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The Singer Not the Song

1961 2h 9m Western Drama List
Reviews 69% Audience Score 100+ Ratings A Roman Catholic priest (John Mills) defies a Mexican bandit (Dirk Bogarde) whose gang kills villagers in alphabetical order. Read More Read Less

Critics Reviews

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MFB Critics Monthly Film Bulletin Though The Singer Not the Song misses the strongly individual flavour of, say, The Sleeping Tiger, it is nevertheless a strangely compelling film. This is mainly due to the presence of Bogarde himself. Mar 3, 2019 Full Review Dennis Schwartz Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews An oddball Western Roy Rogers would not have a song for. Rated: B Jun 9, 2008 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

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Audience Member This is a philosophy movie disguised as a western and there are well hidden surprises in store. The very intelligent cynical atheist philosopher has no worthy opponent and in his fight with boredom and ennui entertains himself by playing god-beyond-morality with the the little town. When the new priest shows up to replace the defeated old one, the philosopher applies the techniques of domination that had worked before. But the new priest is a 'very' good man well versed in the logic of the church and brave and intelligent as well...but he is a man and all that that implies. Watch this movie. Be calm and patient for it starts gently, deceptively and only gradually pulls you in. If you are a fairly intelligent 11 or 12 year old you will certainly get the message and it will have a significant emotional impact. Mature viewers will enjoy more the nuance and philosophical overtones and the roll that sexuality plays in the plot but years of media mayhem may have desensitized you somewhat to the emotional impact of the climax. The point, which is the title, is well made. p.s. There are serious errors in the MOVIE INFO summary. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/31/23 Full Review Audience Member This has to be the weirdest film to have come from the Rank Organisation at that time, produced and directed by Roy Ward Baker (A Night to Remember (1958) and Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde (1971)), adapted from a 1953 novel by Audrey Erskine Lindop, this is a British take on a Western, set in Mexico, but filmed in Spain. It begins when Irish priest Father Michael Keogh (John Mills) comes to a small Mexican town to take over from Father Gomez (Leslie French), this is post-revolution Mexico, and the country is still in a delicate state. But, the town is being terrorised by a mysterious bandit in black known as Anacleto Comachi (Dirk Bogarde), while Father Michael wants to help restore the confidence of the town and have them stand up to Comanchi, he retaliates by going on a killing spree of people in town, by murdering them in alphabetical order. But, when Comanchi beings a relationship with heiress Locha de Cortinez (Mylène Demongeot), daughter of wealthy landowner Pedro de Continez (Roger Delgado), Father Michael is forced to take action, whether he likes it or not. You have to admire Baker for having the balls to make a film like this then, but it is jarring as most of the characters have English accents, but the Spanish locations, including Torremolinos, Málaga and Alora, come out well on film. But, it is bemusing to watch... Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/05/23 Full Review Audience Member The story and script are fine, the plot goes somewhat wayward halfway through, but what really doesn't work is the English cast with English accents in what is essentially a western. Dirk Bogarde looks out of place and uncomfortable in this genre. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 02/06/23 Full Review Audience Member Depending on one's viewpoint or beliefs, this movie has much to consider and is quite thought-provoking. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 01/18/23 Full Review Audience Member This as a creepy kind of movie of a priest who "falls in love" with a young lady. It was so wrong! But thank goodness nothing happened between the two. Anacleto was so hot! Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/13/23 Full Review Audience Member Somewhat of a camp classic to say the least - Dirk Bogarde flouncing around in leather chaps pretending he doesn't want to bed John Mills. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/28/23 Full Review Read all reviews
The Singer Not the Song

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Cast & Crew

Movie Info

Synopsis A Roman Catholic priest (John Mills) defies a Mexican bandit (Dirk Bogarde) whose gang kills villagers in alphabetical order.
Roy Ward Baker
Nigel Balchin
Production Co
The Rank Organisation
Western, Drama
Original Language
English (United Kingdom)
2h 9m