Satan Never Sleeps

Satan Never Sleeps

5.0 1
Director: Leo McCarey, William Holden, Clifton Webb, France Nuyen

Cast: Leo McCarey, William Holden, Clifton Webb, France Nuyen

     
 
Director Leo McCarey returned to the religious themes of his classics Going My Way (1944) and The Bells of St. Mary's (1945) for this action drama, his final film. William Holden stars as Father O'Banion, a Catholic priest assigned to relieve the retiring Father Bovard (Clifton Webb) at a mission in China. Along the way, O'Banion has unwittingly picked

Overview

Director Leo McCarey returned to the religious themes of his classics Going My Way (1944) and The Bells of St. Mary's (1945) for this action drama, his final film. William Holden stars as Father O'Banion, a Catholic priest assigned to relieve the retiring Father Bovard (Clifton Webb) at a mission in China. Along the way, O'Banion has unwittingly picked up a follower with a crush on him, Siu Lan (France Nuyen). The girl becomes the mission's cook, but before Bovard can depart, Mao's 1949 communist takeover begins. Red soldiers led by Chung Ren (Robbie Lee) seize the mission as their local command center. Chung Ren rapes Siu Lan, impregnating her, while O'Banion is forced to watch. Unable to cross China's closed borders, both priests remain at the mission, ministering to the locals despite harassment by Chung Ren. Delighted by his son's birth, Chung Ren begins undergoing a change of heart.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Director Leo McCarey combined two of his favorite themes -- Catholicism and anti-Communism -- in Satan Never Sleeps, but what could have been an incisive and thoughtful commentary turns out to be overlong, oversimplified, and often ridiculous. The screenplay is certainly a primary culprit, being more interested in potboiler melodramatics than in believable dramatics, in stereotyped characters rather than living and breathing human beings. But McCarey's insistence on trying to add a layer of light Going My Way-style "church charm" over too much of the proceedings works against the heavy-going melodramatic flourishes at the story's core. Understandably, McCarey didn't have the option of shooting in China, but the locations chosen to substitute are poor, and the matte shots involving those locations are often inexcusably hokey. Fortunately, Satan does have the benefit of a talented cast that works very hard to make the film work. Clifton Webb is not ideally cast as a priest; his sophistication works against him, but his talent overcomes this obstacle. William Holden's innate appreciation of sensuality also is problematic; the script pays lip service to it, but never really comes to terms with it. Holden's sheer star power more than makes up for this problem, however. Weaver Lee and France Nuyen do very well with poorly written parts, and the supporting cast is generally fine. Overall, Satan Never Sleeps is unsatisfactory, but the cast keeps it afloat.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/22/2005
UPC:
0024543164982
Original Release:
1962
Rating:
NR
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
1
Time:
2:05:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; [None specified]

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
William Holden Father O'Banion
Clifton Webb Father Bovard
France Nuyen Siu Lan
Athene Seyler Sister Agnes
Martin Benson Kuznietsky
Weaver Lee Ho San
Edith Sharpe Sister Theresa
Robert Lee Chung Ren
Marie Yang Ho San's mother
Andy Ho Ho San's father
Burt Kwouk Ah Wang
Lin Chen Sister Mary
Anthony Chinn Ho San's driver
Ronald Adam Father Lemay
Noel Hood Sister Justine
Eric Young Junior Officer

Technical Credits
Leo McCarey Director,Songwriter,Producer,Screenwriter
Harold Adamson Songwriter
Richard Rodney Bennett Score Composer
Claude Binyon Screenwriter
George Frost Makeup
John Hoesli Art Director
Jim Jorahan Art Director
Muir Mathieson Musical Direction/Supervision
Tom Morahan Production Designer
Oswald Morris Cinematographer
Gordon Pilkington Editor
Jack Stephens Set Decoration/Design
Harry Warren Songwriter

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Main Titles
2. Good and Bad
3. Late
4. Settling In
5. Communist Takeover
6. New Chef
7. Liberation
8. A Good Cook
9. Surprise!
10. Novice Spy
11. Empty Pews
12. Fairy Tale
13. Relaxation
14. Paper Tiger
15. Not Any Woman
16. Temptation
17. Banished
18. Destroying the Temple
19. Saviors
20. Lost Innocence
21. Bargaining With the Devil
22. Goodbye
23. Imprisoned
24. Return to the Mission
25. A Child Is Born
26. Disgrace
27. Faith in God
28. The Great Escape

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Satan Never Sleeps 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
and suddenly when you think that it is safe to come out to yourself, its not that simple;you see yourself just as you ought to and so does everybody else./ what do you do about it, incredable that it may seem, wait and see like everyone else. time is a funny thing, it waits on no-one and exposes you ,at the right time, and place.the snapshot tells it all, and no one wakes up who is not suppose to. do things that appeal to you and enjoy the day because tomorrow is not promised and when it all said and done..... you find just what you want and you like it.