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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The Angel Wore Red (1960)

Set in 1936 Spain during the Civil War, a disillusioned priest (Dirk Bogarde at his dullest) abandons his calling. However, the Loyalists believe he has a holy relic that they want so he is put on a wanted list. Based on the novel THE FAIR BRIDE by Bruce Marshall and adapted for the screen and directed by Nunnally Johnson (THREE FACES OF EVE). A mess of a movie! I've not read the source material but surely it must have been clearer than Johnson's muddled screenplay. The narrative makes little sense and the actions of the characters seem so arbitrary. And surely, the Loyalists would do a body search of someone they suspect may be carrying the relic they're looking for but no! The B&W lensing by Giuseppe Rotunno (AMARCORD) is quite nice but the film would have benefited from being shot in color. Although she's top billed, Ava Gardner as the "angel" of the title is really a supporting role and it's Bogarde's movie all the way but his pinched up face gets wearisome very quickly. Bronislau Kaper did the underscore. For Ava fans only! With Joseph Cotten (wasted), Vittorio De Sica (badly dubbed), Finlay Currie, Enrico Maria Salerno, Nino Castelnuovo and Rossana Rory.  

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