Father Arturo Carrera (Sir Dirk Bogarde) leaves the priesthood over the church's indifferent position during the Spanish Civil War, but finds himself attracted to beautiful entertainer Soledad (Ava Gardner).
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Spanish Priest Arturo Carrera (Sir 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. Beautiful cabaret singer Soledad (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
Vittorio De Sica's voice is dubbed by another actor. See more »
When the prisoners are being marched for several days to be presented to the fascists, the group contains of a substantial number of women. At least two women are shown confessing to Arturo. But when the fascists capture the group, Arturo tells the commander that the group consists of 200 men who should not be killed, no mention of women. When Arturo enters the church to tell the prisoners they are to be executed, the group is all men. The women have vanished. See more »
Spiritual and worldly love during the Spanish Civil War
Despite some obvious flaws I regard this film as a major achievement. The first obvious problem is the dubbing. Vittorio De Sica, a great actor is dubbed in English by a run of the mill voice over technician. The film suffers from being a joint Anglo/American- Italian production.
But it is one of the most mature treatments of a political historical theme that I have ever seen. Neither the loyalists nor the Franco led rebels are spared. Both are essentially brutal totalitarians. The Catholic Church is not spared either. Churchmen are showed to be so out of touch with their flock as to be almost comical, and yet when finally knocked off their pedestal they recover their Christianity. Dirk Bogard gives a subtle and brilliant performance as the tortured young priest. Ava Gardner is perfect as the cynical and yet innocent prostitute. It is actually to her advantage that she played this role at 37 rather than ten years earlier. She would simply been too overpoweringly beautiful to have been fully creditable in the part. Aldo Frabrizzi's part may be too reminiscent of his role in Open City especially at the end. Vittorio De Sica seems to have been doing an imitation of Claude Raines in Casablanca. It would have been good to have heard those two great actors in their native Italian. Joseph Cotton as the one eyed jaded reporter gives a broad yet compelling interpretation. The films failings pale in comparison to its overriding importance.
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