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 ... See full summary »
There's a new wager between Heaven and Hell. Devil bets God that if God were to pick two young people to be the new Adam and Eve, they'd sin again. God accepts and sends a college couple to various eras, starting with the Garden of Eden.
The Italian mountaineer Carel wants to be the first man to stand on the top of the Matterhorn. Since the climb is very difficult, he agrees to try it together with the British mountaineer ... See full summary »
In 1949, during the Chinese Civil War, British warship H.M.S. Amethyst sails up the Yangtse river but on the return trip finds its way blocked by a barrage fire from the Communist Chinese shore batteries.
Forty year old Norwegian-American divorcée Ann Stanley owns her own Manhattan based real estate agency specializing in upscale Manhattan apartments. She lives with her seventeen year old ... See full summary »
A Jewish scientist in Russia becomes frustrated with the antisemitism in her country and decides to leave with her friend and sister. When they go to receive emigration permits, her sister and friend pass but she is declined.
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
The original plan was to shoot on location in Italy but this proved too expensive so the film was made at Bray Studios outside London, home to the Hammer horror movies. Some location work was done in Romania and Cyprus. Shooting in Romania proved to be rather difficult, given that there was hardly anything of a native film industry and also because the country was very tightly controlled by the Communist regime. See more »
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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