CATHOLIC MOVIE – MARCELINO

Miracle of Marcelino (Spanish: Marcelino, pan y vino, “Marcelino, bread and wine”) is a 1955 Spanish film written by José Maria Sanchez-Silva, based on his novel, and directed by Ladislao Vajda.

The story revolves around Marcelino, an orphan abandoned as a baby on the steps of a monastery in nineteenth-century Spain. The monks raise the child, and Marcelino grows into a rowdy young boy. He has been warned by the monks not to visit the monastery attic, where a “very big man who will take him away” lives, but he ventures upstairs anyway, sees the man and tears off back down the stairs.

At a festival, Marcelino causes havoc when he accidentally topples a pile of fruit and lets some animals loose. The new local mayor, a blacksmith whom the monks would not let adopt Marcelino because of his coarse behavior, uses the incident as an excuse to try to shut down the monastery.

Given the silent treatment by the monks, Marcelino gathers up the courage to once again enter the attic, where he sees not a bogeyman, but a beautiful statue of Christ on the Cross. Remarking that the statue looks hungry, Marcelino steals some bread and wine and offers it to the statue, which comes to life, descends from the Cross, and eats and drinks what the boy has brought him. The statue becomes Marcelino’s best friend and confidant, and begins to give him religious instruction. For his part, Marcelino realizes that the statue is Christ.

The monks know something is strange when they notice bread and wine disappearing, and arrange to spy on Marcelino. One day, the statue notices that Marcelino is pensive and brooding instead of happy, and tells him that he would like to reward his kindness. Marcelino answers: “I want only to see my mother, and to see Yours after that”. The statue cradles Marcelino in its arms, tells Marcelino to sleep – and Marcelino dies happy.

The monks witness the miracle through a crack in the attic door, and burst in just in time to see the dead Marcelino bathed in a heavenly glow. The statue returns to its place on the Cross, and Marcelino is buried underneath the chapel and venerated by all who visit the now flourishing monastery-turned-shrine.

The main story is told in flashback by a monk (played by Fernando Rey), who, visiting a dying girl, tells her the story of Marcelino for inspiration. The film ends with the monk entering the now completely remodeled chapel in the monastery during Mass, and saying to the crucifix once kept in the attic: “We have been speaking about You, O Lord”, and then, to Marcelino’s grave, which is situated nearby, “And about you, too, Marcelino”.

MOVIE SHELF – A FEW GOOD MEN

A Few Good Men is a 1992 American legal drama film based on Aaron Sorkin’s 1989 play of the same name.

The film revolves around the court-martial of two U.S. Marines charged with the murder of a fellow Marine and the tribulations of their lawyers as they prepare a case to defend their clients.

U.S. Marines Lance Corporal Harold Dawson (Wolfgang Bodison) and Private First Class Louden Downey (James Marshall) are facing a general court-martial, accused of murdering fellow Marine William Santiago at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. Santiago had poor relations with his fellow Marines, compared unfavorably to them, and broke the chain of command in an attempt to get transferred out of Guantanamo. Base Commander Colonel Nathan Jessup (Jack Nicholson) and his officers argue about the best course of action: while Jessup’s executive officer, Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Markinson (J. T. Walsh), advocates that Santiago be transferred, Jessup dismisses the option and instead orders Santiago’s commanding officer, Lieutenant Jonathan James Kendrick (Kiefer Sutherland), to “train” Santiago to become a better Marine.

While it is believed that the motive in Santiago’s murder was retribution for naming Dawson in a fenceline shooting, Naval investigator and lawyer Lieutenant Commander JoAnne Galloway (Demi Moore) largely suspects Dawson and Downey carried out a “code red” order: a violent extrajudicial punishment. Galloway wants to defend the two, but the case is given to Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise) – an inexperienced and unenthusiastic lawyer with a penchant for plea bargains. Galloway and Kaffee instantly conflict, with Galloway unsettled by Kaffee’s apparent laziness whilst Kaffee resents Galloway’s interference. Kaffee and Galloway travel to Guantanamo base Cuba to question Colonel Jessup and others. Under questioning, Jessup claims Santiago was set to be transferred the next day.