The Legend of the Holy Drinker 

Drama | Italian with English subtitles | 127 minutes


Andreas Kartak is a drunken, homeless man, sleeping in the street wrapping himself with newspapers. His desperate circumstances change dramatically when a wealthy  stranger gives Andreas 200 francs on one condition: he  gives the money to the chapel dedicated to St. Thérèse. Andreas is an honorable man and intends to visit the chapel and return the money. But his will-power is weak as he helps out a financially desperate friend and spends money with his continued heavy drinking.

Rutger Hauer (Andreas Kartak) / Anthony Quayle (The Distinguished Gentleman)
Why Stream This Film?
Olmi could not have directed this sparse, almost silent film, without the superb, transcendent performance of Dutch actor Rutger Hauer.
  • Venice Film Festival: Winner, Golden Lion
  • David di Donatello Awards: Winner, Best Film; Best Director (Ermanno Olmi); Best Cinematography (Dante Spinotti)
  • Seattle International Film Festival: Winner, Best Actor (Rutger Hauer)
Olmi’s adaptation of Joseph Roth’s novella is faithful and charming, filmed with a simplicity that mirrors the original’s economy.  Why the film is so affecting is hard to pin down: maybe it’s because Olmi is so sure of his gentle, generous touch that he feels no need for overstatement.
TimeOut staff


THE LEGEND of the HOLY DRINKER is a quiet, charming, near-masterpiece,  and a perfect testament to one of Europe’s finest-ever screen talents.
Grant Watson


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