6.5/10
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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.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

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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:

Del destino nadie huye  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,785,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

(DeLuxe)|

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film unites Victor Sen Yung with Benson Fong. They played #2 son Jimmy Chan and #3 son Tommy Chan in the long running Charlie Chan series. Interestingly they never appeared together in any of the Chan films and later in the series for some unknown reason, the producers changed Sen Young's character's name to Tommy Chan. 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: [of prostitutes] Don't tell me the Church gives up on 'em, father! Medicine doesn't give up...
Jim Carmody: When medicine reaches a point where it never has to walk hopelessly away from a case, then you can criticize the Church because it left some... spiritual illness uncured.
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

 
Surviving as a Padre
6 March 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Interesting that The Left Hand of God should be directed by Edward Dmytryk one of the famed Hollywood 10 and the only one to recant and admit his Communist Party involvement so he could beat the blacklist and resume work. Dmytryk like Bogart in the film pretended he was something he wasn't and submitted himself for a kind of absolution.

Flier James Carmody is shot down while flying the hump in Kuomintang China during the Thirties and he's shot down in an isolated area where Chiang Kai-shek's writ doesn't run. He gets drafted into warlord Lee J. Cobb's army and then deserts, using the disguise of a recently deceased priest who got himself deceased by one of Cobb's men.

Like William Holden in Bridge Over the River Kwai, Carmody played by Bogart is forced by circumstance to keep up the appearance. He wins over a lot of the villagers where the deceased priest was headed for. And he also wins over missionary lady Gene Tierney. And he becomes involved in a rather dubious miracle that saves the village.

The key here is that Bogart is a lapsed Catholic himself in the film. Otherwise the whole thing would have no meaning whatsoever. Even so, I'm still dubious myself about Bogart's attitude when all's said and done.

Plot elements can be found as I said in The Bridge on the River Kwai and later on it was played for comedy in a military setting when Glenn Ford pretended he was a general in Imitation General in an obscure corner of the European theater in World War II.

Bogey fans will consider this film a must, others can take or leave it.


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