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Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
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The Wrath Of God is a kind of parody on the films Robert Mitchum was so routinely cast in back in the Forties and Fifties and even later on which he was doing know for a good paycheck. It's funny in spots, but ultimately doesn't quite come off.
Humphrey Bogart's The Left Hand Of God is the closest comparison one can make to this film. Bogart is also an adventurer in priestly disguise who aids a Chinese village during Kuomintang China days.
The Wrath Of God has Mitchum as a priest who is also a conman and handy with a variety of weapons, particularly the Thompson submachine gun. He, Victor Buono and Kenneth Hutcherson form an alliance of convenience which wasn't easy with Buono and Hutcherson refighting all the recent troubles in Ireland.
They get impressed into service by a strutting Colonel played by John Colicos whose behavior and that of his troops doesn't inspire a whole lot of confidence that Colicos's bunch are the good guys. Colicos has to get inside the stronghold of a wealthy Don played by a young Frank Langella in one of his earliest films. Colicos is no prize, but Langella is positively psychotic, especially on the subject of religion. In his domain he's forbade the Catholic Church and any of its priests from any practice of the religion. He's got his reasons, but they're kind of out in left field to say the least. Mitchum's convincing guise a priest might just draw him out.
The Wrath Of God marked the final screen appearance of Rita Hayworth who got the film as an act of charity by Mitchum according to the Lee Server biography of Mitchum. Hayworth was having financial problems and was drinking heavily. Little did anyone realize that the reason for her bad behavior which occasionally got reported in the press back then was the onset of Alzheimer's Disease. The woman was drinking literally because she was losing her mind. She caused a lot of production delays. A truly sad end to the woman who in my humble opinion was the greatest screen sex goddess of all.
What delays Rita Hayworth didn't cause Ken Hutcherson did with an accident which injured his arm and the insurance had to pay big bucks. The film was delayed by several weeks while Hutcherson healed and as Server put in his book, the insurance company wound up owning the film.
They didn't wind up owning Gone With The Wind.
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