The Left Hand of God

Synopsis: A man in priestly robes, seemingly the long-awaited Father O'Shea, arrives at a little-frequented Catholic mission in 1947 China. Though the man seems curiously uncomfortable with his priestly duties, his tough tactics prove very successful in the Seven Villages, as around them China disintegrates in civil war and revolution. But he has a secret, and his friendship with mission nurse Anne (an attractive war widow) seems to be taking on an unpriestly tone...
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Edward Dmytryk
Production: Fox
87 min

More tea, Father?

No, thanks, Mrs Sigman,

this is fine.

You took a real chance, Father,

crossing the mountains alone.

You should've waited

for the trading party.

I was anxious to get to the mission

as soon as I could, Dr Sigman.

I was anxious to get to the mission

What is it, Celeste?

Father, I know you're very tired, but

there's a patient in the ward, dying.

He's been clinging to life,

waiting for you.

Scottie feels his immortal

soul's at stake, Father.

But it is!

Now, now, Scottie,

Lee Kwan is 80 years old.

A beautiful example of

the survival of the unfit

but don't tell me I have to take

him seriously as an immortal soul.

Dear, Dave!

Sorry, Scottie. When you're through with him,

Father, I'm going to enjoy doing a post mortem on him.

My bag was lost crossing the river,

the chalice, the holy oils,

my vestments.

He really needs your

blessing, Father.

Where is this man?

Lee Kwan, Father O'Shea is here.

Bless me, Father,

it's a long time since I...

confessed my sins.

Easy, old man, easy.

All he prayed for, Father,

was to stay alive long enough

for you to get here

and be with him at the end.

He had great faith and endurance.

I'm sorry he couldn't have had

the final rites he waited for.

Could we pray, Father?


Yes, of course.

In the name of the Father,

the Son and the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name,

thy kingdom come, thy will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread

and forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who

trespass against us.

Lead us not into temptation

but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace,

the Lord is with thee.

Blessed art thou amongst women,

and blessed is

the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God,

pray for us sinners now

and in the hour of our death. Amen.

Well, Scottie's pet is dead.

Let's go home.

Good morning, Father.

You say mass?


I'm sorry, I'm...

not quite awake.

What's your name?

- John Wong, Father O'Shea.

I fix everything for priest, take care of

house, sexton for church, sometimes altar boy.

Clean and press clothes for you.

I keep list too.

Read list now, Father O'Shea?

Yeah, yeah, read the list.


I see.

Maybe more come now.

Well, 36 is a good score.

What else?

Many people want confessing,

make quickly.

Work sure piles up, doesn't it?

How long since the last trade

caravan came through here?

Long time since last caravan.

All right, John, I'll get dressed.

Yes, Father.

Morning, I'll be right with you.

Yeah, take him into the

clinic and finish checking him.

Sit down.

I'm glad you came over.


- No, thanks.

My last box.

I ordered some from the coast,

if the caravan ever gets here.

Wong tells me it's been a long time

since the last caravan came through.

That's right.

I suppose they told you

I've recommended closing the mission.

What did the bishop decide to do?


would I have been sent all this distance

if the bishop decided to close the mission?

We'll keep it open, of course.

The bishop is mistaken.

The mission should be closed.

You saw my clinic,

one unwashed patient.

Once there were scores like him.

It's a waste of time and money.

There's a lot more to this mission than

just your clinic, isn't there, doctor?

Is there?

Look, one of our priests

was killed in a rock slide.

Father Coleman, the priest

before you, overtaxed his heart.

The Chinese figure there must be something wrong with

a religion that can't keep its own priests healthy.

They feel the same way about my

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Alfred Hayes

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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