6.7/10
7,720
19 user 43 critic

Pope Joan (2009)

Die Päpstin (original title)
A woman of English extraction born in the German city of Ingelheim in the ninth century disguises herself as a man and rises through the Vatican ranks.

Director:

Sönke Wortmann

Writers:

Donna Woolfolk Cross (novel), Heinrich Hadding (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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On Disc

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4 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Johanna Wokalek ... Johanna von Ingelheim
David Wenham ... Gerold
John Goodman ... Pope Sergius
Iain Glen ... Village Priest
Edward Petherbridge ... Aesculapius
Anatole Taubman ... Anastasius
Lotte Flack Lotte Flack ... Johanna von Ingelheim - Age 10-14
Tiger Lily Hutchence Geldof Tiger Lily Hutchence Geldof ... Pope Joan - age 6-9 (as Tigerlily Hutchinson)
Jördis Triebel ... Joan's mother
Oliver Cotton ... Arsenius
Nicholas Woodeson ... Arighis
Suzanne Bertish ... Bishop Arnaldo
Richard van Weyden ... Eusthasius
Branko Tomovic ... Paschal
Lenn Kudrjawizki ... Jordanes
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Storyline

German village Igelheim's backward priest hopes his sons to succeed him after education in the bishop's cathedral school, but the elder succumbs to disease and the youngest lacks any intellectual drive. Traveling teacher Aesculapius arranges for the inquisitive daughter Johanna to be enrolled too, against their father's wishes. Unfit for the boys-only dorm, she gets to stay with count Gerold, incurring his wife's due jealousy. She's to be dismissed, but survives a Viking pillaging slaughter and assumes brother Johannes's identity to join a monastery, where she becomes the infirmary's trainee. Fleeing exposure as female, she arrives in Rome. As a protégée of rivals in the viper nest-like papal court, she ends up elected as pope, but carries count Gerold's baby, guaranteeing exposure. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Germany | UK | Italy | Spain

Language:

English | Latin

Release Date:

22 October 2009 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Pope Joan See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

€22,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$27,412,220, 8 June 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Volker Schlöndorff was originally set to direct this movie but left over unspecified differences with the production company. See more »

Quotes

Johanna von Ingelheim: As for strength of will, women can be viewed as superior to man. Eve ate from the apple out of love of knowledge and learning. Adam ate it only because Eve asked him to.
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Connections

Featured in De wereld draait door: Episode #5.139 (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Great fun for anyone who loves historical movies!!
27 October 2009 | by NauryaSee all my reviews

I went to see Pope Joan with a group of friends the day it was released in Germany. Most of us had already read the book, but some had not. We were all quite skeptical as to whether the movie would be true to the book and whether it wasn't a little too long (two and a half hours seemed a lot to us!). But, after having seen it, I must say it was one of the most absorbing two-and-half-hours-movie I've ever seen. I didn't have a look at my watch once.

The story is quite true to the book. I read the book at least 8 years ago, so I had forgotten most of it. However, when the plot evolved, my memory came back and I didn't notice any major deviances from the book, neither did my friends.

"Pope Joan" is just a classical historical movie and everyone who loves that genre, will most certainly enjoy the movie! It has everything you need: a charismatic heroine who challenges the role of women in her time; some good and wise clergymen (John Goodman is great fun as food-loving, jovial Pope!); some evil and brutal clergymen who want to spread Christianity violently; some scheming and intrigues; a good portion of war and battle scenes; a romantic love story and, last but not least that interesting question at the end that will certainly cause you to discuss with your friends and search wikipedia: Was there really a woman who became Pope?


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