Nasty Habits (1977)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
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as P.R. Priest
as Bishop's Secretary
Critic Reviews for Nasty Habits
Nasty Habits is both too cute, a radical-chic Going My Way, and too timid.
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."
In an election for head abbess, two nuns square off in a microcosm of Washington politics complete with surreptitious break-ins, thefts and wiretaps. The movie's combination of serious satire and mere frivolity make it a bit hard to grasp where the director is going with all this, while the one-sided approach to the plot limits its effectiveness. There are some funny moments, and some clever commentary and jokes about the Catholic Church, but in the long run, Nasty Habits is superficial and tedious. Maybe you have to be in the clergy or feminist/.lesbian fully appreciate it ('it's a Catholic thing; you wouldn't understand)) but I thought it was way too long and downright tedious. Monty Python meets My Dinner WIth Andre.
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