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Satan Never Sleeps (1962)

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A priest (William Holden) arrives at a mission-post in China accompanied by a young native girl who has joined him along the way. His job is to relieve the existing priest (Clifton Webb), ... See full summary »


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Title: Satan Never Sleeps (1962)

Satan Never Sleeps (1962) on IMDb 6/10

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Complete credited cast:
Father O'Banion
Father Bovard
Siu Lan
Athene Seyler ...
Sister Agness
Martin Benson ...
Edith Sharpe ...
Sister Theresa
Robert Lee ...
Chung Ren
Marie Yang ...
Andy Ho ...
Ho San's Father
Ah Wang
Weaver Levy ...
Ho San (as Weaver Lee)


A priest (William Holden) arrives at a mission-post in China accompanied by a young native girl who has joined him along the way. His job is to relieve the existing priest (Clifton Webb), who is now too old and weak to continue with the upkeep of the church. However, Communist soldiers arrive at the mission and seize it as a command post. Their leader rapes the native girl and impregnates her, only later to realise that Communism is no good for him. In the end, the foursome flee to the border, but are pursued by Communist forces along the way. Written by Jonathon Dabell <>

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Release Date:

23 March 1962 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Satan Never Sleeps  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Director Leo McCarey disliked working on this picture so much that he left it five days before it was supposed to wrap. His assistant, David W. Orton, finished shooting the picture. See more »


In the scene immediately following the opening credits, as Father O'Banion leads a donkey carrying Siu Lan along a mountain path overlooking a valley, their shadows are plainly visible on the painted backdrop of the valley. See more »


Featured in Cleopatra: The Film That Changed Hollywood (2001) See more »


Satan Never Sleeps
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Harold Adamson and Leo McCarey
Sung by Timi Yuro
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User Reviews

okay drama
4 March 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

William Holden and Clifton Webb star in "Satan Never Sleeps," a 1962 drama also starring France Nuyen. It's directed by Leo McCarey - it's his last film.

The story concerns a priest, Father O'Banion (William Holden) who comes to a mission in China to relieve an elderly priest, Father Bovard (Clifton Webb). A young girl, Siu Lan (Nuyen) is in love with O'Banion and has followed him. The Communists seize the mission, and the leader rapes Siu Lan, who becomes pregnant. The priests have to make an effort to flee China before it becomes too late.

Beautiful scenery is the highlight of this rather slow-moving story, as well as the beauty of young France Nuyen, who plays her part very well. Clifton Webb, as usual, does an excellent job as a tired old priest who is seeing his efforts at Christianity being rubbed out by the Communists, the leader being one of the boys he taught. Holden makes a handsome priest, but let's face it, there was never really anything very priestly about William Holden. One can never imagine such a man being celibate, which is probably why Siu Lan was following him all over the place.

There is a major personality change toward the end of this movie that really renders it foolish - not that such a thing couldn't happen, but not in that short period of time.

"Satan Never Sleeps" is not up to the standards of Leo McCarey, whose 43-year-career included "The Awful Truth," "Bells of St. Mary's" and "Going My Way." There are some good scenes, though, and the actors are likable.

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Catholic throughout including doctrinal accuracy jerilyn-1
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