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The Angel Wore Red (1960)

A clergyman leaves the priesthood over the church's indifferent position during the Spanish Civil War but finds himself attracted to a beautiful entertainer.

Director:

Nunnally Johnson

Writers:

Nunnally Johnson (screenplay), Giorgio Prosperi (dialogue Italian version)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ava Gardner ... Soledad
Dirk Bogarde ... Arturo Carrera
Joseph Cotten ... Hawthorne
Vittorio De Sica ... Gen. Clave
Aldo Fabrizi ... Canon Rota
Arnoldo Foà ... Insurgent Major
Finlay Currie ... Bishop
Rossana Rory ... Mercedes
Enrico Maria Salerno ... Capt. Botargus
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Storyline

The Spanish priest played by 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. A beautiful cabaret singer (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 bigOther

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Man of Faith-And a Faithless Woman! See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | War | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Italy | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 April 1960 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

The Fair Bride See more »

Filming Locations:

Catania, Sicily, Italy See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Montgomery Clift and Rock Hudson were the first choices for the Dirk Bogarde part. See more »

Goofs

In this film set in Spain there are several instances of English written by characters who are not likely to know English, unlike the American war correspondent Hawthorne. See more »

Quotes

Arturo Carrera: They haven't lost their faith in God. They've lost it in us - the Church. We failed them! They look to us for protection against cruelty and injustice and this is the kind of answer we give them? A preposterous reminder that there are certain parts of a woman's body that Bishops disapprove of.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
This one lost money....and I can see exactly why.
7 January 2019 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Dirk Bogarde was an amazingly talented actor--so much so that I specifically look for his films. However, despite MANY great films, he occasionally made a stinker...and "The Angel Wore Red" is one of them. The movie lost money and I can see exactly why.

The story is set just before the first days of the Spanish Civil War in 1936. Arturo (Bogarde) is a priest serving in Spain and he's disenchanted with the Church. He is so disenchanted that he leaves the priesthood. However, his timing sucks...as the Civil War breaks out and priests are being rounded up and shot! The new Socialist/Communist backed Republicans blame the Church for supporting the Nationalists....and folks are taking retribution of the priests, as they are in a Republican stronghold. Now Arturo has to flee for his life...as folks THINK he's still a priest.

During his time on the run, Arturo is aided by a 'girl of easy virtue' (Ava Gardner) and, inexplicably, the pair fall in love. Now this really does NOT make any sense and it happens way too quickly to be believable. To make it worse, often the film lets the pair just talk and talk and talk....and it's all quite sticky and sappy.

Later, Arturo is caught by the Republicans. They would rather not kill him, since they learned he left the priesthood, but instead of releasing him they force him to work with him. His unenviable task is to take confessions from the priests they are about to execute!! What's next for him and his new main squeeze?

Despite the story seeming rather anti-clerical and having a love affair between an ex-priest and 'good time girl' may seem very anti-clerical, the film actually takes a rather neutral view overall. Unlike many movies of the 1940s that were decidedly pro-Republic, this one shows the Republic a little more realistically...and the film hedges its bets by having Arturo learn to once again love the Church. Considering the Republicans were backed by Stalin and the Nationalists backed by Hitler, it wasn't exactly a war where one side was 'the good guy' and the other 'evil'....and the movie at least gets this part of the story right. Unfortunately, the love affair is unconvincing and the dialog silly and trite. Too bad...as Bogarde was simply better than the material they gave him.


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