|Genre: Drama, Escape, Love, Role-switching|
Tagline: The strangest covenant between God and man ever made
Plot: In THE LEFT HAND OF GOD, based on the book by William E. Barrett and directed by Edward Dmytryk, Humphrey Bogart stars as Joe Brody, an American pilot who escapes the wrath of a Chinese warlord (Lee J. Cobb) by hiding out in a remote Catholic mission disguised as a priest. Brody is a natural as a mission leader and restores some order to the feuding villages in the area. He's a little less comfortable, however, in performing priestly rituals, especially as he finds himself drawn to attractive nurse Anne Scott (Gene Tierney). Anne loves him as well and wrestles with the notion of compromising his supposedly chosen vows. Meanwhile, the warlord is closing in and willing to stop at nothing to get Brody back in his clutches.
The performances are a little mixed, with Cobb downright hammy as the Chinese warlord. Tierney is lovely, though, as is the photography by Franz Planer. If Bogie seems pained, it's because he was suffering from back problems at the time, exacerbated by his horse-riding scenes. And if the ambitious melange of soul-searching themes never quite gels as a profound meditation on human nature, it's at least tasty, campy fun.
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The Quiet Man, Shane, Around the World in Eighty Days