Bill Conti
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Release Date: December 6, 1984