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 ...Read MoreDirector 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 (Robert 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. Karl Williams, RoviRead Less
TITLE: Satan Never Sleeps
GENRE: Historical Romance/Fantasy
CAST: William Holden, France Nuyen, Clifton Webb and Weaver Lee
PLOT: Chinese girl during the Mao Revolution attaches herself as a result of love to a Catholic priest. She learns that priests do not marry but wants to stay the course in case the priest wants to become a marriable minister instead. The Commie bad guys show up and mess everyone's lives up. Until their bosses show up and...
RETURN ON INVESTMENT: 9.6 of 10; This is largely a three character play, exhibiting the not unaccomplished skills of Holden Nuyen and Webb. I have just watched From Here To Eternity and am aghast at the differences of presentation. In FHTE no shot lasts longer than 10 secs nor any character allowed more than two successive sentences of dialoge. In Satan Never Sleeps (From a story by nobel winner Pearl Buck) there are parts where the scene goes on uninterrupted for 2-3 minutes with the actors perfectly reciting their lines and performing subtle facial nuances which tell of mood and emotion. TREMENDOUS.
DVD BONUS: Sorry, I got the VHS TAPE
ADDED NOTES: For garden enthusiasts, there is a heavenly Chinese (not Japanese) garden as one of the minor sets. A whole two hours could be spent going over the design of that work of art alone. I want that in my DVD BONUS when I get it. I do not think any other actress has said more than France Nuyen expresses silently with her face orientations alone.