6.5/10
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The Fugitive (1947)

Anti-Catholic and anti-cleric policies in the Mexican state of Tabasco lead the revolutionary government to persecute the state's last remaining priest.

Directors:

John Ford, Emilio Fernández (uncredited)

Writers:

Dudley Nichols (screenplay), Graham Greene (novel)
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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Henry Fonda ... A Fugitive
Dolores del Rio ... An Indian Woman (as Dolores Del Rio)
Pedro Armendáriz ... A Lieutenant of Police (as Pedro Armendariz)
J. Carrol Naish ... A Police Informer
Leo Carrillo ... A Chief of Police
Ward Bond ... El Gringo
Robert Armstrong ... A Sergeant of Police
John Qualen ... A Refugee Doctor
Fortunio Bonanova ... The Governor's Cousin
Chris-Pin Martin ... An Organ-Grinder (as Cris-Pin Martin)
Miguel Inclán ... A Hostage (as Miguel Inclan)
Fernando Fernández ... A Singer (as Fernando Fernandez)
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Storyline

Based of the Graham Greene novel about a revolutionary priest in Central America. A priest who is The Fugitive is trying to getaway from the authorities who have denounced Christianity and want anyone linked to it dead. The Fugitive finds shelter with an Indian Woman (The Woman), a faithful parishioner, who gives the priest directions to Puerto Grande, where he could then board a ship and sail to freedom in America. On his journey to Puerto Grande, he meets up with a man who says he will protect him. In reality, he is the Police Informer and once The Fugitive realizes this, he is back on the run, but the Police Informer is never far behind along with the authorities. Written by Kelly

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Peril-Laden adventure ... of a man's desperate plight !

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA | Mexico

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 March 1948 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

The Labyrinthine Ways See more »

Filming Locations:

Mexico

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Armstrong (A Sergeant of Police) and the producer Merian C. Cooper died only one day apart: Armstrong on April 20, 1973 and Cooper on April 21, 1973. See more »

Quotes

A Lieutenant of Police: [Looking at news clipping] You can tell he's a priest by the collar, that's all.
A Chief of Police: Not a very good picture, but it's what we got.
A Lieutenant of Police: They all look alike to me. I've shot him a dozen times.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Good Sam (1948) See more »

Soundtracks

Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
("The Dying Cowboy") (uncredited)
American folk ballad based on an older sea song (1932)
Variation heard as theme for the Gringo (Ward Bond)
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User Reviews

Better than anything out "Butler's Lives of the Saints"
25 March 2001 | by Mike Sh.See all my reviews

Hmmm, let's see... we've got a movie about a Catholic priest trying to exercise his ministry in a Latin American country whose government has been taken over by an anticlerical revolutionary party,... he administers the sacraments to the devoutly believing people while trying to stay one step ahead of the law, which has hunted down every other priest in the country,... what do you this movie will be like?

In the hands of the crusty but sentimental John Ford, you might expect this movie to be some kind of hagiography, showing the priest as he performs his pastoral labors with fierce courage as well as with patient devotion, and anticipates his fate with Christian resignation. (This would be particularly apt if Pat O'Brien or Spencer Tracy played the priest.) You might also expect the people he serves will be portrayed as simple God-fearing people with stout hearts and no illusions about the true intentions of their political leaders. The government and its agents will be portrayed as cruel and cynical tyrants, ever ready to beat on the simple folk in the name of the greater good.

Fortunately, this is not the movie that Ford made. The actual movie is a good deal more complicated (and much, much better) than that. This is a balanced, intelligent account of a tragic situation born of centuries of misrule and oppression by tyrannical government working, sad to say, hand in glove with the Church that is supposed to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. Pedro Amendariz in particular gives a great performance as the revolutionary government official, who, whatever his opinions may be, passionately loves his country, and sincerely wants the best for his beleaguered people. Henry Fonda, as the priest, gives at one point a stunning assessment of his motives for what he does which turns any picture of a heroic shepherd on its ear.

This is one of John Ford's lesser known pictures - an unknown masterpiece.


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