The Nun’s Story (1959)

FRED ZINNEMANN

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB

USA, 1959Warner Bros..  Screenplay by , based on the book by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

 gives one of her most powerful performances in this highly respectable drama about a nun whose personal ambitions conflict with her desire to stay with her order. Excelling in her medical studies, she is sent to the Belgian Congo to work in a hospital beside a gruff, disrespectful doctor () with whom she becomes good friends. The photography (mostly on location) is superb, but the high-mindedness of the project mostly robs it of any dramatic tension. Still, as crowd-pleasing religious dramas go, it’s one of the most memorable.

Academy Award Nominations:  Best Picture; Best Actress (Audrey Hepburn); Best Director (Fred Zinnemann); Best Adapted Screenplay; Best Cinematography-Colour; Best Film Editing; Best Sound; Best Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture

Golden Globe Award Nominations:  Best Picture-Drama; Best Actress-Drama (Audrey Hepburn); Best Supporting Actress (Edith Evans); Best Director (Fred Zinnemann); Best Film Promoting International Understanding; Outstanding Merit

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