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The Sins of Rachel Cade (1961)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 2 April 1961 (USA)
While the Nazi regime subjugates European Nations, in the Belgian Congo, Doctor Rachel Cade tries to cure those troubled people. Colonel Derode falls in love with her, but a young American injured pilot upsets his plans.


Gordon Douglas


Edward Anhalt, Charles Mercer (novel)




Credited cast:
Angie Dickinson ... Rachel Cade
Peter Finch ... Colonel Henry Derode
Roger Moore ... Paul Wilton
Errol John ... Kulu, Assistant to Rachel
Woody Strode ... Muwango
Juano Hernandez ... Kalanumu
Frederick O'Neal ... Buderga
Mary Wickes ... Marie Grieux
Scatman Crothers ... Musinga
Rafer Johnson ... Kosongo
Charles Wood Charles Wood ... Mzimba
Douglas Spencer ... Doctor Bikel
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Naaman Brown Naaman Brown


In 1939, earnest missionary nurse Rachel Cade travels to the Belgian Congo but she no sooner arrives than Dr. Bikel, who runs the local hospital where she is to work, dies of heart failure. She also soon learns that the hospital has been a failure and has yet to treat a single patient. Slowly, Rachel gains the trust of the villagers, not only providing medical care, but preaching the gospel. The local government official, middle-aged Colonel Henri Derode, doesn't quite hit it off with Rachel at first, but soon begins to develop deep affections for her. The sexually repressed Rachel however has fallen madly in love with the dashing Captain Paul Winton, a American serving in the R.A.F., who is shot down and is also a medical doctor. Her moralizing comes back to haunt her when she learns after his departure that she is pregnant. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In the 'Nun's Story' tradition ... From Kansas she came, the beautiful missionary, burning with the fire of her faith ... and she found a wilder flame in primeval Africa! See more »


Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Third billed Roger Moore only appears on-screen 63 minutes into the film and his screen time does not exceed a total of 31 minutes. See more »


Rachel Cade: There's no date on morality. We're not exactly in a state of grace.
See more »


Referenced in Biography: Roger Moore: A Matter of Class (1995) See more »

User Reviews

painful stereotypes, preposterous story lines, still worth watching
18 August 2016 | by jcravens42See all my reviews

Painfully dated, unrealistic story of a nun/nurse, Rachel Cade, who goes to the Belgian Congo to bring health care and Christian salvation to an African village. The African representations are stereotypical and, at times, painful, especially if you have ever been to sub-Sahara Africa. A preachy film with sexualized, seducing, tribal Africans and a righteous and sexually conflicted white savior nurse trying to bring the "true" religion to the primitives. The script is laughable at times, especially the assertions of how superior Christianity - specifically, Catholicism - is to the local beliefs. And the music is, at times, laugh out loud funny, unintentionally - like when Paul Wilton (Roger Moore) says, "I'm a doctor."

Other reviewers have called the character of Rachel Cade "frigid." That word actually doesn't fit at all. Poor Angie looks absolutely lovely on the camera as she sweats and even writhes at one point over the sexual desires her character is supposedly experiencing - but the preposterous situation make you want to laugh rather than feel sympathy.

Altogether, it actually makes the film worth watching, to see just how distorted Europeans (and USA movie audiences) have seen Africans. Another thing that makes the film worthwhile to watch is a young Scatman Crothers, and it's always great to see Woody Strode on the screen, even in a substandard film. And Roger Moore pulls off the American accent, through a less nasally voice would have been nice.

The movie is produced by Henry Blanke, also responsible for the far less offensive, less preachy, much more nuanced and realistic film, THE NUN'S STORY. Unlike that film, this seems mostly filmed on a soundstage.

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Release Date:

2 April 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Amartoloi kato apo ton ilio See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

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