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The Fugitive (1947)

 -  Drama | History  -  3 November 1947 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 1,276 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 20 critic

Anti--Catholic and anti-cleric policies in the Mexican state of Tabasco lead the revolutionary government to persecute the state's last remaining priest.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
An Indian Woman (as Dolores Del Rio)
...
A Lieutenant of Police (as Pedro Armendariz)
J. Carrol Naish ...
A Police Informer
Leo Carrillo ...
A Chief of Police
...
El Gringo
Robert Armstrong ...
A Sergeant of Police
...
A Refugee Doctor
Fortunio Bonanova ...
The Governor's Cousin
Chris-Pin Martin ...
An Organ-Grinder (as Cris-Pin Martin)
Miguel Inclán ...
A Hostage (as Miguel Inclan)
Fernando Fernández ...
A Singer (as Fernando Fernandez)
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Storyline

Based of the Graham Greene novel about a revolutionary priest in Central America. A priest who is The Fugitive is trying to getaway from the authorities who have denounced Christianity and want anyone linked to it dead. The Fugitive finds shelter with an Indian Woman (The Woman), a faithful parishioner, who gives the priest directions to Puerto Grande, where he could then board a ship and sail to freedom in America. On his journey to Puerto Grande, he meets up with a man who says he will protect him. In reality, he is the Police Informer and once The Fugitive realizes this, he is back on the run, but the Police Informer is never far behind along with the authorities. Written by Kelly

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

priest | fugitive | police | mexican | indian | See more »

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

3 November 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El fugitivo  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The opening narration is by Ward Bond, who also plays an important role in the film. See more »

Quotes

A Refugee Doctor: Oh, don't be so hard on yourself. A man is entitled to a little pride.
A Fugitive: Not in my profession.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Power and the Glory (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
("The Dying Cowboy") (uncredited)
American folk ballad based on an older sea song (1932)
Variation heard as theme for the Gringo (Ward Bond)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Heavy Handed Symbolism
16 May 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

When Herbert J. Yates of Republic Pictures made a deal with John Ford to produce The Quiet Man he first made Ford agree to do one of his cavalry epics with John Wayne because he wanted a surefire moneymaker before taking a chance on The Quiet Man. The cavalry picture was Rio Grande.

He must have been talking to the folks at RKO who lost their collective shirts when the public stayed away in droves from The Fugitive. It got great critical acclaim and no box office at all.

My guess is that The Fugitive was sold all wrong or was made a year or two too early. If it had been sold as an anti-Communist as opposed to a pro-Catholic film it might have done better in those beginning years of The Cold War.

The Fugitive is based on a Graham Greene novel The Power and the Glory and it is about a priest in an unnamed South American country who is a fugitive because of his calling. An anti-clerical government has taken control of the country and they are doing their best to drive the Catholic religion out of the country.

Henry Fonda turns in a good sincere performance as the cleric, but he's about as convincingly Latino as Toshiro Mifune. The other members of the cast are well suited for their roles.

The best performance in the film is from that chameleon like actor J. Carrol Naish who could play any kind of nationality on the planet. He's the informer who rats out Henry Fonda to the police. Very similar to what Akim Tamiroff did to Gary Cooper in For Whom The Bells Toll and Naish's own performance in another Gary Cooper film, Beau Geste.

This was the first of three films Pedro Armendariz did with John Ford in an effort to broaden his appeal beyond Mexican cinema. Dolores Del Rio as his estranged wife was already familiar to American audiences from the silent screen.

The original novel by Greene had the priest as somewhat less than true to all his vows. He's a drinker and a womanizer. Del Rio's character is also quite tawdry. And this from Greene who was a well known Catholic lay person. But this Hollywood in the firm grip of The Code so a lot of what Greene wrote had to be softened by Ford for the screen. It lessened the impact of the film.

And with the whitewashing of Fonda's character came some rather heavy handed symbolism of Fonda as a Christlike figure.

Still The Fugitive might be worth a look for Ford, Greene, and Fonda fans.


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