Pope Joan (1972)

PG  |   |  Drama  |  29 September 1972 (West Germany)
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Reviews: 12 user | 2 critic

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 »



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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 ...
Patrick Magee ...
Elder monk
George Innes ...
Young monk
Susan Macready ...
Sister Nunciata
Shelagh Wilcocks ...
Sister Louise
Mother Superior
Emperor Louis


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




PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

29 September 1972 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

The Devil's Imposter  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 »


Referenced in Giornata nera (2006) See more »


Veni Creator Spiritus
Sung by The Sistine Chapel Choir
Under the Direction of Domenico Bartolucci
See more »

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User Reviews

a wonderful film
10 August 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

"What a surprise! Not only the story, but what a cast! Liv Ullmann, Trevor Howard, Olivia de Havilland, Maximilian Schell, Franco Nero, Leslie Ann Down! And the texture of the movie - the crude medieval villages, the halls of the ancient Vatican, the incredible 10th Century nunnery, the countryside of Saxon Germany, in peace and war, scene after scene that could never have been shot in Hollywood. But the greatest discovery is the performance of Liv Ullmann. If anything ever deserved an Academy Award. She creates more passion and sexual desire with her eyes and the movement of a hand than the whole pantheon of current sex goddesses could with all their bodies and a ravishing musical score behind them. And when it comes to tragedy and fear those same eyes dig so deeply into the soul they leave a mark that haunts you for weeks. This is a wonderful, wonderful picture."

5 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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