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|Montgomery Clift||Fr. Michael William Logan|
|Anne Baxter||Ruth Grandfort|
|Karl Malden||Inspector Larrue|
|Brian Aherne||Willy Robertson|
|O. E. Hasse||Otto Keller|
|Roger Dann||Pierre Grandfort|
|Dolly Haas||Alma Keller|
|Charles Andre||Fr. Millars|
|Alfred Hitchcock||Man Crossing the Top of Long Staircase|
"Crushed lips don’t talk."
"Crushed lips don't talk..."
"If you knew what he knew what would you do?"
Father Michael Logan (Clift) is a devout Catholic priest in a church in Quebec City. To take care of the church and the rectory, Father Logan employs a caretaker, Otto Keller (O. E. Hasse), and a housekeeper, Otto's wife Alma (Dolly Haas), who are German immigrants with very little money, although in their homeland they were more affluent. Otto Keller also works part-time as a gardener for a few householders in Quebec City.Very late one evening Keller asks if Father Logan will hear his confession. In the confessional, Keller confesses that he went to try to steal money from a person he gardens for, a rich lawyer called Villette, and in the process he killed him. Because of the binding nature of the secrecy of the confessional, Father Logan cannot tell the police anything he now knows about this crime.At the time of the murder, two young girls saw someone leaving the house of the murdered man wearing a cassock. While this was just Otto's disguise, suspicion falls upon Father Logan himself (who cannot provide an alibi for the time of the murder, cannot talk about the confession he heard, and cannot name the true murderer). It gradually becomes apparent that Logan, in his early life before he became a priest, had a girlfriend, Ruth (Anne Baxter), who has always loved him and still does, even though she is now married to someone else.In flashbacks it is shown that Logan stopped writing to Ruth not long after he went off to war. After he came back, Ruth and Logan ended up stranded on an island during a storm, and were forced to shelter for the night in a gazebo. In the morning Villette finds them there, makes offensive comments about Ruth, and is punched by Logan. It turns out that Ruth had married a prominent politician without ever telling Logan, who leaves her and does not see her for years. But Ruth is being blackmailed by Villette. Both her and her husband's lives would be ruined if her previous relationship with Logan were made public, and so she had met with Logan on the night of the murder to ask him for advice about the blackmail situation.
DVD : 2004-09-07