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Pope Joan (2009)

Die Päpstin (original title)
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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Cast overview, first billed only:
Edward Petherbridge ...
Lotte Flack ...
Tigerlily Hutchinson ...
Joan's mother
Richard van Weyden ...


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


Drama | Romance


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Release Date:

22 October 2009 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Pope Joan  »

Box Office


€22,000,000 (estimated)

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Did You Know?


Franka Potente was set to play the title character but had to leave due to scheduling conflicts shortly before filming began. See more »


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!
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Version of Pope Joan (1972) See more »

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User Reviews

31 July 2016 | by (Romania) – See all my reviews

the subject is far to be new. but it remains source of the same controversies. and the film has the rare gift to create a coherent, seductive image for a theory who remains obscure. the film has all the ingredients of genre. and it gives an interesting portrait of a woman who, against the social rules, step by step, sacrifice by sacrifice, becomes one of the most important figures of Catholic Church. the important thing is not the story itself. but the manner to use its nuances. because it has the romanticism and the tension, the fight scenes and the chain of dark secrets who define many other films. its specificity remains the beautiful performance of Johanna Wokalek who discovers the right rhythm for define in clear , delicate, precise manner her character. her admirable work is the axis of the inspired recreation of the atmosphere. and basic ingredient about a image of success and its price.

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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
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First pics lady-faramir
An article about Pope Joan frcoulter
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