6.3/10
153
2 user 6 critic

Act of the Heart (1970)

A woman's peculiar religious convictions lead her on a self-destructive path.

Director:

Paul Almond

Writer:

Paul Almond
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Geneviève Bujold ... Martha Hayes
Donald Sutherland ... Father Michael Ferrier
Monique Leyrac Monique Leyrac ... Johane Foss
Sharon Acker ... Adele
Eric House Eric House ... Choirmaster
Ratch Wallace Ratch Wallace ... Diedrich
Billy Mitchell ... Russell Foss
Gilles Vigneault ... Coach Ti-Jo
Jean Dalmain Jean Dalmain ... Party
Claude Jutra ... Party
François Tassé ... Party
Jean Duceppe ... Parks Commisioner
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Storyline

Martha Hayes, a woman fanatically devoted to Jesus Christ, ekes out a meager existence in Montreal, Canada. As a singer in an Anglican Church choir, Martha meets and is fascinated by Father Michael Ferrier, an Augustinian monk who's the guest conductor for an interfaith concert. How far is Martha willing to go to show her devotion to God? Written by Eugene Kim <genekim@concentric.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Three faces of Love ... None of them could comfort her for more than a moment! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 September 1970 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

Acte du coeur See more »

Filming Locations:

Montréal, Québec, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

CAD 450,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Quest See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

The Flame Within - Cantata
Written by Harry Freedman
Performed by St. Philips Church Choir
Les Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal
Erskine & America United Church Choir
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hearts aflame--literally (and unfortunately)
12 June 2017 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

Initially a gentle portrait of a virginal young farm woman on the north shores of Canada who sings with the church choir and longs to be closer to God; she has toyed with the notion of entering a convent but instead falls in love with a monk, who tells the girl about the primitive practice of self-sacrifice by fire. Writer-director Paul Almond fashioned this tale for then-wife Genevieve Bujold, keeping her busy singing, interacting with the local villagers, working with the children and learning from (and flirting with) Father Donald Sutherland--a relationship which leads her down the wrong path into a religious fervor. Bujold, one of the finest actresses to come from the new wave of foreign personalities to reach Hollywood in the 1960s, responds to the lighter demands of this material with grace (fending off the affections of a lothario while ice-skating, walking forlornly in the snow and catching the snowdrift on her tongue, reading in bed with her glasses on and cutting up the newspaper), but the larger-scaled moments Almond stages for Bujold would be unplayable for any actress. The film is poorly-shot, recorded and edited, a bit monotonous and with a drab production; however, Bujold and Sutherland prove to be an offbeat romantic combination and there are some lovely moments here and there. Almond has higher aspirations, however, then simply observing this troubled woman's life, and the film's third act is a complete and willful self-destruction. ** from ****


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