Nasty Habits (1977)


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Movie Info

This controversial film is based on two sources; The Abbess of Crewe by Muriel Spark, and the Watergate hearings of the U.S. Congress. The resulting film mirrors Watergate as if it had occurred in a Philadelphia Roman Catholic convent among nuns lustily fighting a political battle for, among other things, the leadership of the abbey. When the old abbess (Edith Evans in her final performance) dies without indicating her successor, a pitched battle begins between the arch-conservative nun … More

Rating: PG
Genre: Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Robert Enders
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 31, 2005
Media Home Entertainment


as Alexandra

as Winifred

as Mildred

as Geraldine

as Hildegarde

as P.R. Priest

as Maximilian

as Monsignor

as Bathildis

as Officer

as Ambrose

as Policeman

as Bishop's Secretary

as Himself
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Nasty Habits

All Critics (3) | Top Critics (2)

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

This comic tale about corruption in pious places packs a lively moral wallop!

Full Review… | January 23, 2004
Spirituality and Practice

Audience Reviews for Nasty Habits


This strangely forgotten film is a wonderful satire of the then-fresh Watergate scandal. The Nixon administration's misdeeds are transported to a nunnery, in which the contentious election of a new abbess leads to bugged rooms and a strategic burglary that erupts into public scandal. Glenda Jackson is typically flawless as the ice-cold veteran who pulls the strings, but the stellar cast also includes Geraldine Page, Anne Meara, Sandy Dennis (hilarious as an oblivious dimwit) and Eli Wallach. The pious should be forewarned, however: These nuns are hardly filled with loving reverence. They conspire, smoke, curse and even have sex. Director Michael Lindsay-Hogg had been working in British television in the years preceding "Nasty Habits," but he probably learned something about internal power struggles from his previous feature: the infamous Beatles documentary "Let It Be."

Eric Broome
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer

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