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The Singing Nun (1966)

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Young and inexperienced Sister Ann has just arrived at her next posting at Samaritan House, a Dominican order located in a disreputable neighborhood of Ghent, Belgium. Sister Ann is ... See full summary »



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Title: The Singing Nun (1966)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Father Clementi
Mother Prioress
Sister Cluny
Robert Gerarde
Nicole Arlien
Sister Mary
Ricky Cordell ...
Dominic Arlien
Mr. Arlien
Tom Drake ...
Larry D. Mann ...
Mr. Duvries
Charles Robinson ...
Monique Montaigne ...
Sister Michele
Joyce Vanderveen ...
Sister Elise


Young and inexperienced Sister Ann has just arrived at her next posting at Samaritan House, a Dominican order located in a disreputable neighborhood of Ghent, Belgium. Sister Ann is enthusiastic, progressive but naive, all which irks one of the senior sisters, Sister Cluny, especially the fact that Sister Ann has a prized material possession, a guitar she's named Adele. Sister Ann considers Adele and her music to be her friends. Contrary to Sister Cluny, the Mother Prioress believes Sister Ann will be a welcome addition to their order. This posting is to be the training ground for Sister Ann and others to become missionaries in Africa. Sister Ann's path takes a detour when the order's Father Clementi hears Sister Ann sing. He believes Sister Ann should record her music and as a favor asks Robert Gerarde of Primavera Records for recording time. Unknown at the time the request is made, Robert and Sister Ann are old friends who attended the Paris Conservatory of Music together five years... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


GOT A HEART? Here's the picture for it!


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Parents Guide:






Release Date:

2 April 1966 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dominique  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Debbie Reynolds's last film under her MGM contract. See more »


When Sister Ann and several other convent members perform on The Ed Sullivan Show, the women are forbidden to wear stage makeup - even though all of them have been sporting obvious foundation, blush, lipstick, mascara and even false eyelashes during rest of movie. See more »


Brother John
Written by Randy Sparks
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User Reviews

Similar to "Jeannie Eagels" in it's fantasy aspects
25 January 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I agree that Debbie sings some of the best musical numbers of her career, and between the songs in "Bundle of Joy" and "The Singing Nun" I'll take "The Singing Nun".

Just as the film "Jeannie Eagels" is a fantasy very loosely based on the life of ill-fated actress Jeannie Eagels and as such basically only got one or two facts straight, so does "The Singing Nun" stretch reality and we wretch. Stretch and Wretch.

On the other hand, if we accept these films as the fiction they are, then they become good "moral" stories. And so "The Singing Nut" Debbie Reynolds sings and dimples her way through a film that resembles reality in only the fact that a nun named "Sister Smile" actually put out an album of her songs and it caused a big flurry of worry for the Sister.

Maybe some of the songs in the film were actually written by Jeanne-Paul Marie Deckers but the words for "Dominique" seem to not be the same words shown in the English translation of the song on my copy of the original album. There is a song called "Sister Adele" about her Spanish guitar which is also not the same song as the one played in the film, and another funny item is the guitar Debbie Reynolds wields happens to be a Nylon Stringed Classical guitar- A Spanish Guitar does not have a round hole, a Spanish Guitar happens to have F-Holes and steel strings.

Even though this film is fiction and fantasy and ideology, I do not cringe when I see it like I do "The Sound of Music" or "My Fair Lady"- where I do not know why they bothered to write dialogue when they could have just sung those movies all the way through with no dialogue whatsoever. although the music and song in those films is overwhelming, the fact that they are nonstop though the films is also overwhelming and can only be enjoyed in very small doses. On the other hand, "The flying, er, Singing Nun" has some good acting by Anges Moorehead who is my favourite Red Headed Actress and Bey**ch, oh I just loved Agnes, she could do anything including all kinds of ethnic parts, Ricardo Montal-Khan dons a priestly habit rather than a pair of swim trunks or 23rd Century Barbarian Garb, and Katherine Ross is very good: Almost to the point that she does not resemble a girl who is heading toward prostitution, she is too squeaky-clean. Someone made a comment that all this film was missing was Bing Crosby and I agree, where was he when this was made? The main reason I like this film is because I loved the song "Dominique" as a small child - Everyone loved that song, and I mean it was everywhere when it came out. This film- Although getting the life of Soeur Sourire totally wrong, does NOT get wrong the feeling o the early 60's which I happen to remember because "I was there". I do not mean in Belgium, but in 1963, and although I grew up in southern California and not Belgium, the outdoor scenes in this film make me remember things I have forgotten for decades.

One thing the film is accurate about: That a nun could write a song, record it, and it becomes not just a local hit that was apparently originally intended to be sold only locally to help the Convent, but by a set of extremely lucky circumstances this song would also become an International hit, a worldwide hit and a song of comfort after the assassination of JFK. The film does not exaggerate the impact the song had on the world, as a matter of fact, it waters that impact down a bit.

Sister Anne had a different fate other than the one shown at the end of the film, but that does not matter to me: This film is fantasy, not reality: Because I want to think it could have been good like that for the real Singing Nun, but life is sometimes not as simple as shown in movies.

I am looking at the artwork on and in the Album Cover and there is even a set of lithographed prints... And ultimately that art speaks about a faith that is simple, and that is the only thing that matters really, and I wish that could have been brought out in this film- But it is not, it is not even mentioned at all, and he artwork was just as important as the music.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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