5.6/10
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21 user 23 critic

Love Letters of a Portuguese Nun (1977)

Die Liebesbriefe einer portugiesischen Nonne (original title)
16-year-old Maria is forced into Serra D'Aires convent, secretly run by Satanists. Her confessor is in collusion with the Mother Superior. Maria is tortured, forced into sex with men, women... See full summary »

Director:

Jesús Franco (as Jess Franco)

Writers:

Mariana Alcoforado (love letters), Erwin C. Dietrich (as Manfred Gregor) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Susan Hemingway ... Maria Rosalea Coutinho
William Berger ... Father Vicente
Herbert Fux ... Satan
Ana Zanatti Ana Zanatti ... Mother Alma, the Grand Priestess
Aida Vargas Aida Vargas ... Joanna, a Nun (as Aida Kargas)
Vítor Mendes Vítor Mendes ... António Fernando Queiroz de Melo, the Mayor
Aida Gouveia Aida Gouveia ... Antónia, a Nun (as Isa Schneider)
Herman José Herman José ... Manuel Gonçalves, the Prince (as Hermann Krippahl)
José Viana José Viana ... The Grand Inquisitor (as Jose Viana)
Patricia Da Silva Patricia Da Silva ... Maria's Mother
Victor de Sousa Victor de Sousa ... Inquisitor's Aid
Nicolau Breyner Nicolau Breyner ... Prince's Aid
Clara Marabuto Clara Marabuto ... Josefina, a nun
Esther Studer Esther Studer ... Nun at ritual
Dagmar Bürger Dagmar Bürger ... Nun at ritual
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Storyline

16-year-old Maria is forced into Serra D'Aires convent, secretly run by Satanists. Her confessor is in collusion with the Mother Superior. Maria is tortured, forced into sex with men, women, and the horned Devil, and told that it's all a bad dream. She writes a letter to God, and a Knight rescues her, only to fall into the hands of the Inquisition, put on the rack, and condemned to death like Joan of Arc. Written by Artemis-9

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Language:

German

Release Date:

10 March 1977 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Love Letters from a Portuguese Nun See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD) | (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 1963, this was announced as a project for Natalie Wood and her company Rona Productions. Whether it is the same story is unsure. See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK cinema certificate was rejected by the BBFC in 1979. It was eventually released on DVD in 2004 after 6 minutes 15 secs of cuts which removed scenes of torture and nudity, as the lead actress was below the age of 18 when the movie was filmed. See more »

Connections

Featured in Peter Baumgartner, Filmkameramann (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Slightly classier sleaze than usual from Franco.
16 November 2016 | by BA_HarrisonSee all my reviews

Father Vicente (William Berger) catches pretty 15-year-old Maria (Susan Hemingway) flirting with her boyfriend, and has her sent to a convent where he can keep a closer eye on her. No sooner than she is cloistered, Maria is subjected to abuse, ultimately being forced to take part in a Satanic orgy, Vicente and the nuns all being followers of the devil (who makes a special personal appearance to take Maria's virginity!).

I admit it: sometimes—okay, quite a lot of the time—I'm just not in the mood to labour over a really in-depth and informative movie review, and am just happy to rattle off some old rubbish to get it out of the way. I imagine this is how director Jess Franco must have tackled a lot of his films… just get the bloody thing in the can and start the next one. Sod the quality!

Not so, however, with Love Letters From A Portuguese Nun, which feels like the director actually tried to make something a little more stylish than his usual dross: the locations and scenery are beautiful, the cast are half decent (there's no Lina Romay, whose 'beauty' I simply cannot comprehend), and the cinematography is classier than usual (fewer rapid zooms and out of focus shots). Hell, even the title is fancy schmancy.

Unfortunately, at the end of the day, behind this semblance of style, it's business as usual for Franco, his film ultimately being another predictable slice of sleaze, with the vaguest of plots to string together the obligatory scenes of lesbianism, masturbation, orgies and torture, all of which eventually gets very boring. As Franco films go, this is far from his worst, but there are far better nunsploitation films out there (School of the Holy Beast and Sister Emanuelle spring to mind).


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