SLUSH ALERT: SUGARY ENOUGH TO ROT YOUR TEETH!!!
LIED IN MY HART (1970) IVAN HALL
A priest, torn between the woman that he loves and the parish he must serve, must make a life changing choice. This film (made also on location in Austria) was a huge box – office success at the time of its’ first release and while the accent was on entertainment, opera star Ge Korsten’s singing voice and tremendous screen presence, it actually made a few valid points concerning the South African situation at the time, especially regarding the paranoia and the political situation.
The opening of the film is quite funny with Ge Korsten’s priest Andrew Murray being challenged in a bar as to what his beliefs are, at which he sings the song I Believe to a bunch of drunk miners. This song becomes the title credits song and several other songs of Korsten’s are woven into the plot, such as Seeman [Sailor] and Meine Land Süd Afrika. The latter song is used in a Viennese ballroom at which he is singing to the dancers who hilariously ignore him and concentrate on their dancing instead.
The priest is truly revealed as a man of the people, entering a bar and daring to have a drink with one of his parishoners, as well as taking part in a cricket match, promptly hitting a ball for six and denting a former girlfriend’s car. The only downside to his man-of-the-people persona comes when he has to apply fatherly rules to a child who has no father, beating him, at which the child runs away and torches the priest’s former girlfriend’s car. The startlingly beautiful Mitsi Stander, a former Miss South Africa and who was later to die in a horrific car crash in 1973 at the age of 23 plays Korsten’s wife in this film, a former model whose presence is resented by the community and is one of the two reasons that Pastor Murray leaves the community to seek his fortune elsewhere: the other is that he had dared to sing Ave Maria
at a wedding.
The priest is denounced for daring to sing a Roman Catholic song and leaves for Vienna. Just to clear something up: to be Roman Catholic in South Africa in the 1970’s was something akin to being an acolyte of Anton LaVey’s: if the government could have banned this religion, they would have done, so much were they against it.
Excellent photography and music, but otherwise just another typical Kavaliers melodrama with the added “bonuses” of anti-South African politics, this time in the shape of the late Patrick Mynhardt as a shifty record producer / talent agent and future director Manie van Rensburg as a radical student who eggs Ge Korsten’s car.