27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Nun's Story [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This wonderful movie evokes a great sense of time before WWII when the convent was a desirable destination for many young women in Catholic Europe. Hepburn was never lovelier or better and acts more with her eyes than many modern 'stars' can do with their entire bodies.
The focus of the film is the eternal conflict between self and duty. It starts as Hepburn leaves the sheltered home of her Father where she has been substitute mother since her Mother's death, choosing the Church over home responsibilities to her Father's chagrin. It continues through the conflict of personal choice versus the teachings of the Church and hinges around a scene where she is asked to flunk an exam to show devotion to the Church.
The central portion moves to Africa and injects sensuality in spades and Peter Finch glowers and exudes sex appeal enough to melt any wimple!! Sister Luke is not so much conflicted by his presence as ripped apart. Conflict again between old and new religions ends in tragedy. The later phase is at the beginning of the war where obedience to the Church clashes full pelt with her feelings of nationalism and family loyalty. Is the ending inevitable?
The photography in this film is very good, almost worthy of Powell and Pressburger, especially in the scenes where the novices become nuns. The concept of the Church and being a nun may not speak as loudly to us in this time, but the theme of conflict, personal will versus the good of others, is eternal. A great Sunday afternoon film and a classic of that period.