The Angel Wore Red (1960)

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A clergyman leaves the priesthood over the church's indifferent position during the Spanish Civil War but finds himself attracted to a beautiful entertainer.



, (dialogue Italian version), 1 more credit »
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Complete credited cast:
Arturo Carrera
Gen. Clave
Aldo Fabrizi ...
Canon Rota
Insurgent major
Enrico Maria Salerno ...
Capt. Botargus


The Spanish priest played by Dirk Bogarde is troubled by his church's lack of concern for the poor; he decides to leave the church. By chance, the same day the Republicans call on the people to attack the churches and the priests, so though in plainclothes he is liable to arrest and execution. A beautiful cabaret singer (Ava Gardner) hides him for awhile but both are eventually made prisoner. The plot revolves around a relic taken from his erstwhile church by another priest that all sides are convinced would assure them victory... Written by bigOther

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A FUGITIVE...With a Price On His Head! A WOMAN...With a Price On Her Love! See more »


Action | Drama | War | Romance


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Release Date:

14 April 1960 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

The Fair Bride  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

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User Reviews

A Noble Failure
16 May 2001 | by (Pittsburgh, PA) – See all my reviews

A fairly potent script with an interesting plot device at its core (both believers and non-believers alike chase after a sacred religious relic during a bloody civil war), undermined by rather bland, pedestrian film-making. Thus, it's not terribly surprising this was the last film directed by the prolific screenwriter Nunnally Johnson. He shoots just about everything in an overly dark and cramped way making it often impossible to determine where a scene is set, let alone what is going on or even who is in it. This may have been intentional, with the absence of light meant to convey the spiritual darkness in which the country of Spain was submerged at the time, but it comes off as crude and makes for rough viewing. There's something strange about the sound as well; there are few if any sufficiently lit close ups and it seems as if some of the actors' voices have been dubbed. Vittorio DeSica's character, for instance, comes across a bit like Truman Capote playing General Patton. Joseph Cotten pops up every now and again, as a cynical, gravel-voiced newsman, (in fact, he also narrates) but you never ever really see his face and there is something disembodied about his entire presence. It's all a bit unsettling.

Nonetheless, if you can endure its flaws, the movie raises some thought provoking questions on the nature of faith and religion in times of strife, and Dirk Bogarde is quite impassioned as the troubled priest. Ava Gardner, however, is noticeably past her prime as Bogarde's love interest, and her character isn't adequately fleshed out.

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