The nuns story-The Nun's Story (film) - Wikipedia

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By The Editors. Share Share Twitter Print. More trailers. At the end of the movie, no one moved--everyone remained seated for about thirty seconds. On one occasion, Van der Mal is Antioch ca nightlife to kiss the feet of all the The nuns story in the refectory and beg them for bread. Give me the "leading men" of the old movies She has been sadly underrated and undervalued as an actress. When the Amazon Meets the Tiber. Must Reads.

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Production Co: Warner Bros. To me, Sister Luke's religious order could no longer contain her. Goodreads Librari Sister Eleanor Ruth White Tom E Super Reviewer. Luke made her final decision though, at the end, you understand The nuns story. Alternate Versions. We've communicated via e-mail since then. I saw this as a film, a wonderful rendition, in when it was first released. That made me reflect how if different for a nun, why not consider how it is different for each individual. And I got to the operating room and the doctor sewed me up. More Top Movies Trailers. American Catholic Studies. Retrieved October 15,

Based upon the novel of the same title by Kathryn Hulme made takes place in In , in Belgium,and Congo.

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  • The screenplay was written by Robert Anderson , based upon the popular novel of the same name by Kathryn Hulme.
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  • The Nun's Story is a novel by Kathryn Hulme.

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Just leave us a message here and we will work on getting you verified. Fred Zinnemann's production is a soaring and luminous film. Variety Staff. 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.

Tom Milne. In the role of the nun, Miss Hepburn is fluent and luminous. Bosley Crowther. 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. Clyde Gilmour. It makes no judgements: it is a serious effort to show us a moral and mental discipline, and it strikes me as authentic.

Isabel Quigly. Dennis Schwartz. A superbly restrained piece of filmmaking, with Zinnemann directing in simple, unadorned style and Hepburn giving a truly radiant performance. Zinnemann's drama depicts the spiritual tug of war of a young nun, beautifully played by Audrey Hepburn, between adherence to vows of chastity and obedience and rebellion against those values for her self-fulfillment.

Emanuel Levy. Certainly doesn't offer the positive depiction of religious life common in s Hollywood, but it's not an anti-religious or anti-Catholic depiction either. Steven D.

Moving, controversial for its time religious tale starring Audrey Hepburn. Steve Crum. Zinneman, an intelligent if dullish director, has avoided such obvious pitfalls in this adaptation of a factually based best-seller.

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The Nun's Story Add Article. Want to see. Super Reviewer. View All Photos 6. Movie Info. Though frequently disillusioned in her efforts to spread good will -- at one point she is nearly killed by a mental patient Colleen Dewhurst -- Sister Luke perseveres. Sent as a nurse to the Belgian Congo, an assignment she'd been hoping for, Sister Luke is disappointed to learn that she will not be ministering to the natives but to European patients.

Through the example of no-nonsense chief surgeon Peter Finch, the nun sheds her idealism and becomes a diligent worker -- so much so that she contracts tuberculosis. Upon the outbreak of World War II, Sister Luke tries to honor the edicts of her order and not take sides, but this becomes impossible when her father Dean Jagger is killed by the Nazis.

Realizing that she cannot remain true to her vows, Sister Luke leaves the order and returns to "civilian" life. The Nun's Story ends with a long, silent sequence in which Sister Luke divests herself of her religious robes, dons street garb, and walks out to an uncertain future. There is no background music: director Fred Zinnemann decided that "triumphant" music would indicate that Sister Luke's decision was the right one, while "tragic" music would suggest that she is doing wrong.

Rather than make an editorial comment, the director decided against music, allowing the audience members to fill in the blanks themselves. The Nun's Story is based on the book by Kathryn Hulme, whose depiction of convent life was a lot harsher and more judgmental than anything seen in the film. Classics , Drama. Fred Zinnemann. Robert Anderson. Apr 4, Peter Finch as Dr.

Edith Evans as Mother Emmanuel. Peggy Ashcroft as Mother Mathilde. Dean Jagger as Dr. Van Der Mal. Mildred Dunnock as Sr. Beatrice Straight as Mother Christophe. Patricia Collinge as Sr. Rosalie Crutchley as Sr. Ruth White as Mother Marcella. Eva Kotthaus as Sister Marie. Niall MacGinnis as Father Vermeuhlen. Patricia Bosworth as Simone. Barbara O'Neil as Mother Katherine.

Lionel Jeffries as Dr. Margaret Phillips as Sister Pauline. Colleen Dewhurst as Archangel. Stephen Murray as Chaplain.

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. No one can question the dedication and selfless life of a nun. Romance is one of those Wonderful Story lines we ALL love to see played out with a few trials of misunderstanding and a bumpy ride or two Me, I have no regrets about entering the monastery and absolutely none about leaving. That's what happens when you attend Catholic school for a few years in the late s and early 60's - - and are left-handed. Edit page.

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The film is a relatively faithful adaptation of the novel, which was based on the life of Belgian nun Marie Louise Habets. Latter portions of the film were shot on location in the Belgian Congo and feature Finch as a cynical but caring surgeon. After receiving the religious name of Sister Luke, she undergoes her postulancy and novitiate which foreshadow her future difficulties with the vow of obedience.

She takes her first vows and is sent to a school of tropical medicine. After passing her courses with high marks, along with some spiritual conflict, she silently resists the Mother Superior's request to purposely fail her final exam as a proof of her humility. Despite finishing fourth in her class, she is not assigned to the Congo but sent to a European mental hospital where she assists with the most difficult and violent cases, wasting her tropical medicine skills.

A particularly violent schizophrenic Colleen Dewhurst tricks Sister Luke into opening the cell door in violation of the rules. She attacks Sister Luke, who barely escapes and once again faces the shame of her disobedience. Eventually she takes her solemn vows and is sent to her long-desired posting in the Congo. She develops a strained but professional relationship with the brilliant, atheistic surgeon there, Dr. Fortunati Peter Finch. Eventually, the work strains and spiritual struggles cause her to succumb to tuberculosis.

Fortunati, not wanting to lose a competent nurse and sympathetic to her desire to stay in the Congo, engineers a treatment plan that allows her to remain there rather than having to convalesce in Europe. After Sister Luke recovers and returns to work, Fortunati is forced to send her to Belgium as the only nurse qualified to accompany a VIP who has become mentally unstable. She spends an outwardly reflective but inwardly restless period at the motherhouse in Brussels before the superior general gives her a new assignment.

Due to the impending war in Europe, she cannot return to the Congo, and is assigned as a surgical nurse at a local hospital. While at her new assignment, Sister Luke's struggle with obedience becomes impossible for her to sustain, as she is repeatedly forced into compromises to cope with the reality of the Nazi occupation, including that they have killed her father. No longer able to continue as a nun, she requests and is granted a dispensation from her vows. She is last seen changing into lay garb and exiting the convent through a back door.

Because the production team included few if any Catholics , a number of consultants were used to ensure accuracy and fidelity. The screenplay was reviewed by the literary editor of America magazine , by a panel of Dominican Priests in Rome, and by the Los Angeles chapter of the National Legion of Decency.

The Kathryn Hulme collection at Yale University contains 37 of these letters. Zinnemann describes the Catholic Church as somewhat hesitant at first, in part worried that the film would depict a romantic relationship between Sister Luke and Dr. Once the Church had more confidence in the production, there was a high level of collaboration leading to a high level of preparation that Zinnemann credits for the realism and emotional intensity of the film.

Zinnemann also continued his usual practices of collaborating with the film's writer on the second draft of the screenplay though not receiving a writing credit and meeting with each major actor for an in-depth discussion of their character. To prepare for her role Audrey Hepburn met with both Hulme and Mary Louise Habets, the inspiration for the novel and film.

The three spent a considerable amount of time together, apparently becoming known as "The 3-H Club. Both had Belgian roots and had experienced personal trauma during World War II including losing touch with their fathers and having their brothers imprisoned by Germans. The film was shot partially in Yakusu , a center of missionary and medical activity in the Belgian Congo.

Extras for the ceremonial scenes were recruited from a ballet company. Zinnemann wanted actors who would be capable of precise and coordinated movement. For people who enjoy this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing they will enjoy. I'm one of those people, and I enjoyed this immensely. I just learned that Audrey Hepburn starred in the movie version of this book. Warning, the movie trailer spoils the ending I've got to check it out!

After my mission, Matt and I visited her in Majorca, where she was staying with her family for a short vacation. A cou P. A couple of years later, she helped me get a summer job with Catholic Relief Services where I spent three months living in a convent and working in the southern Madagascar "bush. We've communicated via e-mail since then.

She is innocent, humble, and kind. Timid sometimes, I think because of her vows and the strict rules under which she lives. This book showed me, in depth, what she went through to become a nun. What she gave up, and what she gained. It's an intriguing story that made me think a little harder about what I live for.

It kept me up at night and gave me a new appreciation for Sister Maria. Thanks for the recommendation, Alisse! Mar 12, Katie Eckerson rated it it was amazing. This has been my favorite book for years!

I wish there was a sequel. I identify with Sister Luke in so many ways, though I have never attempted to be a nun. Her strength and self-examination are tremendous. View 2 comments. I torture myself reading about nuns. That's what happens when you attend Catholic school for a few years in the late s and early 60's - - and are left-handed.

You spend your life trying to understand the logic. Too bad none of the nuns that taught me had the grace of Audrey Hepburn. Mar 18, Susan Sink rated it really liked it Shelves: fiction. I loved this book. For anyone who is interested in why someone would choose to be a nun and what can be gained by being formed in such a discipline, this book is a serious consideration. It takes the community's faith seriously and also takes seriously the difficulties of living that faith as a nun, a nurse, a woman, in the "real world.

This is I loved this book. This is very important, however, for understanding how the character acts and her motivations throughout the next two parts: her life as a missionary nurse in the Congo and her life back in the Belgian convent during WWII. At a time when this way of life is coming to an end, at least in this form, and when there are so few positive portrayals of committed religious life as part of a religious order nuns, particularly, are depicted as flat stereotypes , this book goes a long way in showing teh full humanity and the fullness of this life and formation.

For my full review, Jul 26, Quinn Strange rated it it was amazing Shelves: classics , european-history , wwii , fiction , religion. Written in another style, this book could be terrifying.

Kathryn Hulme offers us visions of the ultimate in conformity, silent figures in black and white bound to the strictest obedience of the slightest detail, including thought itself. The main witness seeing not even a hint of emotion as a dead nun she just found with a knife in her back is carried off like an object no longer needed. She knows they care, but any display of such besides a few carefully chosen words uttered discreetly don't se Written in another style, this book could be terrifying.

She knows they care, but any display of such besides a few carefully chosen words uttered discreetly don't seem to belong in this ish world.

Indeed, the nuns seem to function on telepathy, and there are no secrets here. And this is her struggle, to live "a life against nature," "all for Jesus.

Even the vagueness of time is presented here, as nearly every day in her memory passes indistinguishable from the last. As an outsider the answers to many of the questions and difficulties she faces may seem obvious, and you want to reach through the pages to shake her, and ask, "Why the hell is it like this? How is this good for anybody? You feel for her, alien as her life may be. You know what it's like to try so hard to be perfect, but constantly question yourself and find yourself wanting.

And this is ultimately what draws you in and makes you accept it. The nuns seem to live as though they're hypnotized. Detachment from the outside world is considered essential. Even their age and gender cease to matter, in certain key ways. Only The Rule matters. Those who evolve into Living Rules are the ultimate aspirational figures.

But this would be a struggle for the strongest of people with the strongest of faith. For Sister Luke doubt is her only real companion, and it's constant, even as she grows in her spiritual wisdom.

Even when everyone else believes in her and she accomplishes her goal of working in the Congo missions, doubt continues to haunt her, as much as her memories of growing up with her doctor father. The hardest part is that for her the separation of herself from the outside world must be largely symbolic. Sister Luke follows in her father's footsteps in the medical field, and thus is thrust into it through the care she must take of ordinary people.

People of every kind. This intersection of worlds is where the story climaxes. Because in the outside world, violence is a reality. And so is war. But in the nun's world, unconditional forgiveness is too. God commands his followers to love their enemies.

There is no excuse for not obeying The Rule. The ultimate battle of Sister Luke revolves around whether or not she is capable of this, whether or not she really does belong in a convent living the life of a nun. As the years pass, she begins to feel more and more like a fraud.

Unshakable hate for the Nazi enemy, and a sense of duty to her country of Belgium takes over. The ideology that it's up to God alone to judge people for their sins is in itself admirable. But it raises the question of where to draw the line. How brutally wrong does someone have to be before we step up and take action for ourselves? Whether or not Sister Luke is able to accept all the death and destruction around her, whether she can uphold her vows or will instead seek a divorce from God is up to the reader to find out.

And as you do, you might find yourself wondering what you would do in the same situation, not as an outsider, but as someone dedicated to the religious life as she is. Poetic to the end, this book compels you to examine the state of your own soul. Feb 07, Vivian rated it liked it Shelves: biographies. Gabrielle Van der Mal, educated, refined, the daughter of a well-to-do doctor in Belgium determines to put her feet on the path of becoming a nun.

With her we enter the Mother House. With her we experience the first day, week, month, year of the journey from novice to nun. She hopes to become a surgical nurse and serve in Africa along the Congo.

Indeed, she is sent to school to be trained, but is encouraged by her superior to fail the examination so as not to attract untoward attention, acclaim, Gabrielle Van der Mal, educated, refined, the daughter of a well-to-do doctor in Belgium determines to put her feet on the path of becoming a nun.

Indeed, she is sent to school to be trained, but is encouraged by her superior to fail the examination so as not to attract untoward attention, acclaim, and even jealousy from other student nuns. This is just one of the many struggles we experience with Gabrielle, who is now Sister Luke. Thus follows the fascinating, sometimes gripping, journey of Sister Luke.

In this story was brought to the screen starring Audrey Hepburn, which I now want to watch, having enjoyed the book. Just a few vocabulary notes for me: p. In biology, an atavism is an evolutionary throwback, such as traits reappearing which had disappeared generations before. One way is when genes for previously existing phenotypical features are preserved in DNA, and these become expressed through a mutation that either knock out the overriding genes for the new traits or make the old traits override the new one.

A number of traits can vary as a result of shortening of the fetal development of a trait neoteny or by prolongation of the same. In such a case, a shift in the time a trait is allowed to develop before it is fixed can bring forth an ancestral phenotype. One of her students told her who Quisling of Norway was and how the hated name had come into their own language as a proper noun everybody understood.

Oct 01, Jeanette rated it it was amazing. This is an old favorite of mine, reread twice, I believe. It's an extremely good example of the Church within one particular religious order of the R. But it does not reflect many religious orders for women in the Roman Catholic Church as much as some might believe it does just reading other posters who do not have much context of R. And as I am a Catholic of age that has been in Novitiate etc. But it IS in itself NOT revisionist or is it interpreted by outside eyes, and for that-coupled with the immense entertainment value of reading this woman's story from her conflicted soul; I give it a 5.

As it accomplished both goals to a superb degree. Also it has some African narrative that just seeps into your imagination and your senses.

Many, many years later, I recall the red army ants, for instance. A story of immense bravery and hope held by one individual in a former age. I thought of Therese de Lisieux's face when I read this book. Those same eyes. A nun with Therese's pure love in simplicity coupled with the physical strength for sustained action in the world.

What a combination! Jan 31, Sarah rated it it was amazing Shelves: where-is-more-like-this. The Nun's Story is a delight to read and is constantly on my mind even when it isn't in my hand.

The plot has a fresh idea of a nun's perspective. The author achieves an excellent point of how different the world looks from a nun's window.

That made me reflect how if different for a nun, why not consider how it is different for each individual. I was drawn completely into the story, feeling like I was walking along side the nun, my own feelings hurt when a passer by would callously yell out "The The Nun's Story is a delight to read and is constantly on my mind even when it isn't in my hand.

I was drawn completely into the story, feeling like I was walking along side the nun, my own feelings hurt when a passer by would callously yell out "There's a black crow!

While authors are often hooking their readers with sex and scandal, Hulme kept me turning the pages with the well crafted suspense and intrigue over topics such as poverty and obedience. The story is over 50 years old and full of magic.

So when I found a copy of the book at the local library I added it to my reading list. I will have to watch the movie again sometime. Most of the book is about the interior life and struggle of a young woman who becomes a nun. Of course it's difficult to properly portray that in the movie.

I found the end of the movie left me with too many questions. The book did not tie it up neatly, but it was a much more satisfying end. I can see why this was a best seller in it's time. Very well written. Jul 10, Amy Karon rated it really liked it. A fascinating look at the rigorous training of a Catholic nun in Belgium before WWII, and her subsequent experiences in the Belgian Congo and in Belgium during the war.

The book is largely biographical and was written by the nun's long-term partner. The pacing, tension, and emotion left me wishing the book wouldn't end. Jun 09, Natalie rated it really liked it. I found this book after seeing the movie with Audrey Hepburn one random afternoon. I don't know why it appeals to me so much, but I've reread it at least four times. I love the level of detail about the life of a nun-in-training, and the struggles of faith and character Sister Luke undergoes.

May 29, P. Winn rated it really liked it. Love faith and a look at life as Sister Luke is tested. Sister Luke is faced with a decision,stay in the convent or return to the outside world. Interesting story. Oct 28, Orinoco Womble tidy bag and all rated it liked it Shelves: ss. Having seen the famous film with Audrey Hepburn, when I stumbled across the book there's a book? I picked it up and read it with curiosity. It is well-written, but a few things came to mind during the reading. What struck me most was the fact that "Sister Luke" becomes a nun for all the wrong reasons.

Or at least the Congo Having seen the famous film with Audrey Hepburn, when I stumbled across the book there's a book? Or at least the Congo she dreams about, which turns out to be very different to the actual place. In this day and age, "Luke" named for the Evangelist who was a doctor, heavy-handed irony on the author's part would simply have studied medicine and become a doctor, and probably cocked a snook at her father and married Jean into the bargain; in s Belgium, a nice little bourgeoise girl could do none of those things, so she takes what she percieves is the only option open to her, by becoming a nursing nun.

Not one word about any spiritual devotion to God, or Christ, or even Mary; not one word of feeling that she has an actual religious vocation. In fact, when she makes her vows we are told she privately admits to God that she doesn't think she can stick with it for life, but "for as long as I can. She's not pressured into it by family expectations, nor does she seek refuge in active service to salve a broken heart--her desire to be a nurse in the Congo apparently was stronger than her affection for the man her father disapproved of anyway.

He disapproves of her choice to become a nun, too--perhaps he could see her choices more objectively than she herself could, recognising his own drive and purpose in his daughter.

However, it wasn't the only nursing order out there; just as "Luke" discovers there are English and Irish girls who crossed the Channel to join this nursing order, surely she was aware of, and could have joined, a milder order even if it meant travelling to do so.

But of course Belgium controlled the Congo in those days, and for Luke, going to the Congo and working on tropical maladies was the entire point of the exercise.

Not so much "all for Jesus" as "all for the Congo. While the Benedictines of that novel and in real life, along with the Carmelites and other orders do indeed use a "discipline", it is made of knotted cords--not "metal chains with hooks.

For a voluntary convert to Catholicism, Ms Hulme seems to have injected quite a lot of anger into the narrative. Jun 12, Alanna Truong rated it it was amazing. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. My sister read it too, and we have been talking about it for months. We both feel like it is one of the best stories about human weakness and spiritual struggles that we've ever read.

It's a book that begs to be read AND discussed. This was such an easy and enjoyable read. Luke's struggle really draws you in, and you find yourself desperately wanting her to find a way to live out her vows. The portrayal of the nun's and their life feels alive, accurate, and real. And then beautiful and impossible at the same time. It is hard to write a review without containing some spoilers Her struggles are not what "the world" would normally suggest.

The last part felt rather rushed, as though it came somehow out of nowhere - you could say the entire story was set up and headed in the direction it went, though I think it could also have gone the opposite direction entirely, and feel just as right. Although, knowing how it ended changes the mindset with which you read it. I did not find this a hopeful story, but rather a raw account of a woman's struggle in her chosen vocation.

I suppose one reason it was so sad that it ended the way it did was because it left the reader feeling rather hopeless - I identified so much with Sr. Luke's struggles through much of the early and middle story, and at times in the end.

As a mother, I felt a lot of the same themes occur in the family life, and seeing how the rule of the nuns upheld them in their convictions was inspiring. It was well worth the read, and gave you a glimpse into understanding the inner struggle of people who may eventually abandon their vows. I also felt like it showed, without really addressing it, what despair REALLY looks like - a feeling like you alone have sinned in such a wretched way, that you discredit christianity or the religious life in this case by "pretending" to be a christian, that everyone else is somehow less horrible and more pure and that is why they can be forgiven, and so on Luke made her final decision though, at the end, you understand Sr.

Luke's decision, even if you don't agree with it. I wished that it could have been otherwise, and felt like it somehow could have been, but that an outsider really has no right to say, and the struggle Sr. Luke had between her vows and her conscience was obviously real and painful. I read once that religious life was modeled after family life. As a mother, this idea is very intriguing and I found a lot of new ways of looking on my own daily struggles by seeing how a nun lives.

This book gave me a more complete picture of what convent life may look like specifically pre wwii , and some of the difficulties and also some of the beauty of choosing such a life. It was worth the read simply for that portrayal, though I found even more than simply that.

I would be hesitant about recommending this book to just anyone, but I for one, got a lot from it. Feb 28, Persephone Abbott rated it it was amazing. Behind the scenes the fascinating story behind the relationship of the author, Hulme and the protagonist in real life M. Habets, is equally intriguing to read about online. Thoroughly recommendable and psychologically insightful for all of us, and especially riveting for those who recognize the descriptions brainwashing and mistreatment, descriptions which are not hysterical and pandering but certainly achieve their goal to make the reader stop and wonder about an institution that systematized such poor treatment of its own.

The added bonus to this novel is the descriptions of life in Congo, during the reign of the Belgian colony. Jun 06, Deyanne rated it really liked it Shelves: historical-fiction , memoir. After just finishing watching the movie with Audrey Hepburn, I remembered that I have this out-of-print book on my bookshelves.

I was surprised at how closely the movie followed the book. There were lines directly from the text. Amazed and awed, I acknowledge women who choose a nun's life. It definitely is not an easy existence. Yes, the novel portrays the strict rules and the unflinching important of obedience, but I did not feel that is was a derogatory treatise on the Catholic Church.

This decision to change a chosen lifestyle would not be an easy one. I have reflected on needless conversation and the power of thought.

How do you exactly exemplify humility? Was nursing a stronger call than the bride of Christ, or in many ways are they more similar than different? No one can question the dedication and selfless life of a nun.

I read an award winning first-time memoir from a Utah author years ago that told the author's personal story as she, too, forsook her life as a nun. This first book I read a student's mother's story was better written and dealt more with the author's spiritual trials.

Granted, it was told in first person. It left a much stronger impact. One nun left the convent and eventually married and raised a family. Different endings. Life is interesting. May 08, Judy James rated it it was amazing.

I read the book first I was thrilled when the movie finally appeared on television. The passage in which SL was challenged by a mother superior to fail her exams held me spellbound. The failure was offered as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live the essense of a vowed life and sacrifice one's dedication to intellectual achievement to s I read the book first The failure was offered as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live the essense of a vowed life and sacrifice one's dedication to intellectual achievement to something higher.

The failure was not presented as a way to win over an unfriendly sister-classmate, Sr. Pauline, as some readers imagine, or to bring down the class grading curve so that Sr. Pauline might have a better chance of passing the tropical medicine exam. It was all between SL and God. In the movie, another sister superior says that the sister superior who proposed the sacrice was "very wrong" to suggest that SL fail. The book does not. Many years later, after I learned about "Sister Luke" and her post-convent friend K.

Hulme -- the novel's author and their subsequent dedication to each other for the rest of their lives -- it became clear that what drew me to the novel was the love expressed in the simply-voiced account of SL and how she succeeded and failed at various points in her life.

No irony. No romance. Just loving observation.

The Nun's Story () - Rotten Tomatoes

The screenplay was written by Robert Anderson , based upon the popular novel of the same name by Kathryn Hulme. The film tells the life of Sister Luke Hepburn , a young Belgian woman who decides to enter a convent and make the many sacrifices required by her choice.

The film is a relatively faithful adaptation of the novel, which was based on the life of Belgian nun Marie Louise Habets. Latter portions of the film were shot on location in the Belgian Congo and feature Finch as a cynical but caring surgeon. After receiving the religious name of Sister Luke, she undergoes her postulancy and novitiate which foreshadow her future difficulties with the vow of obedience.

She takes her first vows and is sent to a school of tropical medicine. After passing her courses with high marks, along with some spiritual conflict, she silently resists the Mother Superior's request to purposely fail her final exam as a proof of her humility.

Despite finishing fourth in her class, she is not assigned to the Congo but sent to a European mental hospital where she assists with the most difficult and violent cases, wasting her tropical medicine skills. A particularly violent schizophrenic Colleen Dewhurst tricks Sister Luke into opening the cell door in violation of the rules. She attacks Sister Luke, who barely escapes and once again faces the shame of her disobedience.

Eventually she takes her solemn vows and is sent to her long-desired posting in the Congo. She develops a strained but professional relationship with the brilliant, atheistic surgeon there, Dr.

Fortunati Peter Finch. Eventually, the work strains and spiritual struggles cause her to succumb to tuberculosis. Fortunati, not wanting to lose a competent nurse and sympathetic to her desire to stay in the Congo, engineers a treatment plan that allows her to remain there rather than having to convalesce in Europe. After Sister Luke recovers and returns to work, Fortunati is forced to send her to Belgium as the only nurse qualified to accompany a VIP who has become mentally unstable.

She spends an outwardly reflective but inwardly restless period at the motherhouse in Brussels before the superior general gives her a new assignment. Due to the impending war in Europe, she cannot return to the Congo, and is assigned as a surgical nurse at a local hospital.

While at her new assignment, Sister Luke's struggle with obedience becomes impossible for her to sustain, as she is repeatedly forced into compromises to cope with the reality of the Nazi occupation, including that they have killed her father. No longer able to continue as a nun, she requests and is granted a dispensation from her vows. She is last seen changing into lay garb and exiting the convent through a back door. Because the production team included few if any Catholics , a number of consultants were used to ensure accuracy and fidelity.

The screenplay was reviewed by the literary editor of America magazine , by a panel of Dominican Priests in Rome, and by the Los Angeles chapter of the National Legion of Decency. The Kathryn Hulme collection at Yale University contains 37 of these letters. Zinnemann describes the Catholic Church as somewhat hesitant at first, in part worried that the film would depict a romantic relationship between Sister Luke and Dr.

Once the Church had more confidence in the production, there was a high level of collaboration leading to a high level of preparation that Zinnemann credits for the realism and emotional intensity of the film. Zinnemann also continued his usual practices of collaborating with the film's writer on the second draft of the screenplay though not receiving a writing credit and meeting with each major actor for an in-depth discussion of their character.

To prepare for her role Audrey Hepburn met with both Hulme and Mary Louise Habets, the inspiration for the novel and film. The three spent a considerable amount of time together, apparently becoming known as "The 3-H Club. Both had Belgian roots and had experienced personal trauma during World War II including losing touch with their fathers and having their brothers imprisoned by Germans.

The film was shot partially in Yakusu , a center of missionary and medical activity in the Belgian Congo. Extras for the ceremonial scenes were recruited from a ballet company. Zinnemann wanted actors who would be capable of precise and coordinated movement. The original theatrical trailer for the film contains a brief shot of Gabrielle and her father sitting at a cafe.

The shot is an excerpt from a scene that was removed from the final cut. The scene is alluded to in the final film when Dr. Van Der Mal mentions a restaurant reservation at the beginning of the film. Zinnemann removed the scene because he felt it was redundant and hindered the pace of the film's opening. According to Zinnemann, composer Franz Waxman 's dislike of the Catholic Church was a conspicuous influence on early drafts of the score.

This is part of the reason why the final scene has no score, an uncommon stylistic choice for the era. The film marked Colleen Dewhurst 's film debut. The Nun's Story was a major box office success in its day. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Fortunati Edith Evans as Rev. The Numbers.

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Original film poster. Robert Anderson. The Nun's Story novel by Kathryn Hulme.