Satan Never Sleeps

Watch Satan Never Sleeps

"How Violators of Human Decency Work Their Terror Countdown!"
  • 1962
  • 2 hr 5 min
  • 6.0  (838)

Satan Never Sleeps is a 1962 drama film directed by Leo McCarey, starring William Holden, Clifton Webb, and France Nuyen. The movie is set in China in 1949 during the Chinese Communist Revolution. The story centers around a Catholic priest, Father O'Banion (William Holden), and his mission to keep his congregation safe from persecution and his former friend and mentor, Father Bovard (Clifton Webb), who has become a sympathizer of the Chinese Communist Party.

The movie begins with Father O'Banion, a young American priest, arriving in a small Chinese village to serve as the pastor of a Catholic church. The people of the village are poverty-stricken and uneducated, but devoutly religious. The priest quickly becomes beloved by the community, and his soft-spoken and gentle approach to faith leaves a lasting impression, especially on Siu Lan (France Nuyen), a young, idealistic girl who aspires to become a nun.

However, as the Chinese Communist Revolution takes hold, tensions begin to rise in the village. The government sees religion as a threat to communist ideology and an obstacle in their mission to bring the country into the modern age. The Chinese peasants are poor and uneducated, and the government's propaganda is often more appealing to them than the message of faith. Father O'Banion is under constant threat of persecution and is watched closely by the authorities. Nevertheless, he refuses to leave his flock and tries to persevere in the face of danger.

Father Bovard, O'Banion's former teacher, arrives in the village unexpectedly, and the two men have a reunion that is cordial, but strained. Bovard has become disillusioned with the Catholic Church and is now working for the Chinese Communist Party. Although he is not a believer, he has a deep respect for O'Banion and tries to convince him to leave China for his own safety. O'Banion criticizes Bovard for his decision to align himself with the communist government, which views the Church as an enemy.

As the situation in the village grows increasingly dangerous, Father O'Banion starts to lose faith in his mission. He becomes frustrated with the people's devotion to the church, which he feels is misguided, and begins to doubt whether he has truly made a difference. His faith is restored when he sees the resolve of the people in the face of the government's attempts to suppress them.

The movie delves into themes of faith, loyalty, and the perilous consequences of political conflict in a historical context. As the Chinese Communist Revolution unfolds, the faithful are marginalized by the central authority, and their beliefs are portrayed as backwards and regressive. The movie highlights the courage and persistence of those who choose to resist this narrative, risking freedom and life to maintain their traditions.

William Holden's role as the dedicated priest trying to protect his flock is captivating. He brings a soft-spoken, kind energy to the character, making his religious convictions both palpable and compelling. Clifton Webb's portrayal of Father Bovard is equally nuanced, highlighting the moral ambiguity of a man who was once a devout Catholic, but has since abandoned his faith for practical purposes.

Satan Never Sleeps is a poignant and thought-provoking drama that masterfully weaves together multiple themes, including religious persecution and political corruption, to create a story that is both engaging and cathartic. The movie's message is powerful, resonating with audiences of various backgrounds experiencing different forms of persecution and oppression. Overall, it is a must-watch for those interested in historical dramas and human resilience in the face of adversity.

Satan Never Sleeps
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  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    2 hr 5 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.0  (838)