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
...
Richard
...
Elder monk
George Innes ...
Monk
...
Young monk
...
Cecilia
Susan Macready ...
Sister Nunciata
Shelagh Wilcocks ...
Sister Louise
...
Mother Superior
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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

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Release Date:

29 September 1972 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

The Devil's Imposter  »

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Technical Specs

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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

Veni Creator Spiritus
Sung by The Sistine Chapel Choir
Under the Direction of Domenico Bartolucci
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User Reviews

 
a most enjoyable film...full marks!!
12 March 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

SHE…WHO WOULD BE POPE

I really enjoyed this film as a real aficionado of historical faction and legends. Movie buffs who yearn for renowned actors whose sex appeal and charisma fill up the screen, as soon as they appear without uttering a word, would also find this motion picture enthralling.

Franco Nero as Prince Louis, with blazing blue eyes brimming over in sensuality , becomes Emperor, conquering both Infidels and the Vatican. Although Jeremy Kemp, has a small role, whose pockmarked face, as handsome as it is rugged and scarred with life, makes him so credible as Joan's bible thumping father. Maximilian Schell, in his part as Brother Adrian is yet another from this large cast of famous faces who are a pleasure to watch as they captivate and capture the audience as they embrace their characters. The beautiful Lesley-Ann Downe although very young, is not as innocent or virtuous as she looks. No less are any of the remarkable cast such as the enchanting hero/heroine Liv Ullman, whose transformation from a nun to a priest is seamless, that makes the two hours of SHE..WHO WOULD BE POPE such compelling viewing.

Although the setting is in the Dark Ages, there is a lightness in the way the unpleasant events are portrayed that make the reality of the harshness of life in that time, acceptable to all, from rape, pillage, murder and forbidden love.

The Evangelicals haven't changed their book or mantras and the flowing robes and costumes of the clergy have all remained the same in authentically reproduced settings and lavish scenery. This story had to be retold in its original uncut form, sliding in and out of millennia, to fully understand how the world has turned despite that we, as individuals remain the same. The psychologist analysing a woman claiming a former life as Pope, ensures a multifaceted film that would appeal to a wide audience. SF


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