Quantano is a small and isolated Mexican town run by the tyrannical, atheistic bandito Bogarde. Mills arrives in Quantano as a dedicated Roman Catholic priest who ignores Bogarde's rules and invites people to attend church. His life is threatened, but Mills forges ahead and begins building
a following, including Demongeot, a young girl who has a crush on the clergyman. Angered by this defiance, Bogarde begins killing peasants in alphabetical order, but stops after building a sort of reluctant admiration for the feisty priest. He even has one of his own men killed after another
attempt on the priest's life. Bogarde confronts Mills and tells him that he will be allowed to live if he can determine which inspires good: the "singer" (priest) or the "song" (religion). Demongeot's family learns that she loves the priest and they try to force another on her in marriage.
Consequently she heads off to hide in the mountains. Bogarde finds her and tells Mills he will let her live if he admits he's a failure as a priest from the pulpit. Mills agrees, but goes against his word when he sees that Demongeot is safe. Instead, he denounces evil and Bogarde, who is
consequently arrested. His gang helps him escape, and a gun fight ensues. Both Mills and Bogarde are mortally wounded and the two die side by side with, Bogarde muttering "the singer, not the song." At times this is a plodding film, but more often than not the fine screenplay overcomes the
sensationalistic direction. A strange love triangle is subtly built up between Demongeot and Mills and Bogarde. Though not overt, there are strong suggestions that Bogarde's obsession with the priest has homosexual overtones. Mills and Bogarde have a strong chemistry between them that makes this
unusual relationship believable.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: Quantano is a small and isolated Mexican town run by the tyrannical, atheistic bandito Bogarde. Mills arrives in Quantano as a dedicated Roman Catholic priest who ignores Bogarde's rules and invites people to attend church. His life is threatened, but Mill… (more)