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The Nun's Story


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Product Details

  • Actors: Audrey Hepburn, Peggy Ashcroft, Peter Finch
  • Directors: Fred Zinnemann
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0), French (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 4, 2006
  • Run Time: 151 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (227 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000E1MXSW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,223 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Nun's Story" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Story of Gabrielle Van Der Mal, who gives up everything to become a nun, facing incredible odds in the Congo and then at the mother house in France at the outbreak of World War II.

Customer Reviews

Audrey Hepburn's performance is so flawless; she is Sister Luke.
W. Burnett
As a Catholic and educated by nuns this film gave me an appreciation for the sacrifices these woman make to better serve Jesus Christ and humanity.
David Baldwin
This is probably one of Audrey Hepburn's best acting performances & I think all of her movies are great. very good & entertaining story.
Marion

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

253 of 268 people found the following review helpful By JLind555 on April 12, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
"The Nun's Story" is probably Audrey Hepburn's best film and by far the one which shows to best effect her enormous acting talent. It is the autobiographical tale of Sister Luke, a very young Belgian nun, who enters the convent at age 17 for specifically the wrong reason: her doctor father refuses to let her marry the young man she loves because there is insanity in his family background. She won't admit to him, as she is too young to admit it to herself, that her underlying reason in entering the convent was to spite her father, who believes women have a duty to marry and have children, but he is powerless to oppose her in this; he can prevent her from marrying her fiance, but who is he to defy God? Sister Luke, as played by Hepburn, wins us over instantly: she's generous, open-hearted, all or nothing, trying and failing and trying again, expecting too much of herself, wanting to fit in to the routine of her cloister, but feeling stifled by its constraints. The atmosphere of the convent is brought so vividly to life that we feel the conflicts pulling her in opposite directions: the peace and serenity that are embodied in the Reverend Mother Emmanuel (Edith Evans is so great in this role that she doesn't seem to be acting at all), and the incessant weight of seemingly arbitrary and nonsensical rules and regulations that attempt to crush all individuality and spontaneity. The pivotal conflict arises in the first half of the movie, when Sister Luke is asked by her Mother Superior to fail a qualifying examination for a nursing post in the Congo so that a less gifted nun can have her place, and Sister Luke has to make a choice: her failure will be a gift from God, but her success in the examination will win her a position in the Congolese hospital where her talents can be most fully utilized.Read more ›
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86 of 90 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth G. Melillo VINE VOICE on January 31, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
The underlying themes of this film, most unfortunately, can be missed today, when the young cannot remember anything like the sort of nuns depicted (though, admittedly, presented here in a style melodramatic for any age), and the "life against nature" could be taken as having elements that would not have been considered when it was produced. As well, and as any Amazon list mania visitor can see, Audrey Hepburn is "favourite actress" of so many that the viewer can become too wrapped up in it's being a film featuring her that the overall messages become blurred.
The main character, Sister Luke, is brilliantly portrayed by Audrey Hepburn, who captures, in expression particularly, the intense struggle of one whose dedication is enormous, but (to borrow the words of Dr Fortunati) cannot "fit the mould." In an era when nuns were not to admit, even to themselves, that professional achievement played any part in their choice of convent life, yet where (it is apparent) one who was not a nun had no chance for such positions as nursing supervisor in the Congo, the conflict depicted is absorbingly intense. Sister Luke is a brilliant and extremely devoted nurse, yet, while her faith is clear, she obviously is one who is accepting the (for her, extraordinary) burdens of vowed life for the sake of the nursing opportunities.
From the beginning, the young nun who expresses her personal motto as "all or nothing" is in conflict with the obedience demanded by her Order's Rule, and specific practise of which, as some of the conversations, particularly those with the Abbess, bring forth, seem much at odds with the demands of the apostolic work (for example, having to observe silence when one is working a night shift in a hospital.
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78 of 82 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 9, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Audrey Hepburn is best known for her light romantic comedies. Everybody loves them. She dresses up in some Givenchy outfits and blows the audience away with her beauty and charm. In "The Nun's Story" she completly sheds that image and immerses herself in the role of the conflicted Sister Luke, a Belgian nun torn by her obligations to her church and order, her duty to her patients as a nurse, and her duty to her country during the Nazi occupation.
This a long and very introspective film that is not for everyone. It contains a detailed look at life in a Belgian convent and a Congo hospital in the years before WWII which may bore some people. Also some of Audrey's fans looking for her as Princess Anne or Sabrina Fairchild or Holly Golightly may be disappointed to find only the determined, reserved, and prideful Sister Luke. (Although Audrey does make radiant looking nun.) The length, the slowly paced style, the subject matter, and the unusual role for its star have combined to keep it off the list of Audrey Hepburn's best known films.
Personally, I think this Audrey's greatest dramatic performance and maybe her best performance ever. She very ably conveys Sister Luke's inner conflict between her oath as a nun and her duties as a nurse, daughter, and Belgian citizen. That she is able to do so in a film that has long stretches where there is no dialogue is remarkable. She was nominated for Best Actress for this role, and she more than deserved to win, but came up short. "The Nun's Story" illustrates that Audrey Hepburn certainly had the ability to flesh out dramatic characters and that she was more than just a charming and beautiful woman in a Givenchy outfit. She was a great actor as well.
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DVD transfer
The transfer to DVD is marred in the beginning with the warner bro. logo of the original missing. The Nun's Story begins with the bells, then a white warner logo against black appears and the bells continue. This is all missing in this DVD transfer. Hopefully it will be restored by Criterion or... Read More
Dec 5, 2008 by Daniel G. Madigan |  See all 2 posts
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