6.5/10
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28 user 9 critic

The Left Hand of God (1955)

At a Catholic mission in China, long-awaited "Father O'Shea" proves to be a tough guy, disturbingly attractive to mission nurse Anne.

Director:

Edward Dmytryk

Writers:

Alfred Hayes (screenplay), William E. Barrett (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Humphrey Bogart ... James 'Jim' Carmody
Gene Tierney ... Anne 'Scotty' Scott
Lee J. Cobb ... Mieh Yang
Agnes Moorehead ... Beryl Sigman
E.G. Marshall ... Dr. David Sigman
Jean Porter ... Mary Yin
Carl Benton Reid ... Father Cornelius
Victor Sen Yung ... John Wong
Philip Ahn ... Jan Teng
Benson Fong ... Chun Tien
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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:

Bogart... in a courageous and daring masquerade in a bullet-ridden China! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 November 1955 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Del destino nadie huye See more »

Filming Locations:

Hong Kong See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,785,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$4,000,000, 31 December 1955
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Western Electric Recording) (magnetic prints)| Mono (Western Electric Recording) (optical prints)

Color:

Color (Color by Deluxe)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film unites Victor Sen Yung with Benson Fong. They played number two son Jimmy Chan and number three son Tommy Chan in the long running Charlie Chan film franchise. 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

At the very beginning, when Father O'Shea approaches the mission, he is supposedly riding through a thunderstorm. But the sun is brightly shining all through the scene, revealing that the "rain" is contrived by crew members, and the "thunder" is added by Foley artists. 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

They're Right- Bogie's Left.
3 November 2000 | by t.mcparland-2See all my reviews

Great movie stars are rarely great actors. But they are people who exude elements of humanity, which we'd like to possess- John Wayne's toughness, Sharon Stone's glamour, Gary Cooper's inner silence, or Michael Douglas's ruthlessness. More unique than acting talent, Humphrey Bogart's element was that of hardened sinner whose inner spark of decency wasn't entirely subsumed. In this Cinemascope/colour movie, where Bogie's late-night drinking and myriad of broken marital relationships was visibly etched upon every facial crevice, the idea that he could pass himself off as a priest was ludicrous. But THE LEFT HAND OF GOD never demands that of him- nor us.

It makes instead, the not impossible proposition that a simple, remote Chinese community traumatised by marauders might presume Bogie to be the 'priest of Christ' they so anxiously await. We the audience, are privy to who Bogey is and still is. His un-Godly skill, which ultimately saves the mission from General Yang's terror, is entirely in character.

The Catholic theology was also dead on. Those whom Bogie absolved, married and buried were spiritually exonerated by the very innocence we moviegoers cannot share about Bogart. The power of the central argument of William Barrett's much dissipated novel, in spite of -or maybe because of, 50's Hollywood formulaic moviemaking- is somehow preserved.

The repetitious references to Bogey as 'the priest of Christ' and the ingenuous children's enigmatic broken-English farewell of 'Oole Kantackee Hom,' also persuade. We know Bogey must leave, and that he is redeemed in spite of himself. Even Bogie doesn't know that. We now also know that this life-scarred, bloodshot, poker-playing sceptic received a fair Hearing- after dying from throat cancer less than two years later on January 14th 1957 -at least from the left Hand Side of his Maker.


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