The Nun's Story

Watch The Nun's Story

"Her Faith Remained Strong and True in the Face of Africa's Terrors!"
  • Approved
  • 1959
  • 2 hr 32 min
  • 7.5  (11,622)
  • 78

The Nun's Story is a powerful drama film from 1959, directed by Fred Zinnemann and starring Audrey Hepburn, Peter Finch, and Edith Evans. It is based on the book of the same name written by Kathryn Hulme, which follows the life of a young woman who becomes a nun and her struggles with the rigid structure of the convent and her own personal beliefs.

The movie opens with a young Gabrielle Van Der Mal (Audrey Hepburn) studying medicine in Brussels in the 1930s. Despite her father's disapproval, she decides to join the convent of the Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary in order to serve God and help those in need. She takes the name Sister Luke and begins her novitiate under the guidance of the strict and traditional Mother Emmanuel (Edith Evans).

As Sister Luke goes through her training, she begins to question the rules and beliefs of the convent. She struggles with the limitations placed on her when it comes to engaging with the world outside the convent walls. She must accept the authority of male superiors, such as the hospital director Dr. Fortunati (Peter Finch), which restricts her from making medical decisions based on her own skills and experience. She also can't receive news from her family, and her father's death serves to further distance her from her worldly past.

As the movie progresses, Sister Luke's inner turmoil grows as she is confronted with the horrors of WWII while serving as a nurse in the Congo. Her dedication to her faith makes her question the ethics of war and her own role in it. Sister Luke also struggles with her desire for independence and self-realization, especially when it conflicts with the traditional dogma of the convent.

Throughout the movie, the performances by the main actors are outstanding, particularly Audrey Hepburn's nuanced portrayal of Sister Luke's internal struggle with her faith and desire for personal fulfillment. She portrays the character's frustrations, fears, and doubts with a rare delicacy and depth, making the viewer invested in her story and her struggle.

Peter Finch delivers a strong performance as Dr. Fortunati, pushing and challenging Sister Luke to follow her beliefs and fight the patriarchal structures of the church. Meanwhile, Edith Evans delivers an excellent interpretation of Mother Emmanuel's stoic and uncompromising ways, which contrasts with Sister Luke's more humanistic approach.

The movie's cinematography is another standout aspect, particularly in the scenes shot in the Congo. The remote village settings and the lush landscape create a sense of otherworldliness and danger, which add drama and tension to the story.

In conclusion, The Nun's Story is a timeless classic that gracefully tackles complex issues such as faith, individualism, and gender roles. Its multi-layered narrative and high-caliber performances make it a must-watch for anyone interested in profound drama movies.

The Nun's Story is a 1959 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 32 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.5 and a MetaScore of 78.

The Nun's Story
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 32 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.5  (11,622)
  • Metascore