THE WRATH OF GOD. MGM, 1972. Robert Mitchum, Frank Langella, Rita Hayworth, John Colicos, Victor Buono, Ken Hutchison, Paula Pritchett, Gregory Sierra. Screenplay by Jack Higgins, based on his book of the same title, but written as by James Graham. Director: Ralph Nelson.

   To tell you the truth, I liked this movie more than I thought I would, but if Robert Mitchum hadn’t been in it, and if it hadn’t been the last movie Rita Hayworth ever made, I wouldn’t have watched it at all. The story takes place in an unnamed Central American country (circa 1930?) currently plagued with generals, revolutionaries, gun runners and hordes of poor peasants whose only role is that of being raped, taken hostage or simply getting underfoot.

   What my problem is, though, is that I don’t care much about seeing priests with machine guns, whether they’re fake priests, excommunicated priests, or whatever. That’s Mitchum’s role, his task that of killing the leader of a band of renegades who have taken over a town, which he does, with a bloody vengeance.

   Rita Hayworth, who plays the mother of the outlaw leader, seems confused about her part; she certainly should be. On the other hand, Paula Pritchett is very pretty as the mute Indian girl. What other movies was she ever in?

— Reprinted from Mystery*File #24, August 1990.


UPDATE:   When I wrote this review, I did not know that when she made this movie Rita Hayworth was suffering from the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, so that line about her being “confused about her part” is now very unfortunate. It is not what I intended — only that her part as written and filmed was not well established.

   As for Paula Pritchett, in those pre-IMDb days, questions such as the one I ended this review with often went unanswered. Now all one has to do is to click here to discover that she made two movies before this one, and none afterward.