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The Nun's Story Photos

Movie Info

Willful and outspoken Gabrielle van der Mal (Audrey Hepburn), the daughter of a prominent Belgian surgeon (Dean Jagger), leaves her upper-class existence to become a nun. As Sister Luke, she is eventually sent to the Belgian Congo, where she excels as a nurse working with a skilled doctor (Peter Finch). However, her willingness to continue as a nun is challenged when her father is killed by the Nazis, and she no longer feels that she can maintain the neutrality of her order.

Cast & Crew

Audrey Hepburn
Sister Luke (Gabrielle van der Mal)
Peter Finch
Dr. Fortunati
Edith Evans
Rev. Mother Emmanuel (Belgium)
Peggy Ashcroft
Mother Mathilde (Africa)
Dean Jagger
Dr. Van Der Mal
Mildred Dunnock
Sister Margharita (Mistress of Postulants)
Beatrice Straight
Mother Christophe (Sanatorium)
Patricia Collinge
Sister William (convent teacher)
Eva Kotthaus
Sister Marie (Sanatorium)
Ruth White
Mother Marcella (School of Medicine)
Robert Anderson
Writer
Kathryn Hulme
Writer (Book)
Franz Waxman
Original Music
Franz Planer
Cinematographer
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Critic Reviews for The Nun's Story

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (15) | Rotten (2)

  • Fred Zinnemann's production is a soaring and luminous film.

    November 1, 2007 | Full Review…
  • It's still a long haul (made no lighter by Franz Waxman's abominably insistent score) for anyone not committed to theological problems of faith, conscience and obedience.

    June 24, 2006
  • Certainly doesn't offer the positive depiction of religious life common in 1950s Hollywood, but it's not an anti-religious or anti-Catholic depiction either.

    April 12, 2006 | Rating: B | Full Review…
  • In the role of the nun, Miss Hepburn is fluent and luminous.

    May 20, 2003 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Although it is a drama that interrogates the moral dilemmas and contradictions of religious faith with an organic performance from Hepburn, the portrayal of a nun's crisis of conscience seems futile and a bit redundant. [Full review in Spanish]

    February 24, 2021 | Rating: 5/10 | Full Review…
  • Audrey Hepburn, shedding at last the startled fawn mannerisms which had become her trademark, vividly portrayed a forceful Belgian girl who tries with all her might to accept the selfless discipline of the convent.

    October 7, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Nun's Story

  • Jan 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.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Feb 01, 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.
    Teresa S Super Reviewer
  • Feb 01, 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
    Tom E Super Reviewer
  • Feb 01, 2012
    So very long, but it was alright besides.
    Leigh R Super Reviewer

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