THE FUGITIVE (1947) B/W 104m dir: John Ford

w/Henry Fonda, Dolores Del Rio, Pedro Armendariz, Ward Bond, Leo Carillo, J. Carroll Naish, Robert Armstrong, John Qualen, Fortunio Bonanova, Chris-Pin Martin

From The Movie Guide: "One of John Ford's favorite films; he sometimes considered it his masterpiece. It's hardly that, just as its companion piece, THE INFORMER, isn't quite the masterpiece everyone once thought it was. A powerful passion play set in a modern, fictitious south-of-the-border country, THE FUGITIVE is hauntingly photographed by [Gabriel] Figueroa and boasts a highly effective performance from Fonda in which an intensely warm and likable saintliness largely replaces a three-dimensional character.

"Much of this stems from Ford's influence on [Dudley] Nichols's screenplay, which changed the complex, sinful 'whiskey priest' of [Graham] Greene's original novel into a man whose main fear is that he's not sacrificing enough. The fugitive (Fonda) is hunted by a revolutionary government attempting to eliminate all traces of the Catholic religion. He hides in a small village and, passing as a peasant, performs secret rites for the locals. ...

"As with much of Ford, THE FUGITIVE is often very sentimental and very Catholic, blunting Greene's political edge in favor of Ford's preference for lyric poetry. Here Fonda is the true Ford hero: quiet, contemplative, nonviolent and capable of superhuman sacrifice. Naive in some ways and full of portentous, obvious yet admittedly striking symbolism, THE FUGITIVE is nevertheless true to its own convictions."