Three vignettes of old Irish country life, based on a series of short stories. In "The Majesty of the Law," a police officer must arrest a very old-fashioned, traditional fellow for assault... See full summary »
John Ford weaves three "Judge Priest" stories together to form a good- natured exploration of honour and small-town politics in the South around the turn of the century. Judge William ... See full summary »
Based of the Graham Greene novel about a revolutionary priest in Central America. A priest who is The Fugitive is trying to getaway from the authorities who have denounced Christianity and want anyone linked to it dead. The Fugitive finds shelter with an Indian Woman (The Woman), a faithful parishioner, who gives the priest directions to Puerto Grande, where he could then board a ship and sail to freedom in America. On his journey to Puerto Grande, he meets up with a man who says he will protect him. In reality, he is the Police Informer and once The Fugitive realizes this, he is back on the run, but the Police Informer is never far behind along with the authorities.Written by
Henry Fonda plays a priest in Central America who finds himself on the run after the government bans all religion. Fonda manages to go from town to town with religious folks willing to protect him but soon he runs into a crooked police informer (J. Carrol Naish) who might be giving information to the Lieutenant (Pedro Armendariz) who will stop at nothing to clear the streets of the evil religious figures. This film was a notorious flop when it was released and I'm fairly positive it would flap in any year in any decade. That's not because it's a bad film because it isn't but the film is so depressing that you can't help but feel most people wouldn't want to sit through it. The film contains some absolutely breath-taking cinematography by Gabriel Figueroa, which ranks as some of the best I've seen from this era. If you think the noir genre was good at using shadows and darkness then you haven't seen anything yet. As I said, this movie is 100% depression and what really fits the mood is the cinematography because it paints the perfect atmosphere. There are countless memorable scenes including the final shot with a cross as well as an earlier one where Fonda is hiding in a church and many parents from the village come in to get their children baptized while they have the chance. Another major plus working for the film is Ford's direction, which is top-notch as usual. I'm really not sure why this film would appeal to him but it's always amazing to go through Ford's career and see how many times he would direct something outside his range and pull it off. Ford does a terrific job building up this sad atmosphere and I really enjoyed the fact that he didn't pull any punches by adding fake comedy or just trying to lighten up the mood. Then, of course, there's Fonda who once again delivers the goods. The way Fonda walks here makes it seem as if he's a feather blowing in the wind because he's obviously a weak man who is struggling with being hunted. I thought the actor did a tremendous job showing the frailty of the character and the inner struggles he's having with the religion. Naish made a career out of playing snakes and once again he delivers an excellent performance and I'm sure by the end you'll be wanting to kill this guy yourself. Dolores del Rio plays a disgraced woman who is befriended by the priest and is excellent as well. Leo Carrillo, Ward Bond and Robert Armstrong add nice support as well. It's Armendariz who steals the show however as the truly tortured soul who is fighting to keep the religion out of his streets but is doing so due to some secret issues. THE FUGITIVE has all the right elements but it's still lacking something. Perhaps the film is just too laid-back for its own good but it never really crosses the greatness mark.
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