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Pope Joan (2009)
"Die Päpstin" (original title)

6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 5,635 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 40 critic

A woman of English extraction born in the German city of Ingelheim in the ninth century disguises herself as a man and rises through the Vatican ranks.

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(novel), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Edward Petherbridge ...
Aesculapius
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Tigerlily Hutchinson ...
Jördis Triebel ...
Joan's mother
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Jordanes
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Storyline

German village Igelheim's backward priest hopes his sons to succeed him after education in the bishop's cathedral school, but the elder succumbs to disease and the youngest lacks any intellectual drive. Traveling teacher Aesculapius arranges for the inquisitive daughter Johanna to be enrolled too, against their father's wishes. Unfit for the boys-only dorm, she gets to stay with count Gerold, incurring his wife's due jealousy. She's to be dismissed, but survives a Viking pillaging slaughter and assumes brother Johannes's identity to join a monastery, where she becomes the infirmary's trainee. Fleeing exposure as female, she arrives in Rome. As a protégée of rivals in the viper nest-like papal court, she ends up elected as pope, but carries count Gerold's baby, guaranteeing exposure. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

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Details

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Release Date:

22 October 2009 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Pope Joan  »

Box Office

Budget:

€22,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Volker Schlöndorff was originally set to direct this movie but left over unspecified differences with the production company. See more »

Quotes

House Steward: Pardon me, Eminence. The girl has arrived. You had her fetched from Ingelheim.
Fulgentius: Oh yes, now I remember. That Greek scholar's idea. But am I seeing double?
House Steward: The boy is her brother. Their father, a Priest, insists that he too be allowed to attend the Scola.
Fulgentius: What do you know? I send for one and get two! If only the Emperor were as generous as these holy men from the countryside!
See more »

Connections

Featured in De wereld draait door: Episode #5.139 (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Incredible portrayal of 9th-century life
21 January 2012 | by (Arlington, VA) – See all my reviews

I'd vaguely heard of Pope Joan, but didn't know until looking her up this morning that she almost certainly didn't exist; I don't know if I would have watched the movie, knowing it was based on a novel I hadn't read. It was kind of slow-moving, and didn't have the lush costumes that are often my favorite part of historical movies, but it did have the most accurate portrayal I've ever seen of life in the middle ages. At the beginning of the movie I was surprised to see the title character's mother giving birth right in front of two other children, but then remembered that, just as people were conceived in full view of the household, they were born that way as well. As the movie went along, there was nothing missing but the smell! Several years of watching The Highlander didn't give me as graphic a view of what a beheading must actually look like as this movie did, and other details were just as they would have been. I'd recommend this movie most heartily to history majors and anyone who thinks the vanished past was glamorous.


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As a Catholic, I LOVED this book and Catholics need to CHILL OUT hsullivan
This movie is 10 stars! Do not believe the bad rating. m3w
Anti-Catholic bias is tolerated pbca1
Does This Sound Like An Anti-Catholic Bigot To You? vardamansfish
First pics lady-faramir
An article about Pope Joan frcoulter
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