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The Nun's Story Reviews

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Super Reviewer

February 1, 2012
Having been raised in a Catholic School, this paints a pretty accurate pic of nuns -- I'm sorry she left, because she had more common sense than all the others
Leigh R

Super Reviewer

February 1, 2012
So very long, but it was alright besides.
John B

Super Reviewer

January 23, 2014
Audrey Hepburn is superb as the nun who undergoes a number of personal changes as a sister in an order of nuns. The ending is blunt in a positive way.
March 18, 2012
Audrey Hepburn stars in a based-on-true story of a woman who joins the religious outfit in order to pursue her dreams of helping people in Africa. Her problem lies in the fact that she's not allowed to have "dreams" or "aspirations". That's the constant struggle with Sister Luke. It's not lust or order or possessions. But she's an accomplished scientist and nurse and she struggles with her pride in those accomplishments. And her desire to put her scientific mind to work. This all goes against the rule of order of Nunnery Row.

If this was the only thing that was ever discussed in this movie - her praying and biting her frustrated lip - it would be a boring movie. It succeeds because the scenarios that the Sister is placed in find unique and challenging ways in showing her struggle. Not with faith in God; but certainly in the inhumane rites of being a nun.

The efforts in starting her studies, her time working in a sanitarium, her time in the congo, war in Europe. In all of these settings, she follows her head and her heart. What others would call God's voice, she is only taught to know as disobedience. Peter Finch as the surgeon she works under in Africa is especially useful. Because while the film never breaches any real romantic element between the two, he is still clear to her that her own individuality will keep her from being a successful nun. And that being a successful nun will keep her from being an effective medical practitioner.

The direction is effective but never quite as stark throughout the entire 2:30 as it is in its initial church locations, as well as the film's final scene. Also, I didn't see the need for the full run time. An extended illness may have been factual, but wasn't required. In the end, the film is not overtly inspirational- nor is it at all cynical. It's a very real portrayal of the line between right and righteous.
February 1, 2012
Audrey Hepburn excels, the supporting cast is stellar and Fred Zinnemann?s direction is outstanding. Excellent camerawork. It is long but it is never boring. Beautifully done drama, and believable presented.
February 1, 2012
audrey hepburn gives the performance of her career as headstrong nun sister luke. peter finch proves a formidable match for her as a doctor that challenges her belief in her faith.
February 1, 2012
I really didn't think it would be as good as it was when I first sat down to look at it. It is triumphant film for the fair lady.
February 1, 2012
talk about your religious epics...not quite as grandiose as certain Charlton Heston projects from the same period, but equally as engaging and detail-oriented. even as long as this film was, I thought the character development could have been a little bit stronger. like many classic religious pieces, the story and message of this film is both timeless and sorely lacking in cinema today. loved Hepburn as always, and it was also kind of fun seeing her getting back to her Belgian roots.
February 1, 2012
I'm really happy with Sister Luke's decision in the end. I probably would have been upset if she had chosen the other option... However, I am kind of disappointed with Audrey Hepburn's role though. She plays her role well, but this keeps her from having very much dialogue, which I believe is her best attribute. I enjoy the way she speaks, and the witty remarks she usually makes in her films, and that was taken away from her in this film.
February 1, 2012
Not as popular as some other Hepburn films and the clothing is not nearly as couture. But she still fills the screen with her sensitivity and boldness.

Super Reviewer

February 1, 2012
(1959 Director: Fred Zinnemann) Excellent role for Audrey Hepburn who won a BAFTA award for her portrayal of Sister Luke, daughter of a famous surgeon. Sister Luke just shortly prior to the start of World War II travels to Africa and becomes the surgical nurse assisting their Surgeon (Peter Finch-who won a BAFTA Best Actor nomination) whom she meets while assigned to a convent/hospital in the Congo Republic. Sister Luke replaces a nun who contracted tuberculosis. No antibiotics yet (pre WW II) so that nun was forced to return to Belgium, a better climate to improve her chances against TB. During her stay in the Congo, Sister Luke also contracts tuberculosis, but through the support and tenderness of the Congonese and her hospital sheovercomes it. The selfless devotion of those in her Catholic Order are admirable.

This film is a snapshot of an earlier time period portrayed convincingly by all. The film received nominations in 1960 for Academy Awards for best cinematography, best sound, best writing adapted screenplay and Golden Globe nominations.
February 1, 2012
A strong and harrowing portrayal by Hepburn. She sheds the glamorous visage of less is more make up and truly becomes the young girl struggling so hard to live a live of servitude to the lord. Only Audrey could still come off as such an ethereal beauty in a nun's outfit. Her inner doubts of self causes her to question her worthiness of being a nun. Over several years the ordeal becomes emotionally, spiritually, and physically demanding. It is quite a journey and the last scene is both poignant and painfully true.
February 1, 2012
Am I the only one who finds it comical that Audrey Hepburn went from Holly from Breakfast at Tiffany's to playing a nun?
February 1, 2012
Well, if you're interested in "a nun's story," this film tells you a lot about it. The story was about a nun's struggle with herself. I'd say it was "interesting" yet not quite fabulous.
February 1, 2012
Very good story of what a Nun went through to actually become one. I wonder if they still have to do all that? NOT FUN! A little drawn out but still good--this lost out to Ben Hur for Best Picture in 1959.
May 20, 2014
Very moving. A world we have lost
February 20, 2014
It's wonderful to catch up with classic films that may have lost of their buzz over time. THE NUN'S STORY is truly perfect work but not one that is mentioned in the same breath as other classic films from great directors like Fred Zinneman and star Audrey Hepburn. This sublime film is subtle to the extreme. Almost flat in fact, depicting the inner struggle of a nun who wishes nothing more than to be a citizen of the world, something the convent does not allow. THE NUN'S STORY takes its time. There is no emotion. No evil. No greatness. Just the struggle to define one self and become the person you must be. Simply stunning and perfect!
Carlton M Raines
September 8, 2013
Audrey Hepburn is brilliant in the story of a disillusioned nun, The part that haunts me is the killing of the nun to cleanse the spirit of a man whose wife has died, hated that part when I saw it years ago, Its a dark film in many places,but has a good story and a great cast,Will Sister Luke remain as a Nun? or will she leave the order?
Connor G.
August 15, 2013
Very powerful and overwhelming, it somehow becomes an almost disturbing story of quelling one's humanity.
February 4, 2013
I've avoided watching this "The Nun's Story" for years. Came down with the flu and decided to watch it while bed-ridden. Amazing performance by Hepburn and a rather poignant insight into the tension that priests, nuns and religious brothers endure, especially the vow of obedience. I came away with a deep repect for Zinneman and for the cast in what I consider a top-drawer film.
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