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Agnes of God


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Product Details

  • Actors: Jane Fonda, Anne Bancroft, Meg Tilly, Anne Pitoniak, Winston Rekert
  • Directors: Norman Jewison
  • Writers: John Pielmeier
  • Producers: Norman Jewison, Bonnie Palef, Charles Milhaupt, Patrick J. Palmer
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Georgian, Chinese, Thai
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment / Mill Creek
  • DVD Release Date: May 21, 2002
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000063ING
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,401 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Agnes of God" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

An isolated convent becomes the setting for murder in this suspenseful tale of spiritual passion and pride. Jane Fonda, Ann Bancroft and Meg Tilly star in Norman Jewison's riveting adaptation of the hit Broadway drama. When the infant of a young nun, Agnes (Tilly), is found strangled, a court-appointed psychiatrist, Martha Livingston (Fonda), must decide if the devout but troubled girl is fit to stand trial. In her quest for truth, Martha goes head to head with the intractable Mother Superior (Bancroft), who assures her that Agnes has no memory of the pregnancy. But the probe uncovers mysterious aspects of Agnes' personality, which lead to a shattering climax. Is AGNES OF GOD a hystericalyoung woman or is her ordeal divinely inspired?

Customer Reviews

Bancroft, Fonda, and Tilly were all excellent in their roles as well.
Matt Tawesson
Jane Fonda, in one of her best roles, plays the neurotic psychiatrist Martha Livingstone who is sent to investigate the incident.
Hallstatt Prince
Mother Superior is the one who has put her faith in God, trusting enough to leave some things alone to that of the whims of fate.
MortensOrchid

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Stephen M. Bauer on July 12, 2002
Format: DVD
Agnes of God has a very tight script, plot and cinematography. It is gripping from end to end. The film is not about religion but about the inter-personal and intra-personal conflicts of a psychiatrist, the mother superior of a community of nuns and one of her young nuns.
Set in Montreal, the movie opens with a very young, pretty nun being discovered unconscious and splattered with a lot of blood. A dead newborn baby is also discovered in the room.
Presumably, unknown to anyone, the nun, Sister Agnes (Meg Tilly), had been pregnant, and she strangled the baby immediately upon its birth. She is charged with manslaughter.
A psychiatrist, Dr. Martha Livingston (Jane Fonda), is summoned by the court to make a diagnosis of the woman. Initially Dr. Livingston resisted the assignment, because she said, it was an open and shut case. The community of nuns is cloistered, and for Dr. Livingston to do her job, she must penetrate the world of the cloister. She is not at all congenial or sympathetic towards the nuns. It turns out she has her own emotional ax to flail against the church.
Mother Miriam Ruth (Anne Bankcroft), the mother superior of the convent, is equally hostile to Dr. Livingston. She is adamantly opposed to having a psychiatrist diagnose Sister Agnes, but she has no choice since it is a legal matter. She is faced with the dilemma of sending her young charge go to jail or the nuthouse. Later on, it comes out that the prioress has been keeping a few secrets of her own related to the issue.
Everyone denies knowing the girl was pregnant. No one has any idea how it happened. Its obvious the postulate/novice is suffering from a serious psychiatric illness, or several. She has the social and emotional development of a naïve grade school child.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Hallstatt Prince on June 14, 2005
Format: DVD
This is an interesting film that raises the questions as to whether miracles still exist in the modern world. The movie and play were criticized by some as being an attack on Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. Catholics have a good reason to be wary of broadsides from popular culture but sometimes these condemnations take the form of a knee jerk reaction. I for one found the movie a good debate about religion and spirituality and I found the movie to be highly moving and faith affirming.

The story concerns a young novitiate in a secluded convent in Canada who becomes pregnant and whose baby is killed.

The government is put in a difficult position since even though Canada has a large Catholic population a crime has been committed which must be investigated.

Jane Fonda, in one of her best roles, plays the neurotic psychiatrist Martha Livingstone who is sent to investigate the incident. The psychiatrist is not completely objective as she is what some might call "a fallen Catholic", someone who has unfortunately been harmed by religion. And she has an ax to grind.

Her nemesis (although "nemesis might be too strong of a word) is the mother superior of the convent played by Anne Bancroft. Her performance is also magnificent. Although the mother superior obstructs the investigation some of the most interesting dialogue about faith is between the psychiatrist and the mother superior. Both women almost more interested in Agnes to justify their own vocations and points of view as they are about getting to the truth.

Dr.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By N. Abbott on September 10, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
There is something about the sweetness and innocence with which Meg Tilly plays the part of Agnes that attracts me to this movie time and time again. Perhaps it's the longing for some of the innocence and naivety that she portrays in Agnes. I think Jane Fonda's portrayal of Livingston is just wonderful. She manages to play a tough, atheistic psychiatrist with such gusto, yet she still appears very human and vulnerable.
I recommend this movie highly, especially to people who have struggled with the paradoxes involved in the conflict between faith and science.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Christopher M. MacNeil on February 13, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
Director Norman Jewison adapted the Broadway play of the same name with an A list of performers who, despite their individual and combined magnificent talents, can't quite salvage what might be to some a disappointing resolution. Still, getting there is a provocative odyssey in defining the fine line between divine faith and science. In a usually engaging performance, Jane Fonda is a chain-smoking psychiatrist in a French-speaking Canadian territory and is appointed by the Crown to evaluate the mental stability of a novice nun, Agnes (brilliantly played by Meg Tilley in an Oscar-nominated supporting role) who gives birth and then kills her newborn in her blood-spattered convent room. Soon, with Agnes proclaiming Immaculate Conception and virgin birth, the film's premise of faith vs. science vs. rape is laid. All too soon, Fonda clashes with the protective but domineering Mother Superior (Ann Bancroft, also in an Oscar-nominated turn). With the Crown dubious about Agnes' version of how she got pregnant, it nonetheless wants the case quickly adjudicated so as not to create a battered public image associated with prosecuting a nun. Along the way, we learn that the strain between Fonda and Bancroft is the former's rejection of the Catholic faith stems from the former's bad experience with a sister during childhood. Still, the focus is on the extent of human faith and its sometimes incompatibility with science. All three actress - Fonda, Bancroft and Tilley - are captivating in their adverse positions with each other in the argument of Science vs. God. The film's resolution is consistent with contemporary dogma and leaves us somewhat puzzled but more disturbed by its hint that faith may not be enough to salvage ourselves.Read more ›
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