Change of Habit (1969) - Rotten Tomatoes

Change of Habit (1969)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Dr. John Carpenter (Elvis Presley) helps the economically disadvantaged in an inner-city medical clinic. Three nuns are assigned to help out at the facility and are allowed to wear regular clothes instead of the traditional habits. Sister Michelle (Mary Tyler Moore) is the speech therapist who Dr. Carpenter would like to examine personally after hours. Along with the other sisters (Barbara McNair and Jane Elliot), Michelle is subjected to the criticism of the local parish priest (Regis Toomey) in the social experiment of non-traditional dress. Two spinsters even mistake the nuns for prostitutes without their habits. The priest wins out in the end, and the nuns must again don their habits. As the good doctor sings to the ailing children, Sister Michelle is transfixed both by a crucifix hanging on the wall and by Elvis Presley in an ironic and symbolic scene that flashes between the two icons. This was Presley's last studio feature and he welcomed the move from stifling screen images as he returned his focus to live performances and recording for the remainder of his illustrious career.
Classics , Comedy , Drama , Musical & Performing Arts
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Universal Pictures


Elvis Presley
as Dr. John Carpenter
Mary Tyler Moore
as Sister Michelle
Barbara McNair
as Sister Irene
Jane Elliot
as Sister Barbara
Leora Dana
as Mother Joseph
Edward Asner
as Lt. Moretti
Regis Toomey
as Father Gibbons
Richard Carlson
as Bishop Finley
Nefti Millet
as Julio Hernandez
Laura Figueroa
as Desiree
Lorena Kirk
as Amanda
Virginia Vincent
as Miss Parker
Linda Garay
as Expectant Mother
Rodolfo Hoyos Jr.
as Mr. Hernandez
Lilith Miles
as 1st Stiletto Deb
Caitlin Wyles
as 2nd Stiletto Deb
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Critic Reviews for Change of Habit

All Critics (10)

Atrociously conceived, but strangely very watchable.

March 19, 2004
Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies

Maybe the studio brass thought it would be hit; viewed now, it looks like a desperate reach, a blind attempt to do anything to connect with the audience.

July 14, 2002
Q Network Film Desk

A well-meaning attempt to channel the spirit of the 60s counterculture.

Full Review… | July 4, 2002
Montreal Film Journal

Audience Reviews for Change of Habit

What a waste of talent. I just can't help but be shocked at how insincere this movie was; especially in 1969, a year full of sincere and brutally honest cinema- Easy Rider, Midnight Cowboy, They Shoot Horses Don't They?, Z and Kes to name a few. Instead, we get a tepid film about three women who have actively disengaged from the society they're now trying to reenter undercover and somehow fix. I know this is my cynicism talking but the last thing anybody wanted to hear in '69 was a sermon about we should try harder to be better within the confines of whims forced upon us by a group of people who sit in ivory towers. That is the literal antithesis of the year 1969. The movie tries to be optimistic but it fails because we're just past this sort of bandaid patches over the gaping maw of social wounds. That said, Elvis looks gorgeous in this movie and with Mary Tyler Moore they have taken over the world. Too bad the movie falls flat.

Jenna Ipcar
Jenna Ipcar

Surprisingly well done movie. Elvis plays a doctor in the inner city very believably and the supporting cast all mixes well together. An Elvis movie that is inspiring? You bet. Go back in time to 1969 and feel the optimism that spread to a well established rocker and mainstream actress. Solid film that'll make you smile.

John Cochran
John Cochran

This movie is slightly more interesting than Elvis' usual movies, and it really helps to have a great actress like Mary Tyler Moore in the film too, but it's still not a fantastic movie. If you're an Elvis or Moore fan you'll like it, though.

Aj V
Aj V

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