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4.7 out of 5 stars
Come To The Stable
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218 of 222 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
Loretta Young, one of Hollywood's most respected actresses had one of her greatest roles as the assured and determined Sister Margaret in Twentieth Century Fox's 1949 "Come to the Stable" a beautiful story of two women's determination and sheer belief in the rightness of what they are seeking in their work for others. Loretta Young, a staunch catholic in real life is one of those rare actresses in a league with the likes of Ingrid Bergman, Deborah Kerr and Audrey Hepburn , that seem totally convincing as nuns whether it be in their displays of humility in portraying their characters or just by the total immersion that they undergo when taking on the nun role.
"Come to the Stable" tells a very simple but extremely moving story based on a short story by Clare Booth Luce, of the journey that two nuns, one American and one french, make to fulfill a solemn vow made during World War 2. Resulting from the fact that through prayer to St. Jude, the Patron Saint of lost causes, their hospital was spared destruction by the advancing forces the two make a vow to return to America to set up a similiar hospital for young infants in Bethlehem, Connecticut where they have learnt of a woman who paints very beautiful religious paintings. After finding the right place atop a serene hill with perfect views of the town the nuns with very little money, very few propects and with a strong unquestioning faith proceed to achieve everything that has become their lifes work. Their journey from a hopeless situation with no funds to build the hospital or obtain the land, to one that inspires others to get involved to achieve the dream of the new hospital makes for inspirational viewing and puts across the strong message of the basic good of all people if you only take the time to look for it. In their drive to fulfill their aim the nun's encounter some interesting characters who's lives they alter in very positive ways. Miss Potts played by Elsa Lancaster in a wonderful performance is a lonely spinister who loves to paint and finds her whole life turned upside down by the unexpected arrival of the nuns on her door step. She for the first time finds a real purpose to her existence as she involves herself totally in the plans of Sister Margaret and Sister Scholastica (Celeste Holm). In their search for land to build the church on the sisters find themselves travelling to New York where they encounter small time con man Luigi Rossi who after hearing their story not only gives them a sizable donation but also the deed to the land with the promise that a commerative stained glass window will be installed in memory of his son who was lost in the war not far from where the sisters nursed in Northern France. His transformation from a small time hood to a man with a conscience is only one of the miracles that the nuns work in their dealings with others. Hugh Marlowe plays the nuns new and indeed quite unhappy neighbour Robert Mason who despite being against the idea of a hospital literally in his backyard finds himself helping the nuns and in a crucial situation where the nuns find themselves short of financing for their repayments, chips in and ensures the sisters dream becomes a reality.
Directed with a sentimental but sure hand by veteran director Henry Koster who was responsible for such diverse efforts as "Harvey", "Flower Drum Song"' and "The Robe", the representation of what strong belief can do to achieve great things either big or small in ones life is always the central theme of "Come to the Stable". Loretta Young as Sister Margaret was an inspirational choice as the lead in a role originally intended for Irene Dunne. She is everything a nun should be, strong, gracious, determined, and a firm believer in the basic good in man. Her's is a superb performance which quite rightly received an Academy Award Nomination for Best Actress. Equally honoured is the beautifully unplayed performance of Celeste Holm in the role of French nun Sister Scholastica, Sister Margaret's helper who in a comical moment reveals herself in a past life to have been a top class French tennis player in a scene where she is forced to play in full nun's habit for high stakes, namely a large badly needed donation to the building fund!
Such beautifully put together films as "Come to the Stable" often make me wonder what Hollywood is really doing nowadays as such delicate themes as guiding faith and divine providence, would not be able to be made nowadays what with the harsh reality of most modern screenplays. I never fail to be touched by this story or by the wonderful performance by Loretta Young in the lead. It is a heart warming viewing experience for anyone who has ever had avow to fulfill or a dream to pursue. Watch this film and be inpired as I always am to try and fulfill my dreams while enjoying an terrific excursion back to movie making as it used to be.
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89 of 94 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2004
Format: VHS TapeVerified Purchase
In the late 1940's and into the 50's, there was a decency and innocence which existed that has all but disappeared today. This movie is a simple, wonderful story about innocence and blind faith, played beautifully by Loretta Young and Celeste Holm in the form of 2 French nuns. Using their charisma, they manage to get a children's hospital built in an affluent area, in which the people eventually are won over by these charming nuns. It is a "feel good" movie of the first magnitude, and, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful films ever made.
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58 of 60 people found the following review helpful
Format: VHS TapeVerified Purchase
This is another great movie by both Loretta Young and Celeste Holm. I have noticed a number of other Loretta Young movies, some I've not even heard of, available on DVD. THIS one SHOULD be out on DVD and it's not. Based on the reviews here, there is obvious love for this movie, and there should be. It's funny, great and heartwarming. I'll bet if Amazon started collecting email addresses from those of us interested in getting a DVD copy and let the owners of the movie know how much interest there is, they would eventually do it ! Please, all those who want a DVD copy to preserve this movie in your home libraries, let Amazon know!!!
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2011
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
We have had this movie in VHS format for years and have been looking for it in DVD format. I was unaware when I ordered it that it was coming from a supplier in San Diego called Scarydvds@gmail.com and the producer of the DVD is Media Asia Group. The quality of this DVD is like looking at a bad copy of a home video. The focus is very unclear and sometimes the voices are not matching the lips of the actors. If I had known this in advance, I would never have bought from this group. We will continue to watch this holiday favorite on our VHS player and hope that an authorized digital version will come out soon. The DVD copy I just bought will soon go in the trash.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on July 30, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
I have been searching for 2-3 years to find this movie, having seen it on television and never knowing its actual title. Once informed, I had to write about it to tell you how wonderful this movie is.
This movie is about two nuns who come from France to keep a vow made during wartime. Their hospital was not bombed during the war, so they had promised God they would come to America and found a hospital to St. Jude. (The patron saint of hopeless causes). They are drawn to a particular town, Bethelehem, because of an artist who works and paints at a stable there.
They come with almost no money, certain that they can raise the funds. They have a chosen a site for the hospital, but it is owned by a known racketeer. They know nobody in the area, but manage to work their way into the hearts of most of their neighbors. They persevere til the very last day... will they ever build their hospital? With faith in their hearts, they know they will.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on December 23, 2006
This is a fine film, one that I would put on every Christmas if only it was available. The dearth of pure garbage currently on DVD has me totally baffled that someone hasn't found a way to get this to the general public (and make some money!). It's a 20th-Century Fox release, for God's sake. Anyway, it was nominated for 7 Oscars in 1949, including Clare Booth Luce's witty screenplay, Young as Best Actress, both Elsa Lanchester & Celeste Holm as Supp Actress, Art Direction, Cinematography and Best Song (Through a Long & Sleepless Night). It was directed by Henry Koster (The Bishop's Wife) and is quite simply one of the most entertaining films I've seen. According to previous reviewers, it's also on their lists. Loretta Young's career spanned over 7 decades, yet she only received 2 Oscar nominations (winning for '47's "The Farmer's Daughter"). Her success on TV only sealed her place as an icon in the performing world. What's so hard to understand about a waiting public, wanting quality? A good DVD of this film could solidify its place among the classic films. I'm still waiting...
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 2011
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Come to the Stable has been my all time clasic movie to watch. I have been waiting years for this movie to be released on DVD format. Even though the studio has still not released this movie I'm glad that someone had a DVD version. I have the VHS version but over the years these tapes begin to look grainy with picture distortions. Besides having a great cast, I thourghly enjoy listening to the Gregorian Chant singing by the nuns something that is not done in the Catholic Church today.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on January 23, 2006
Format: VHS Tape
First, I would like to add my vote regarding releasing this film on DVD. It would be a welcome addition to my library; I borrowed a family member's VHS copy but I won't purchase my own copy unless it's a DVD.

Also, I would not consider this a holiday film. Although the opening scene features a nativity, the film takes place in late winter, early spring, which makes it perfect viewing for the lull after the holidays.

Viewers may wish to know that the film is based on a true story that did take place in the real Bethlehem, Connecticut, located in Litchfield County not far from Waterbury (mentioned in a previous review). I believe Clare Boothe Luce, the famous women who penned the script, lived nearby. The original backstory takes place in the '40s, when two nuns from a French order -- one American and one French, I believe -- came to Bethlehem to found a Benedictine abbey known as the Abbey of Regina Laudis. They were from an abbey in France that was caught up in World War II and eventually freed with the help of Gen. Patton.

When they came to Bethlehem, they were taken in by artist Lauren Ford who, like the artist in the film, also painted religious paintings. A wealthy industrialist donated land on which to build the abbey, which still is a thriving community today. The nuns are very self-sufficient, each with a special skill whether its agriculture, pottery, cheese, etc. They have a small store on their property where they sell their creations. The nuns also chant several times a day in their barn-like church, and even have recordings of their chant which one can purchase online or at their shop. They have an outdoor theater where they host plays in the summer for the community.

On a side note: the Abbey also has another real-life Hollywood connection. One nun is the former Dolores Hart, a film star in the '60s who starred in films like "King Creole" opposite Elvis and "Where the Boys Are."

I think fans of the film will find the story behind the film equally as interesting, making this wonderful film even more relevant.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2011
Format: DVD
"Come to the Stable" is a beautiful, sentimental movie, in the vein of "Bells of St. Marys" and "Going My Way." I saw it many years ago before buying the video and seeing it again. Loretta Young, unquestionably one of the great actresses of all time, is outstanding as a dedicated nun. So is Celeste Holm. It is easy to see why they were nominated for oscars. The picture itself received (I believe) six nominations. DVD was very good quality, and I was pleasantly surprised it played with no problems whatsoever! Rumor was there was to be a sequel to this film many many years later after the war but it never materialized. This classic picture has you pulling for these dedicated nuns to accomplish their task and laughing at there charm the entire way.

It is well worth watching.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format: VHS TapeVerified Purchase
No complicated story line: two nuns come to America , from France, to "answer a call". They come with nothing except belief in this "call". They have no plan and no money but...mysterious things begin to happen and 'the call" starts to take shape.

Good old fashioned family entertainment. Teaches the VALUE of faith and hard work. God doesn't just give these nuns what they ask for they must work for it and THEN HE gives MORE than they ask.
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