Original Release: September 12, 1994 (Canada)
Directed by: Antonia Bird
Written by: Jimmy McGovern
Produced by: George Faber, Josephine Ward
Running Time: 105 minutes
Box Office: $4,165,845 (UK)
The Rev. Greg Pilkington (Linus Roache) is homosexual and a Roman Catholic priest who takes his vows and his love of God seriously. When a young girl confesses to him that her father has been sexually abusing her, Pilkington is overcome with protective rage and feels that he must break the secrecy rules binding the confessional in order to stop the abuse.
As the case haunts him, Pilkington is forced to confront the transgression of his lack of celibacy through sex with other men.
Linus Roache (Father Greg Pilkington), Tom Wilkinson (Father Matthew Thomas), Cathy Tyson (Maria Kerrigan), Christine Tremarco (Lisa Unsworth), Robert Pugh (Mr. Unsworth), Lesley Sharp (Mrs. Unsworth)
- Blundellsands, Merseyside, England, UK
- Liverpool, Merseyside, England, UK
- London, England, UK
- When Robert Carlyle was asked about the love-making scene he responded, "When you do these scenes with women it's very difficult. There should be subtitles underneath, they should go: "I hope you don't think I'm enjoying this!" With Linus in Priest it was easy because Linus is a straight guy and so am I, and it was very very easy then to do that. It was actually quite technical."
- Director Antonia Bird was forced to cut a whole scene of Linus Roache's bare behind to ensure only an R rating in the USA, instead of a notorious NC-13.
- Although the story is purely fictional, plenty of gay priests with their lovers as well as the straight priests who have secret wives and children, despite the vow of celibacy, exist inside the Roman Catholic Church even today in reality.
Charge Sergeant: Occupation?
Charge Sergeant: What's your job?
Father Greg Pilkington: Priest.
Charge Sergeant: Catholic?
Father Greg Pilkington: Yes.
Charge Sergeant: You little devil!
Berlin International Film Festival Award as Best Feature Film
Edinburgh International Film Festival Award as Best New British Feature
Santa Barbara International Film Festival Award as Audience Choice - Antonia Bird
Toronto International Film Festival People's Choice Award
BAFTA Award as Best British Film
Australian Film Institute Award as Best Foreign Film
Chlotrudis Award as Best Actor - Linus Roache