Aboard the freighter Glencairn, the lives of the crew are lived out in fear, loneliness, suspicion and cameraderie. The men smuggle drink and women aboard, fight with each other, spy on ... See full summary »
The life story of a salt-of-the-earth Irish immigrant, who becomes an Army Noncommissioned Officer and spends his 50 year career at the United States Military Academy at West Point. This ... See full summary »
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
Visually extraordinary but desperately disappointing
I've not had much luck catching up on the John Ford films I haven't seen this year, and The Fugitive is yet another in this year's run of terrible disappointments.
Visually the most strikingly beautiful of his career, it's also a horrible mawkish wail of unconvincing public piety that constantly feels like he's trying to buy his way into heaven. As if bowdlerizing the point out of Graham Greene's source material to make a plaster saint of his hero wasn't bad enough, Henry Fonda's mostly dreadful performance is the final nail in the coffin. Ford always managed to get the very least out of Fonda, and here Hank's clearly plain embarrassed by the part, proving woefully ineffective as he fails to make much of an impression for far too much of the running time. With all traces of character removed from the role, leaving him with nothing to work with, it's not until the last couple of reels that he actually becomes a remotely credible character instead of a poorly drawn walking religious icon "Hey, look everybody, I'm suffering for your sins just like Christ!" Until then, it's up to Pedro Armendariz to hold the fort as the policeman who has replaced religion with a new faith, politics, although even his missionary faith in atheism is somewhat undermined here by Fonda's nameless priest being a sober believer rather than the drunken fallen angel of the novel. Along with Ward Bond's Gringo bank robber (bizarrely introduced with the theme from Stagecoach!), he's one of the few people Fonda encounters on his journey to martyrdom you can actually care about or believe in. Certainly Dolores Del Rio's Madonna/Whore figure is so horribly idealised that it feels like being beaten up by a posse of boxing nuns every time she appears in 'God-light.' There are a few good scenes and a strong ending, but the horrible overindulgence of much of the film like the endless treacle of the opening baptisms is almost enough to make the Pope convert to Judaism. Compared to this, The Passion looks subtle. Beautiful shots of horses riding, though.
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