|Index||5 reviews in total|
The Hollywood film industry has often been accused of ignoring the issue of
religious faith. This is probably not because (as some people no doubt
think) that the film industry is filled full of Godless Satanists. Rather,
it is because filmmakers simply do not wish to offend.
Here is a rare film that has a clergyman as a protagonist. Sterling Hayden portrays the Pastor who has a very deep crisis of faith after his alcoholic wife commits suicide. He finds his way to and around skid row. His Journey is a path to a redemption that he has not actually been seeking.
Thomas Mitchell is great in this as well. Actually, he's doing his Doc Boone act from STAGECOACH all over again.
Journey into Light was the best movie I have ever seen. The title fits
perfectly. This is as good a movie as I have ever seen. The story of a
minister and his fall and rise from grace. I can think of no more to say.
The actor, Sterling Hayden, played the part as it should be
I have been searching since the late 50's for it. If it is on tape who do I contact to get it made. I > will appreciate any help you can give me
When the film begins, John (Sterling Hayden) is a preacher in the
middle of his Sunday morning service when into the church struggles his
wife...drunk our of her skull! Not surprisingly, this causes problems
with the elders and they push John to send her away for treatment. But
he's a proud and foolish man and soon, without help, the wife is
dead...from a suicide. Now John's bitter...so bitter he leaves the
ministry and does so angrily. In fact, he's so angry that he's soon
living on Skid Row...just another angry bum. So how can John reclaim
his life and do something to turn around his awful life? See the film
and find out for yourself.
Hayden is, as usual, excellent--which comes as no surprise. As far as the plot goes, it's one that worked well back in the less jaded early 1950s. Today, some might see the whole thing as a bit hokey...which is due, in part, to how jaded we've become over the years. I am NOT trying to be preachy myself here...just pointing out how attitudes have changed over the decades. Overall, I found it to be an interesting and earnest film...one worth seeing if you get a chance.
This independent production could easily be taken for one of those
semi-professional cinematic Sunday school sermons intended for church
halls were it not for the menacing presence of Sterling Hayden in the
lead and the contradictory visual stimuli of Elwood Bredell's crisp,
unsparing documentary-style photography of skid row (Weegee, no less,
was a technical consultant on the film), yet populated by an
extraordinary collection of familiar Hollywood faces ranging from
H.B.Warner to former Keystone Kop Hank Mann. (John Berkes, who is a
standout as the piano-playing Racky, died shortly after the production
After feeling that both God and his congregation have forsaken him by abandoning his alcoholic wife to a miserable fate, the Reverend Hayden angrily rejects both, tears off his dog collar and spends a remarkable amount of the film's relatively short running time scraping ignominiously along the lower depths of Los Angeles while vehemently badmouthing God at every opportunity. This being Hollywood during the early fifties, surely he's eventually going to regain his faith and it will all end upliftingly? It sure takes him a long time, and comes suspiciously abruptly!
Yes if I had closed my eyes I could almost swear it was Ingrid Bergman
speaking the female lead as the minister's blind daughter.Sterling
Hayden usually played unsmiling granite face parts and this was no
exception but I did see him smile once on the fairground ride as he
accompanied Viveca.Thomas Mitchell crops up in many Hollywood films
most notably as Gerald O'Hara in "Gone with the Wind" (1939) and "It's
Wonderful Life" (1946), the year of my birth.I believe one of the
"bums" also was in the latter film as this actor made a speciality of
playing these drunks/down and out parts.The film is about spiritual
redemption for an ordained minister who loses his faith and has to come
to terms with the death of his drunken wife, (who incidentally had a
passing resemblance to the late Jennifer Jones in some scenes).
I found some scenes rather mawkish and over sentimental and found it hard to believe that an intelligent man could stoop so low as to reach the lowest rung on the social ladder.Tonight was my first viewing of this film courtesy of Youtube.com and I rated it 6/10.
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