Tom Tryon plays the title role in this Otto Preminger version of the Henry Morton Robinson novel. In his matriculation from Monsignor to the College of Cardinals, Stephen Fermoyle (Tom Tryon) must undergo several grueling life experiences: standing up to bigots in Georgia, defying Nazis in Austria, and so on. The film boasts cameo appearances by Dorothy Gish, Cecil Kellaway, John Saxon, John Huston, Robert Morse, Burgess Meredith, Raf Vallone, Ossie Davis. Incidentally, Tryon eventually quit acting and became a popular novelist.
by Hal Erickson synopsis