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).
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
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 »
Don't tell me you're in love with this whirling dervish?
Are you crazy? How can you be in love with a priest? I was just worried about him. Besides, he's not a priest anymore.
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I thought this film was rather lacking in both narrative and film-making technique. The script is far from awful, but also far from interesting in the most part. As the previous reviewer says, the lighting, choice of shots etc. was jarring and obscured characters (Joseph Cotten, who indeed established no presence at all in this film partly due to this). The historical period examined is a curious if comendable choice, and while the general details are correctly conveyed, no attempt is really made to discuss the issues in much depth. Good to see neither of the two sides particularly favoured, although such a commitment might have added at least some drama. Drama is scant in the film, with a few scenes written as exposition, delivered in a way just as stilted.
The film actually has a rather good and eclectic cast for 1960, although the talents are ill used. Finlay Currie, Vittorio De Sica (well, seemingly in the main part a director), Dirk Bogarde (not yet of the stature achieved in films like "The Servant" and "Accident"), Joseph Cotten and Ava Gardner are all of some talent. De Sica's character who does indeed speak in a rather un-Italian, mid-Atlantic accent, which either suggests dubbing or a remarkably odd decision somewhere along the line - the character is portrayed as a Spanish patriot. The character's endless minor disparaging comments about modern warfare are mildly amusing in their frequency. I wouldn't say Ava Gardner is at all "past her prime" in this film, at about 37. Her performance is actually quite good, although lacking some credibility, and there are some pretty reasonable quiet scenes between her and Bogarde. Her beauty seems to have matured well, although the murky, technically below-par direction doesn't help this to show. Bogarde seemed quite good at times, but far from indelible or memorable in this role.
I would say this film is reasonably watchable and far from abject, but it is largely far from gripping or interesting.
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