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on 13 May 2016
Having crucified love and its expression through sexual intimacies, religions such as Christianity and Islam offer fear, which is expressed through cruelty, as an official replacement - this is the essence of true sin and of this powerful film.

Susan Hemingway, née Maria Rosalia Coutinho, exquisitely innocent and pure, is mesmerizing in her performance of the beautiful novice Maria, the embodiment of divine love.
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on 5 September 2015
Entertaining film but if, like me, you detest those OCD censorship freaks, you will need to check around for an uncut version of this film. The version I bought (says, "The Official Jess Franco Collection" at the top) said 85 minutes in listing, but was actually 80 minutes. The full length is 89 minutes.
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on 3 May 2015
Great film
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on 7 January 2015
Very good film.
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on 15 October 2006
Unfortunately, this is a dubbed version of the movie. It would be much better if it had the original soundtrack with optional subtitles.
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on 1 March 2018
With a title like that, and a director like Jess Franco, it’s fairly sure that there will be a certain amount of sleaze in this film. I didn’t realise how much – in many ways this is his most perverse project. 15 year-old Maria Rosalea Coutinho (Sarah Hemmingway) is spied enjoying a playful kiss and cuddle with a local lad by Father Vincente (William Berger), who then manipulates Mariah’s terrified mother into forcing her into life at a convent. Vincente then brings himself to orgasm at the confessional booth after coercing Maria into telling of her mild sexual fumblings.

Many raised eyebrows were caused by the casting of Hemmingway, who looks extremely young, and who is tricked, coerced, tortured and humiliated by the hordes of liars, sycophants, perverts and manipulators around her, most of whom cloak their blatant indiscretions behind the veil of their perception of religion.

As you might well imagine, there are lesbian scenes between the nuns, complete with dialogue like “You have served the prince of darkness, now I will perform the ritual.” These are restrained for Franco, and frankly rather too long. It is the treatment of young Maria which is most effective – a pure innocent who has been cast amongst this nest of vipers because of what they consider to be HER bad attitude! It’s not nice at all. Especially as the unpleasant events are conveyed without spectacle, either by Franco, or the benign choral score from Walter Baumgartner.

As with all Franco/Erwin C. Dietrich collaborations, this is crisply shot and appears to have been provided with a decent budget. As always, the locations are incredible. An exercise in ‘nunsploitation’, the use of religion as a veneer of respectability is effective, and Hemmingway appears so naive with her character offering barely any resistance to the horror she finds herself in (excepting her pleas to a mother too stupid/timorous to help). Even Satan appears to join in with the black mass being practiced. Berger is highly convincing as Father Vincente, effortlessly bending others unto his will and gleefully taking advantage of Maria. You get the distinct impression he and others like him are used to getting away with these kind of atrocities and bare them no thought. Even through the barrier of dubbing, it is very easy to despise this rotter. Of all Franco’s output, I find this film one of the most difficult to watch.
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on 1 March 2010
Amid all of his vast (200+) and varied filmography Spanish auteur Jesus Franco does have a few standout films that almost seem to be the result of another director entirely - "The Bloody Judge" and "Love Letters of a Portuguese Nun" would be two that easily fit into that superior category.

"LLOAPN" is a film that falls within the nunsploitation brand but almost manages to rise above it. First off the title is one of my favourite film titles of all time and is strongly poetic in it's own right. Franco has assembled a terrific cast here most effective of which is the innocent and wholly credible young Susan Hemingway in the central role (whatever became of her?). The films' effectiveness is largely a result of Susan's performance.

While containing the exploitation staples "LLOAPN" keeps the grisly matters always at service to the story and never seems to exploit for the sake of exploitation. The scenes of Hemingways' forced nudity and so forth (cut from the British region 2 print) are integral to the plot and never overplayed nor presented in a lurid fashion.

The UK version is extremely heavily censored (more than 10 minutes) with much frontal nudity of the central protagonist and (mild) sexual violence removed, apparently as the BBFC had in their mind that Hemingway was possibly under the legal age when these scenes were shot. No one knows for sure and it's hard to tell when viewing the uncut version.

A beautifully shot and (for Franco) directed picture and one of the best of his career and of this genre- JUST AVOID THE UK RELEASE LIKE THE PROVERBIAL PLAGUE.
Get the region 1 from Amazon USA.
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on 9 March 2005
Jess Franco has established a cult following which may reflect the quantity rather than the quality of his work. Born Jesús Franco Manera in Madrid, May 12 1930, he originally trained as a musician, then went into acting, screenwriting, and direction, making his directing debut in 1959. Franco has nearly 200 films to his credit - many made under a variety of pseudonyms. He has attracted a deal of notoriety over the years - in the 1970's, the Catholic Church declared that he and Luis Buñuel were the most dangerous films makers in the world!
A European phenomenon, his low budget horror and erotica played in the soft-porn fleapits throughout the 60's and 70's. As horror and erotica go, a Franco film can be seriously boring, with turgid script, soporific direction, and a cast which owes more to the firmness of their flesh than the flaccidity of their acting. However, the best of Franco's films do achieve a lyrical charm and have an entertaining quality which has stood the test of time.
"Love letters of a Portuguese Nun" tells the tale of young Maria/Marie, dragooned into a convent by a roué priest who is clearly more intent on chastising her body than saving her soul. Franco exhibits his usual fascination with punishment and bondage as Maria uncovers the fact that the convent is dedicated to the worship of Satan. She seeks help, runs away, but is recaptured and sentenced to be burned at the stake. She writes a letter to god, begging for forgiveness, and trusts it to the wind.
A beautifully photographed film, with crisp images and a lyrical quality to the lighting, it provides some very tame but beautifully shot nudity, a fairly lame plot, dubbing which fails to synchronise sound and movement, and acting which might make you blush. There are, however, a couple of beautiful cameo roles - watch out for the mayor! It's quite tastefully done. The horror element is facile and cliché-ridden, stripped of any menace by the dubbed voices - which make Dick van Dyke's London chimneysweep sound like a classic piece of Shakespearean acting. The erotica is charming and droll, even elegant at times.
All in all, it's an entertaining little romp, not something you'd take seriously. It would provide good focal entertainment for an after-dinner party, giving you time to sit back, digest your food, and share a laugh with friends.
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on 31 August 2011
Great film, rubbish release - UK version is cut so don't waste your money on this, there is an uncut Region 1 plus European releases are intact too available here on Amazon, will cost a bit more but worth it for the full and complete film and not this pathetic version.
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