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La badessa di Castro (1974)

| Drama, Thriller
A young woman is forced into a convent. However, due to her nobility she rises to be an abbess. She has to deal with corruption in the church.


Armando Crispino


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Barbara Bouchet ... Elena di Campireali / abbess of Castro
Pier Paolo Capponi ... Monsignor Francesco Cittadini
Evelyn Stewart ... Suor Margherita Altieri (as Eveline Sthewart)
Antonio Cantafora ... Giulio Branciforti
Mara Venier Mara Venier ... Fra Giovanni's Lover
Luciana Turina Luciana Turina ... Suor Rufina
Ciro Ippolito Ciro Ippolito ... Cesare Del Bene
Stefano Oppedisano Stefano Oppedisano ... Fra Giovanni
Serena Spaziani Serena Spaziani ... Suor Agata
Jole Fierro Jole Fierro ... Elena's Mother
Giancarlo Maestri Giancarlo Maestri ... Ugone / Giulio's comrade-in-arms
Marcello Tusco Marcello Tusco ... Saverio
Franca Lumachi Franca Lumachi ... Suor Liberata
Giuseppe Pertile Giuseppe Pertile ... Cardinal Farnese
Paola Granata Paola Granata


XVI century: Elena of the Lords of Campireali, becomes a nun against her will, (her mother wanted to take her away from her beloved Giulio Branciforti) falls in love with a bishop, Cittadini remaining pregnant. Having learned of this crime, the Church, instructs the inquisition to make her confess who the child's father is. The woman, who in the meantime had given birth chooses suicide to avoid torture after having rescued her son. Written by lament

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Thriller







Also Known As:

La madre superiora del pecado See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Clauda Cinematografica See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Telecolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

More Art House Than Exploitation
5 September 2019 | by FalconeerSee all my reviews

It seems there were two kinds of films in the strange "Nunsploitation" genre; the trash films, produced for the sole purpose of showing as much sex, nudity and general depravity as possible, and then there were the high brow productions, that featured quality scripts, fine acting and gorgeous cinematography. Movies that fall under the former style were the ones directed by Joe D'Amato, Bruno Mattei, and Jess Franco, (although his "Love Letters of A Portuguese Nun" is a good film, even though it is packed with graphic sex and torture.) "Abbess of Castro" is definitely of the latter, with it's beautiful production values, and a script (based on the classic writings of Stendhal) is rather low on exploitative elements. Starring the gorgeous Barbara Bouchet, the film begins with a rape behind convent walls. Bouchet is the unwilling Abbess, given that title because of her important family lineage, and a title she didn't even want. A strange affair begins with the criminal thief, after he forces himself upon her, in a plot device that you would never see in a movie today. The rape results in a pregnancy, which forces the sordid affair out into the open, and rather than naming her lover Giulio, which would result in his death, Sister Elena keeps quiet, enduring the archaic torture involving bloody whippings of the other nuns involved in the scandal. Even when her baby is born, she keeps her lover's identity a secret. Although "Abbess of Castro" does show scenes of nudity and torture, this is actually a movie that can be watched by most casual viewers without offending or shocking them, unlike the movies of Joe D'Amato and Bruno Mattei, which really are basically trash films. Sadly, those are the movies that get all the attention, while the quality productions like this one, and "Devils of Monza" aka "Sacrilege" are completely neglected for being too tame for the sleaze crowd. The result of this is that there are no decent prints of these superior titles, while stuff like "Images in A Convent" get the full restoration treatment for Blu Ray release. So these wonderful films are all but lost, or can only be seen via terrible, cropped prints with awful voice dubbing. "Abbess of Castro" in particular is almost impossible to find. Considering this was filmed in the super wide angle lens, it is a tragedy that it isn't available, as the original must be visually stunning to look at. Hopefully the participation of cult erotic actress Barbara Bouchet, will result in the much deserved restoration of a movie very deserving of rediscovery..

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