Who wants to watch a big-budget historical drama about Catholics fighting for religious liberty against a government hell-bent on radical secularization? Then you’re in luck: For Greater Glory is a new movie based on the Cristero War between Catholics and the Mexican government in the 1920s—a war which gave us not a few Catholic martyrs.
I have NO IDEA if this movie is any good—as entertainment, as history, or as art. I have no idea if anyone will go see it. I don’t even know how many theaters it will show it. But the trailer is promising…
Also promising are some of the names attached to the project. For Greater Glory is the directorial debut of Dean Wright who has had quite a career in visual effects (see his IMDB bio, here). Andy Garcia, Peter O’Toole, Bruce Greenwood and Eva Longoria headline a cast which also includes Eduardo Verástegui (best known as the lead in Bella). The score is done by James Horner, one of the industry’s best. (He did the music for Braveheart and a bunch of other big films with great music.)
Given the return to prominence of religious liberty in our national debate, the movie is timely. I’m actually encouraged by the fact that it began filming in the summer of 2010, long before the filmmakers could have had any idea that their film would be so topical. That should keep any ill-considered pontificating or overreaching allegory to a minimum.
No word yet on the film’s rating.
I’m going to a screening next Thursday and I’ll let everyone know what I thought of the movie then, presuming there’s no embargo.
[UPDATE: I'm told that the new, and presumably final, title of the film is The Greater Glory. I've changed the post to reflect that. The trailer obviously uses the older title, Cristiada.]
Stephen P. White is a fellow in Catholic Studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, DC and coordinator of the Tertio Millennio Seminar on the Free Society.