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The Left Hand of God (1955)

Approved | | Drama | 14 November 1955 (West Germany)
At a Catholic mission in China, long-awaited "Father O'Shea" proves to be a tough guy, disturbingly attractive to mission nurse Anne.



(screenplay), (novel)

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Complete credited cast:
Carl Benton Reid ...
Philip Ahn ...


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


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




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

14 November 1955 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Del destino nadie huye  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,785,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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



Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Kirk Douglas and Gregory Peck were considered to star in this film. See more »


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 »


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


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


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

Bogart gives a top-drawer performance as flyboy/priest who takes refuge in a Chinese missionary hospital
17 February 2016 | by (Santander Spain) – See all my reviews

Nice and intelligent film , being Humphrey's second to last movie providing an awesome acting . As he plays a pilot called James 'Jim' Carmody (Bogart , though Kirk Douglas and Gregory Peck were considered to star in this picture) attempting to escape in post WWIII , 1947 , dressed as a priest from the revenge of a Chinese warlord (Lee J Cobb) . At a Catholic mission in China , being long-awaited "Father O'Shea" but there shows up Carmody posing as a cleric and he proves to be a two-fisted guy . At this place lives the enticing nurse Anne (Gene Tierney) , a gorgeous war widow , who believes she is falling in love with someone she can't marry . Meanwhile , China disintegrates in civil war (1945-1949) , warlords , revolution and fights between Maoists and nationalists.

This is a sensitive film including emotions , interesting dialogue , a marvelous love story and fine performances . The hand of Edward Dmytryk tends to rely heavily on the enjoyable relationship between Bogart and Tierney . The film is pretty well , though results are rather dull and sincere with an abundance of narrative dialog . Interesting screenplay by Alfred Hayes based on the novel "The Left Hand of God" by William E. Barrett . Long time ago , William Faulkner completed an adaptation of the 1950 novel for director Howard Hawks , a longtime collaborator . Here Bogart in a new type of action role who proves to be surprisingly effective with the unusual character of an adventurer/pilot who disguised himself as a Catholic cleric . Gene Tierney is as beautiful as ever as the attractive woman . However , being last starring screen appearance of actress Gene Tierney, who had been suffering from mental illness for a number of years and entered various treatment centers . Support cast is frankly well , such as : Agnes Moorehead , E.G. Marshall , Jean Porter , Carl Benton Reid and Lee J Cobb is great as a warlord . The movie displays a luxurious and colorful cinematography by Franz Planer . Emotive and moving musical score by the classical composer Victor Young , including a stirring leitmotif .

The motion picture was well directed by Edward Dmytryk , though being slow-moving and with penchant to weight rather heavily on the proceedings . A veteran filmmaker, Dmytryck is one of Hollywood's most prolific directors who started his career in the early 40s . He was a craftsman whose career was interrupted by the activities of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), a congressional committee that employed ruthless tactics aimed at rooting out and destroying what it saw as Communist influence in Hollywood . A lifelong political leftist who had been a Communist Party member briefly during World War II, Dmytryk was one of the so-called "Hollywood Ten" who refused to cooperate with HUAC and had their careers disrupted or ruined as a result . The committee threw him in prison for refusing to cooperate, and after having spent several months behind bars , Dmytryk decided to cooperate . Dmytrick's biggest film was ¨The Caine Mutiny¨ , but he also realized another mutiny film titled : ¨Mutiny¨ with Angela Lansbury . Edward was an expert on warlike genre as ¨Back to Batan¨ , ¨Battle of Anzio¨ , ¨Young lions¨ and Western as ¨Broken lance¨ , ¨Alvarez Kelly¨ , ¨Warlock¨ , among others . Rating : 6.5/10 , better than average . It's recommended for drama enthusiasts and big stars lovers .

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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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