China, 1947. In a remote province, on a violently stormy night, a man in priestly robes - and carrying a gun - stumbles into a Catholic mission, where he is welcomed as "Father O'Shea" by Dr. David Sigman and his wife, Beryl. This priest is actually Jim Carmody, an American pilot who crash-landed in China during WWII and has been a prisoner of General Yang for several years in his Communist re-education camp. He has just escaped, wearing the robes of the real Father O'Shea, who was murdered in the camp. Carmody quickly finds that he's in a new kind of prison - since he has been assumed to be the priest, the cynical military man must act like one, and not let the facade slip. The act begins to transform him. He hears confessions never meant for his ears. He absolves people, performs marriages and baptisms and buries the dead. He is, in spirit, becoming the holy man, upholding vows he never even took...
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