The First Legion | Chicago Reader

The First Legion

One of Douglas Sirk's strangest, darkest films, this drama of faith centers on a Catholic priest (Charles Boyer), once a criminal lawyer, who witnesses an ambiguous "miracle" and is torn between the need to believe in it and the urge to debunk it. Made in Hollywood as an independent production, this 1951 feature is very European in style and rhetoric. Among its visual coups is some stunning mise-en-scene around a giant altar: looming up like a tribal fetish, it promises both power and devastation. With William Demarest and Barbara Rush.

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