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The Left Hand of God (1955)

6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 1,515 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 7 critic

At a Catholic mission in China, long-awaited "Father O'Shea" proves to be a tough guy, disturbingly attractive to mission nurse Anne.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Title: The Left Hand of God (1955)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Jean Porter ...
Carl Benton Reid ...
Victor Sen Yung ...
Philip Ahn ...
Benson Fong ...
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Storyline

A man in priestly robes, seemingly the long-awaited Father O'Shea, arrives at a little-frequented Catholic mission in 1947 China. Though the man seems curiously uncomfortable with his priestly duties, his tough tactics prove very successful in the Seven Villages, as around them China disintegrates in civil war and revolution. But he has a secret, and his friendship with mission nurse Anne (an attractive war widow) seems to be taking on an unpriestly tone... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He profaned the cloth he wore! She fought against a forbidden relationship! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 November 1955 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

La main gauche du Seigneur  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording) (magnetic prints)| (Western Electric Recording) (optical prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

William Faulkner completed an adaptation of the 1950 novel for director Howard Hawks, a longtime collaborator, but the results were deemed "rather dull and sincere with an abundance of narration" by Hawks biographer Todd McCarthy and was shelved. See more »

Goofs

Throughout the climactic confrontation as Carmody and Mieh Yang sit next to each other, Mieh Yang's bald head shifts repeatedly between sunshine and shadow. See more »

Quotes

Dr. David Sigman: I like to see a man get violent now and then. It's good for the circulation.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bogart: The Untold Story (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

A LOAF OF BREAD
Written by Ken Darby (based on traditional "The Old Gray Goose")
Sung by Humphrey Bogart and Gene Tierney
See more »

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User Reviews

They're Right- Bogie's Left.

Great movie stars are rarely great actors. But they are people who exude elements of humanity, which we'd like to possess- John Wayne's toughness, Sharon Stone's glamour, Gary Cooper's inner silence, or Michael Douglas's ruthlessness. More unique than acting talent, Humphrey Bogart's element was that of hardened sinner whose inner spark of decency wasn't entirely subsumed. In this Cinemascope/colour movie, where Bogie's late-night drinking and myriad of broken marital relationships was visibly etched upon every facial crevice, the idea that he could pass himself off as a priest was ludicrous. But THE LEFT HAND OF GOD never demands that of him- nor us.

It makes instead, the not impossible proposition that a simple, remote Chinese community traumatised by marauders might presume Bogie to be the 'priest of Christ' they so anxiously await. We the audience, are privy to who Bogey is and still is. His un-Godly skill, which ultimately saves the mission from General Yang's terror, is entirely in character.

The Catholic theology was also dead on. Those whom Bogie absolved, married and buried were spiritually exonerated by the very innocence we moviegoers cannot share about Bogart. The power of the central argument of William Barrett's much dissipated novel, in spite of -or maybe because of, 50's Hollywood formulaic moviemaking- is somehow preserved.

The repetitious references to Bogey as 'the priest of Christ' and the ingenuous children's enigmatic broken-English farewell of 'Oole Kantackee Hom,' also persuade. We know Bogey must leave, and that he is redeemed in spite of himself. Even Bogie doesn't know that. We now also know that this life-scarred, bloodshot, poker-playing sceptic received a fair Hearing- after dying from throat cancer less than two years later on January 14th 1957 -at least from the left Hand Side of his Maker.


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Are there any plans for releasing this title on DVD? n/t amgr70
Lee J. Cobb is brilliant as warlord Mieh Yang stevenmmfox
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