The White Sister (1933)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  14 April 1933 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 207 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 2 critic

A young woman falls in love with a dashing officer, but becomes a nun when she believes him to be killed in battle.




(screen play), (based upon the novel) (as F. Marion Crawford) , 6 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Giovanni Severi
Louise Closser Hale ...
Mother Superior
Father Saracinesca
Alan Edwards ...
Ernesto Traversi


Angela, the daughter of Prince Chiaromonte, is set to marry Ernesto Traversi, a dull banker, when she unexpectedly meets dashing Lt. Giovanni Severi at carnival time. Angela and Giovanni begin meeting in secret and soon fall in love. She informs her father that she won't be going through with the wedding to Ernesto and wants to marry Giovanni instead. But Angela's marriage to Giovanni is put on hold, first by the untimely death of her disapproving father and then by the outbreak of war. When it appears that Giovanni has been killed in battle, Angela vows never to marry and becomes a nun, dedicating her life in service to God. Meanwhile Giovanni recuperates behind enemy lines with his only thought being to find a way home to Angela. Written by Jimmy L.

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Drama | Romance


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Release Date:

14 April 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Irmã Branca  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The play opened on Broadway in New York City, New York, USA on 27 September 1909 and closed on 6 November 1909 after 48 performances. The opening night cast included William Farnum as Giovanni and Viola Allen in the female lead. Allen played the same role in the 1915 version of the movie (The White Sister (1915)); See more »


Referenced in The Miracle (1959) See more »


Finiculi, Finicula
(1880) (uncredited)
Written by Luigi Denza
Played by the band at the carnival
See more »

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User Reviews

Fates Just Keep Them Apart
12 September 2011 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

This version of The White Sister is the third and final one to date that was brought to the big screen. This old fashioned drama with heavy religious overtones is not a likely candidate for a modern remake.

It's that second version that is the most known. Shot in Italy in 1923 it was the breakout picture for Ronald Colman as he starred with Lillian Gish and a cast of Italian players because the film was shot on location in Italy, a very unusual thing for the time.

In the Citadel Film Series book the Films of Ronald Colman, it was mentioned that Colman had a swarthy complexion and that was why this erudite man of the English speaking language was cast in the film. The same could be said for the casting of Clark Gable as the male lead opposite Helen Hayes in this sound version.

The story was updated from the 19th century and the Italian colonial wars in Libya to World War I. Gable is an air ace in the Italian Air Corps and he meets Helen Hayes who is the daughter of the local nobleman Lewis Stone. He's got an arranged marriage with wealthy Alan Edwards who will help this noble, but impoverished family out of debt. But Helen wants Clark after spending a little time with him.

But fates just keep them apart, especially after Lewis Stone is killed in an automobile crash and Gable goes off to World War I. Other than the updating of the time of the story and the elimination of a sister for Hayes, if you've seen the Colman-Gish silent version you know what happens here.

Someone like Tyrone Power who was a few years away from breaking into stardom at another studio would have been far better at handling the mushy romantic dialog. Certainly Ronald Colman might have done well with it even though he was British to the core. Gable is too American for the part though he does his best with it. The female lead is very suitable to Helen Hayes, especially with her Catholic background.

Fans of Clark Gable will still like The White Sister, but it will never be rated among his better films.

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