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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bedevilled (1955)

An ex-G.I. (Steve Forrest) arrives in Paris to study at a seminary for the priesthood. But when an American chanteuse (a blonde Anne Baxter at her most glamorous) on the run from some thugs because she witnessed a killing enters his life, he falls prey to the flesh. "Priests in love" movies aren't particularly original (MONSIGNOR, THE CARDINAL and THE RUNNER STUMBLES come quickly to mind) but they usually use the subject matter for titillation rather than explore the subject with any kind of profundity. BEDEVILLED is no exception. The film combines the "forbidden love" aspect with that of a seductive thriller. The authentic Paris locations are used as a travelogue rather than an essential part of the narrative, the story could have been set in any major city. The dour Forrest makes for a rather jejune leading man which leaves all the emoting to Baxter. And after all that running across the rooftops of Paris, the sanctimonious ending is a disappointment. Directed by Mitchell Leisen (HOLD BACK THE DAWN). With Simone Renant, Robert Christopher and Victor Francen.

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