The Fugitive

Screening on Film
Directed by John Ford.
With Henry Fonda, Dolores Del Rio, Pedro Armendariz.
US, 1947, 35mm, black & white, 104 min.

Among Ford’s least known yet deeply memorable major works is his beautifully stylized adaptation of Graham Greene’s celebrated 1940 novel The Power and the Glory - a gripping allegory about religious faith and the State which follows the final desperate days of the last priest in an unnamed Latin American country where religion has been declared illegal. Shot entirely in Mexico by the preeminent Mexican cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa, The Fugitive accents and adds nuance to its stark tale of guilt and difficult retribution by returning to the Expressionist lighting and shadows favored by Ford earlier in his career. Henry Fonda brings an unusual pathos and humanity to his portrayal of the whiskey priest struggling to understand the moral and spiritual turpitude of his country and religion.

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Classic Ford.
A John Ford Retrospective, Part I

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