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In 1930, in Belgium, Gabrielle van der Mal is the stubborn daughter of the prominent surgeon Dr. Pascin Van Der Mal that decides to leave her the upper-class family to enter to a convent, expecting to work as nun in Congo with tropical diseases. She says good-bye to her sisters Louise and Marie; to her brother Pierre; and to her beloved father, and subjects herself to the stringent rules of the retrograde institution, including interior silent and excessive humbleness and humiliation. After a long period working in a mental institution, Gaby is finally assigned to go to Congo, where she works with the Atheist and cynical, but brilliant, Dr. Fortunati. Sister Luke proves to be very efficient nurse and assistant, and Dr. Fortunati miraculous heals her tuberculosis. Years later, she is ordered to return to Belgium and when her motherland is invaded by the Germans, she learns that her beloved father was murdered by the enemy while he was helping wounded members of the resistance. Sister ... Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
An often-reported legend surrounding this movie is the story that Audrey Hepburn demanded a bidet be provided for her on location in the Congo. Hepburn always denied this, wondering how such an extravagance could even be hooked up in the Congo. See more »
In the scene where they are making their vows, the priest blesses each one in Latin. The formula should be "et Spiritus Sancti" and not "et Spiritus Sanctus." See more »
"He that shall lose his life for me shall find it. If thou wilt be perfect, go sell what thou hast and give to the poor, and come follow me." Each sister shall understand that on entering the convent, she has made the sacrifice of her life to God.
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"The Nun's Story" is the best movie dealing with religion that I have ever seen. The movie has what is possibly Audrey Hepburn's greatest performance;
anyone who thinks she was only a fashion model is well advised to see this film. I first saw it in a theatre, in 1959. I went in about five minutes before the end--and the theatre was completely sold out. At the end of the movie, no one moved--everyone remained seated for about thirty seconds. Then the audience got up and filed out--without a single sound. I stayed through to see the ending again. The audience behavior was the same. I have never seen an audience reaction like this.
Hepburn should have received an Oscar for this performance, as well as another for "Two for the Road," for which she wasn't even nominated. She has been sadly underrated and undervalued as an actress. Her high placement in many Best Actress Ever polls has been entirely justified and very pleasing.
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