Morris West wrote the screenplay but was so disappointed by the results that he asked that his name be deleted from that credit, while keeping his novel's source credit onscreen. Casting Quinn in the lead as the man who became the leader of the Church occasioned some laughter among wags
who dubbed this movie "Zorba, the Pope." Quinn is a Russian Catholic (not Russian Orthodox) priest who has been a political prisoner in a Siberian hard labor camp for 20 years. Olivier is the Soviet premier and orders Quinn's release, but with a strange proviso. The Chinese communists, under the
thumb of Kwouk (who was Peter Sellers' aide in the PINK PANTHER movies, so how could he ...