In medieval Europe, a pious young woman becomes a scholar of theology, disguises herself as a man, rises through the Catholic Church hierarchy and is elected Pope.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Joan's Father
Natasa Nicolescu ...
Joan's Mother
Sharon Winter ...
Joan as a child
Margareta Pogonat ...
Village woman
Richard Bebb ...
Lord of Manor
Peter Arne ...
Richard
...
Elder monk
George Innes ...
Monk
...
Young monk
...
Cecilia
Susan Macready ...
Sister Nunciata
Shelagh Wilcocks ...
Sister Louise
...
Mother Superior
...
Emperor Louis
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Storyline

This movie is based on the medieval legend of Pope Joan, who was made Pope for a brief period around 855 A.D. Although it is questionable that Pope Joan really did exist, this movie presents her existence as fact, and portrays her relationships with other notables of the time. Written by edk <laplaza@ccnet.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

I, a woman, will be Pope. I swear it ! See more »

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 September 1972 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

The Devil's Imposter  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After a muted critical response, the film was severely re-edited. In its original incarnation, the film contained many flashbacks and flash-forwards, quite a progressive style for 1972. These were all removed to create a more linear story and the film was then released as "The Devil's Imposter". These changes were reinstated for a 2009 reissue. See more »

Connections

Version of Pope Joan (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Tu es Petrus
Sung by The Sistine Chapel Choir
Under the Direction of Domenico Bartolucci
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User Reviews

 
Very good film although flawed
27 January 2007 | by (Connecticut, United States) – See all my reviews

I found the film version of the Pope Joan story compelling viewing because it conveyed the force and importance of Joan's spiritual calling yet portrayed her as an breathing human being (this may be somewhat ironic since it is possible she is only a legend). Here is a woman who hears God's voice and the voice of carnal longing. She is neither the lowly whore nor the ethereal virgin. Also, it is refreshing to see films where spirituality and belief in God are taken seriously.

I found the performances to be excellent, especially those of Liv Ullman and Trevor Howard. Ullman is very good at portraying the vertical pull of spirituality and the wrenching ambiguity of living in the material world. Trevor Howard's performance was utterly convincing. Also, Susan Winter had a quiet presence about her in her brief performance as the young Joan, which impressed me. What a tenuous thing to be a young girl in the Medieval age - what a microcosm she is of all human existence.

This film has its flaws, most notably the disjointed editing and jarred pacing. I do not quibble, however, with the less than ideal sound quality of the dialog or the occasional white lines which momentarily appear on the screen now and again because when I watch a film, I accept the film on its own terms; I do not wish it was something it isn't - a film made on a modest budget in 1972 should not be expected to look and sound like a mega-budget blockbuster filmed in 2006. On the whole, this movie is a success.

Cautionary note: not a movie for kids.


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