Cinema: God in a Gas Chamber

The Hoodlum Priest (Murray-Wood; United Artists). The divine spark often burns in trash, and it burns with a still and terrible loveliness in this loud, crude, violent and sentimental cops-and-robbers picture, the work of an energetic actor-producer named Don Murray and a talented televeteran named Irvin Kershner.

The priest (Murray) of the title is the well-known St. Louis Jesuit, Father Charles Dismas Clark, who for 25 years has lived and served as the friend and confessor of convicts. The story starts like any old half-hour on TV. A baby-faced sidewalk bully (Keir Dullea), who has done two years in state prison for...

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