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Dans un pays d'Amérique centrale décidé à éradiquer le catholicisme, un prêtre doit fuir, poursuivi par les autorités. Il trouve refuge chez une indienne qui lui indique comment rejoindre Puerto Grande, doù il pourra embarquer pour les Etats-Unis.
Dans un pays d'Amérique Centrale décidé à éradiquer le catholicisme, un prêtre doit fuir, poursuivi par les autorités. Il trouve refuge chez une indienne qui lui indique comment rejoindre Puerto Grande, d'où il pourra embarquer pour les Etats-Unis...Voir l'ensemble des Descriptions du produit
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On ne perd quand même pas son temps, ne serait-ce qu'à cause de l'originalité du thème traité, des effets de clair-obscur réussis et surtout du dernier quart d'heure qui, par son intensité, rachète en partie le film.
Ce métrage, adaptation assez fidèle du roman de Graham Greene, La puissance et la gloire, dû subir quelques retouches afin de ne pas s'attirer les foudres des ligues puritaines de l'époque.
Cette oeuvre, d'une qualité picturale certaine, demeure un des opus préférés de John Ford, alors que personnellement je trouve ce métrage terriblement bancal et surestimé où tout humanisme et toute tendresse pour les personnages parsemant cette intrigue y sont absent, alors que ces deux caractéristiques étaient les pierres d'achoppement de la filmographie fordienne. D'ailleurs, Henry Fonda détestait purement et simplement ce film au point de penser que c'était - et de loin- sa pire collaboration avec le réalisateur d'origine irlandaise.
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I first saw the film, featuring Henry Fonda, when I was about 8 years old in 1955. It was airing on afternoon television, and even then, the film quality had degraded, with grainy splotches and that crackling hiss so characteristic of old celluloid. But given my sensibilities and the pre-pubescent level of my emotional growth, I profoundly remember that the film's ending caused me to cry.
Thirty years later, I happened to purchase Graham Greene's book ("The Power and the Glory") at a local bookstore. I remember that it was a brisk, windy, cold mid-Atlantic day, and that I wanted to curl up with a book on a Sunday afternoon. The book is about 150 pages, but Greene's superb skills as a storyteller propels the reader through to the finish, and having started the book at about 1 PM, I discovered myself finishing it before sundown. Again, the book -- as basis for the movie -- caused me to shed a tear. This is something I do not often do -- under any number of more dire human circumstances.
Sometime later, I was thinking about the book, and noted to myself how strange it was that there was something similar between Greene's book, John Ford's movie, and another book and movie that had a similar cathartic effect -- Joseph Conrad's "Lord Jim", which had featured Peter O'Toole in its cinematic incarnation. I turned to my encyclopedia to find out more about Graham Greene. It seems that he had studied Conrad intensively, and that Conrad had been his favorite author.
I cannot imagine a better casting for the movie's "whiskey priest" than Henry Fonda, who will always be remembered for his role in "Grapes of Wrath". These things -- the movies and the books -- are among those rare pleasures we find in human life that we always want to share with others.
This is a starkly symbolic story that makes the priest into a Christ figure, and it is lovely to watch. Director John Ford teamed with famed Mexican cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa for this American/Mexican production, and the results are visually stunning. And Ward Bond, as a fleeing bank robber, manages perhaps the most believable death scene ever performed in this era of film.
The narrative, however, is harder to swallow. The dialogue is minimal, probably at least partly because it was intended for an international audience. It's hard to believe that the priest is always instantly recognized by the people on the streets but never by the authorities until the end of the film, even when they have him in custody more than once and have a photograph of him. And the film's final scene, following the climax, did nothing but confuse me. Ultimately I had to search the internet just to find explanations of what the film was all about! Of course, that could be partly because it's so slow that I fell asleep at one point. (Why did filmmakers used to think that films about faith had to move at the regal pace of a papal processional?)
Despite its obvious flaws, it is an uplifting story and is worth seeing once, at least. Clearly this is one that will appeal greatly to those who especially appreciate the visual artistry that is lovingly and painstakingly presented here; those who look for a cohesive story may be disappointed as I was.
I wonder why this movie gets bad reviews or is dismissed by critics. Probably because they perceived it as being religious and against the left which was fashionable at the time. They are wrong. This is not about the left nor the right. Its theme is about persecution and hope that are universal issues.
Don't miss it.