When a dead newborn is found, wrapped in bloody sheets, in the bedroom wastebasket of a young novitiate, psychiatrist Martha Livingston is called in to determine if the seemingly innocent novice, who knows nothing of sex or birth, is competent enough to stand trial for the murder of the baby. While searching for the answer that her supervisors want, Dr. Livingston finds herself inevitably drawn into searching for the truth about the baby's conception and death. Despite the lack of cooperation that she receives from her own organization and the church itself, she eventually discovers more than she may have bargained for.Written by
Screenwriter John Pielmeier has said of this film's script: "When we began working on the screenplay [director] Norman [Jewison] had the idea of setting most of our story in a convent in Québec [in Canada]. It allowed us to create an environment that would be unfamiliar and, I hope, interesting to the audience. It also allowed us to use two languages in the film. Some of the dialogue is in French [with most in English]." See more »
During the most profound scene where Agnes receives the stigmata, the audio boom is visible for at least five seconds. See more »
I saw this movie for the first time with a group of friends in a special show at midnight. We had just seen an awful movie called "A Hot Party" and were so mad. I picked up a torn newspaper from the floor and saw the ad for this special show. We decided on the spot that nothing could be worse than what we just saw and went over. Great Choice!. Fonda's character is so full of conflicts, but her struggle to keep objectivity is showed masterfully, Ann Bancroft is great as the Mother Superior, supportive of her flock, and protective; but trying to help the good doctor as a way to extricate Agnes (Meg Tilly) from her "delusions". And Meg Tilly, what a find she was for us. The photography, with dominating earthy colors, delivers the ambient of the movie in such a beautiful way.
I can say that this is clearly, one of the best movies I've ever seen. Highly recommended.
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