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Joseph L. Mankiewicz
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 <email@example.com>
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Father O'Shea, arrives at a Catholic mission in 1947 China, though his methods at first seem heavy handed, the villagers come to admire and respect him. But the longer he stays there the closer he gets to Anne, a pretty nurse who herself is strangely drawn to this unorthodox priest, it is just a matter of time before the truth will out and secrets are about to become uncovered.
Based on the novel by William E. Barrett, The Left Hand Of God just about registers as an interesting piece. I would go as far to say that it's merely the presence of some big name actors that have stopped this one from being panned wholesale. The acting is fine, Humphrey Bogart takes the lead as Father O'Shea, restrained and committed to the role he is, but it's not really a role calling for anything out of the ordinary. Gene Tierney plays Anne and barely has enough written for her to flourish, and this accounts for a distinct lack of chemistry between herself and Bogart. Gruff nasty villain duties fall to Lee J. Cobb, who in his oriental makeup now looks incredibly dated and sadly, laughable. The story will be of interest to those of religious beliefs, and at its heart the redemption fable is to be roundly applauded, but the whole movie drags to its inevitable conclusion and come the warm finale i personally felt that it's such a waste of talent. Yes it's touching at times, and yes its point is well and truly made, but ultimately it's a very forgettable piece of interest to Bogart and religious purists only. 5/10
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