Books by Ellwood E. Kieser

HOLLYWOOD PRIEST by Ellwood E. Kieser
Released: July 9, 1991

Kieser, a Catholic priest who produces movies and TV shows, earnestly reveals his personal struggle behind his work. Born in Philadelphia of an Irish-Catholic mother and German- Lutheran father, Kieser early felt stirrings of faith and heard ``the call'' (``an earthquake within me'') during his teens. Later turned down as a Trappist because he talked a lot, he felt at one with the Paulists, who stress individual initiative and freedom of service in the secular world. His philosophy formed early: ``We find our happiness and fulfillment not by seeking them but by forgetting all about them in seeking the happiness and fulfillment of other people...we find ourselves by giving ourselves.'' Kieser fell in love with a young nun, Genevieve, who answered his passions not by sublimating erotic desires as he did but by entering analysis, having an affair with the analyst, leaving the Church and marrying her analyst. Kieser's first parish was in L.A., where he developed the idea for a half-hour Sunday TV program, Insight, which he produced and which went on for many years as a successful dramatic show that attracted the services of accomplished actors and directors. This led to an even larger dramatic format, a series of two-hour TV movies on contemporary heroes such as Cesar Chavez, Lech Walesa, and Dag Hammarskjîld. The two set-pieces of the book are shooting We Are the Children with Ted Danson, an ABC-TV movie about starving Ethiopian children, and Romero, which starred Raul Julia as Archbishop Oscar Romero, the champion of the poor and defender of human rights in El Salvador who was shot while saying Mass. Filmed in Mexico, this film clicked on its theatrical release and did well on videocassette. Honest and thoughtful, if not very exciting. Read full book review >