Revisiting the Benedictine Priory of Montreal

Video footage of the Benedictine Priory of Montreal is hard to come by, especially as the monastery closed in 1990.  Radio-Canada’s French language program on religion, “Second Regard,” did do two reports on the community in the 1980s.  Alas, I do not have access to those videos.

However, some footage is available of the actual physical structure of the former mansion and monastery.  After the priory closed its doors, the house was used as a film set for at least two movies I know of.

The first is a dramatization of the Nuremberg Trials, where the former monastery serves as the Nuremberg home of the chief prosecutor, played by Alec Baldwin in “Nuremberg.”  In the following clip, you see an exterior shot of the former monastery, with the actors, including Mr. Baldwin, walking through the main door and down the marble hallway.

An even more amazing use of the former priory as a movie set occurs in the Donald Sutherland movie, “The Assignment,” about the assassin, Carlos the Jackal.  The priory is now a safe-house in Berlin for Carlos, and the house is under assault in this clip.  Once the assault team has moved into the house and down the marble hallway they shoot and kill a group playing cards where the monastic community used to sing the Regina caeli.

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This entry was posted in Monks, Rule of St. Benedict and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Revisiting the Benedictine Priory of Montreal

  1. Paul Geraghty says:

    Have just come across this post. As the only one of the original monastic community to remain in Montreal (as a diocesan priest) I thought you might be interested to know that this rather large mansion has reverted to its original use as a single family home! The films date from its brief life as the Unitas centre and I was actually in residence when one was being made – although neither of the above! Best wishes!

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