Audrey Hepburn at her beautiful best! A look into the lives of self sacrificing servants of God. These women worked without compensation in hospitals, schools, asylums. Gorgeous African scenery, lush photography, and a brilliant Waxman music score. Even non catholics will enjoy! Audrey freely gives up having a husband and family to follow her vocation, but she is continually tested in her chioces. I read that the nuns in large group scenes were portrayed by professional dancers in order to capture the grace and precision of the rituals. Filmed in Belgium, Rome, Africa.
If you are a solid drama fan, an Audrey Hepburn fan, and/or a true story fan, this is an excellent movie. The early movie is slow, and deliberate, but sets the tone for what she is expected to do to become a good nun. Pay attention, as there are minor details in the early movie that build into critical parts of the puzzle. Brilliant, well written screenplay derived faithfully from the original novel.
I saw this movie when I was a very young girl, probably in junior high. I had decided to become a nun when I was around 11 years old. I admired the sisters who taught catechism at our local parish and wanted to devote my life to God's work, just as they did. I entered the convent right after high school graduation in 1965. I felt truly loved and accepted by my fellow sisters, but began to feel that this life was not meant for me after 3 years. Not sure whether or not I was to stay or leave, I did finally feel that God had other plans for me and at the end of my 6th year in the convent, before renewing my vows again, and confident that I was doing the right thing, I left the convent. Seeing this movie again reminds me of my battle whether or not to stay as a "prisoner of love", devoting my entire existence to my loving God. I think the movie is very well done and the story is very realistic and true to life in the convent during that era.
A beautiful story of a nun who is sent to the Belgian Congo to be a medical missionary and to assist a charismatic surgeon has a crisis of faith that leads to an unexpected conclusion. Beautifully acted by Audrey Hepburn.
I have read this book several times and I wish the movie had gone into some detail about why she enters a convent. There is one mention very late in the film by her father that her sweetheart had never married. This is confusing to people who have not read the book because they don't know who or what he is referring to. I think this beginning scene of why she enters the convent was in the movie originally then was cut for some reason. The movie is probably the most detailed story of exactly what a young woman went through in order to become a nun in the early 30s. It is gripping and Ms Hepburn is wonderful in her portrayal of this conflicted young girl who becomes a conflicted woman. I enjoy it every time I look at it and I'm sure I'll look at it many more times. I had it on VHS which is in faded condition now so I'm ordering the DVD and look forward to the greater depth of color. Later: I'm happy to report that this film is beautifully restored and the DVD is lovely.
I am a member of the Nonogerians. This was absolutely fascinating for me. I am not a non- believer, nor am I a good church goer. The process of becoming a Nun was clearly defined. For some personalities, this is ideal. If I were female, I could not adhere to comply with all that is required. Audrey Hepburn portrayed what a chore being a Nun is admirably. For some with strong talents, this is not for them. She was incredible in her portrayal. She is missed.
The film, made in 1958, speaks to values increasingly gone by, but I know will enthrall anyone of the Catholic or other faith which has a monastic life. An incredible story of idealism, and struggle between vows of obedience on the one hand, and personal integrity on the other. Asking again and again, "How to know what it is God expects of me." I don't think there is an actress who could have played this role better, having seen some of the same things in her own childhood, and also a friend of the Belgian ex-nun, Marie-Louise Habet, on whose life the story revolves. After all the romances with middle aged American leading men that Miss Hepburn played, all of it will seem like Hollywood fluff compared to this poignant story. I'm sure it will be the late actress's signature film. I'm astonished that a Hollywood studio could rise to this level of sophistication. It makes most art-fims seem amateurish in comparison. Viewers will, I'm sure, want to google Wikipedia afterward, to learn more of the three lives that came together here: Actress Audrey Hepburn, Author Kathryn Hulme, and the real-life Marie-Louise Habet. Three feminine idealists of a generation now fading into history. As a veteran of the earliest Peace Corps in Africa, and of the same faith, this story was particularly meaningful for me. JAT
This movie has my favorite actress, Audrey Hepburn, and her acting was great. The story seems very slow, but that's probably because movies today are much more fast paced than many oldies.
I thought it was fascinating learning what it was like to become a nun, but I was disappointed that the people's friendships and characters weren't really developed, possibly because nuns apparently are not allowed to have friends, so the movie couldn't show interesting things about the people she met through their interactions, for the most part. The characters were instead kind of insinuated through brief discussions of things that happened to the people and through a few places where Sister Luke (Audrey Hepburn) did something she wasn't supposed to do as a nun and was then promptly sorry she did it (even though each time it was obviously right for her to do except that the church told her not to do it).
I'd say it is a good movie for people who have patience to ignore the slower pace to watch at least one time, unless the person watching wants to study what it's like to become a nun. But then I don't think anyone would decide to be one after watching it because of the strange rules she had to go through, such as not helping fight the Nazis because the church wanted to be neutral, being told to purposely fail a test so she would be "humbled," and not being allowed to finish working with patients because she was supposed to leave and go to church when the bells rang.
I doubt I will watch it again unless I want to watch it with someone considering becoming a nun, but I do think her acting was, as usual, superb.
My wife and I recently decided to donate our collection of aging VHS tapes to the local library. Before doing so, however, we began watching them day-by-day, since we hadn't seen most of the films in years. All was going well until we came to `The Nun's Story' (circa 1959) at which time my wife was sadly disappointed. This had long been one of her favorite films, and this tape was so degraded as to be unplayable. The next morning, of course, I ordered this DVD and last night we watched it.
The film tells the story of a young girl's struggle to become a nun and to serve God, her Church, and those in need. It is a story of faith, conviction, dedication, and self-sacrifice; and, in the end, disillusionment and abandonment. In telling this tale, it also gives us a glimpse into the inner workings of the Catholic Church and the demands placed upon those who give themselves up to its service.
It is a film that everyone can enjoy and almost everyone will benefit from by watching. I only wish that films like this were still being made, but no such luck.
This is one of my all-time favorite movies of Audrey Hepburn. I have the VHS and wore it out. I was very glad to see it released on DVD. So many of my favorite classic movies are not released on DVD. The Nun's Story is an enthralling story of a young idealistic young woman who was brilliant in medicine thanks to the tutelage of her doctor father. Upon learning that the man she loves carries genes that will pass on severe mental disabilities, they decided that it wouldn't be right to marry. Gabrielle decides that since her life in the world was essentially over, the convent would be her best option. She works hard to become the perfect nun. Along with all the spiritual struggles she went thru, she was also able to obtain degrees in tropical medicine (the first step towards service in the Congo) to one in psychiatry. Sister Luke's spiritual troubles make you want to reach out and hug her, to let her know that she wasn't a bad nun and an excellent nurse. It was obvious that she would have made a cracker jack doctor herself if the conventions of the time would have allowed her to attend medical school. Even tho this movie has religious overtones, it was, nevertheless a fantastic movie and the scenes that were shot on site in the Belgium and the Congo were breathtaking. I adored the author of the book, Kathrine Hulme for many many years. I first read the book in 10th grade and loved it. I have a very dog-eared paperback copy that has been well loved. Only with the advent of used book merchants was I actually able to obtain a hard cover copy of the book. If you like Audrey Hepburn, you'll love her in this. Along with Audrey Hepburn, the picture had a load of top notch stars. If you don't mind the religious overtones, the movie is an excellent one to watch and the book is even better.