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Angels of Sin (1943)

Les anges du péché (original title)
Anne-Marie joins a Dominican convent as a novice where she knows Therese. After shooting a man for which she was imprisoned, Therese protests her innocence reluctant to tell her secret.


Robert Bresson


Robert Bresson (scenario), Raymond Leopold Bruckberger (scenario) (as R.L. Bruckberger 'dominicain') | 1 more credit »




Complete credited cast:
Renée Faure Renée Faure ... Anne-Marie Lamaury
Jany Holt ... Thérèse
Sylvie ... La prieure
Mila Parély Mila Parély ... Madeleine
Marie-Hélène Dasté Marie-Hélène Dasté ... Mère Saint-Jean
Yolande Laffon Yolande Laffon ... Madame Lamaury
Paula Dehelly Paula Dehelly ... Mère Dominique
Silvia Monfort Silvia Monfort ... Agnès
Gilberte Terbois Gilberte Terbois ... Soeur Marie-Josèphe
Louis Seigner ... Le directeur de la prison
Georges Colin Georges Colin ... Le chef de la P.J.
Geneviève Morel Geneviève Morel ... Soeur Berthe
Christiane Barry Christiane Barry ... Soeur Blaise
Jean Morel Jean Morel ... L'inspecteur de police
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jacqueline Champi Jacqueline Champi ... Une religieuse


Rich young Anne-Marie thinks she has found her vocation when she joins a Dominican convent as a novice. The convent specialises in rehabilitating female prisoners, and Anne-Marie becomes especially fascinated with Therese, trying to get her to join the convent to redeem her for her sins - but Therese protests her innocence. However, when released, Therese shoots the man who committed the crime for which she was imprisoned, then joins the convent, where she is reluctant to tell anyone her secret, least of all Anne-Marie. Meanwhile, outside the convent, a police search is widening... Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

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First feature film directed by Robert Bresson. See more »


Referenced in The Road to Bresson (1984) See more »

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Bresson's debut feature examines the power of religious piety but saves us from another nun-demonizing diatribe
26 April 2018 | by lasttimeisawSee all my reviews

Robert Bresson's first feature film, ANGELS OF SIN examines the power of religious piety and sets the story within a Dominican convent where female ex-cons are rehabilitated, and makes great play of a professional cast.

Our angelic protagonist is Sister Anne-Marie (Faure), hailed from a well-to-do family, but resolves to devote herself to the noble work of reforming the sinner, and her prime object is Thérèse (Holt), a prisoner claims that she is innocent, and right upon her release, she takes her revenge to the man who should be accountable for her imprisonment and then joins the convent to dodge the punishment, much to Anne-Marie's delight (who doesn't twig her true purpose), who takes Thérèse under her wing.

But Anne-Marie's beneficent intention and zealous alacrity is brushed aside by Thérèse's penitence-free lying-low stopgap, who in turn, cunningly stokes discords between a naive and vivacious Anne-Marie and the more stolid and jealousy-inflamed ones whose telling opinions of the former are at once self-revealing and acrimonious, after a squabble about a black cat, its fallout has Anne-Marie ousted from the convent, but it takes her sacrificial final act (a bit sickly though) to finalize her lofty mission, redemption is achieved with haunting clarity in its solemn coda.

A rigid exercise in his craft of shaping up a spiritual parable, Bresson's self-disciplined style is in its inchoate state, stunning chiaroscuro and beatific soft focus compositions notwithstanding, the story has been retouched with a sentimental glamor mostly owing to Renée Faure's virtuous performance in the center, an effect soon Bresson would ditch roundly after THE LADIES OF THE BOIS DE BOULOGNE (1945), whereas a fiercely snarky Jany Holt manifests more stamina and inscrutability which is more likely consonant with Bresson's aesthetics.

The internal power play and peer pressure inside a convent is only scuffed without patent virulence, which saves us from another nun-demonizing diatribe and grants Bresson a more sagacious eye on religion and humanity, although ANGELS OF SIN can be hardly extolled as a groundbreaking jumping-off point from a future auteur.

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Release Date:

16 January 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Angels of the Streets See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Synops See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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