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The Angel Wore Red (1960)

Approved | | Action, Drama, War | 14 April 1960 (Italy)
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).


Nunnally Johnson


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


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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


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 bigOther

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


SCARLET LIPS, SCARLET DRESS - A woman who might belong to any man! See more »


Action | Drama | War | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »



Italy | USA



Release Date:

14 April 1960 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

The Fair Bride See more »

Filming Locations:

Monterosi, Viterbo, Italy See more »


Box Office


$1,843,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Although it had a press showing in London, this movie was such a huge financial disaster that it never got a cinema release in the U.K. See more »


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 »


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.
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User Reviews

Average stuff
16 July 2001 | by HenryHextonEsqSee all my reviews

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.

Rating:- **/*****

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