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The Nun's Story (Sous-titres français) [Import]

Audrey Hepburn , Peter Finch , Fred Zinnemann    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 21.82 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Description

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Fred Zinnemann's epic drama is a splendid showcase for Audrey Hepburn, who stars as the young nun Sister Luke, who is deeply spiritual yet conflicted about whether or not she can conform to convent life. Though the film is a mesmerizing--and quite leisurely--two and a half hours, its plot is fairly simple--young Gabrielle (Hepburn) enters the convent pledging her life to God, learns the disciplines associated with the life, receives her dream assignment of going to the Congo as a missionary nurse, and once there, is forced to face whether she is meant for the rigorous life of poverty, chastity, and most difficult of all, obedience. The film does a marvelous job of portraying the challenges of cloistered life without being either off-putting or overly romantic. And Hepburn, sometimes with only her eyes, communicates all the drive, faith, and conflict of a young woman so torn. --Anne Hurley

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A soul torn in half 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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful well constructed movie Sept. 11 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Based on a true story, "The Nun's Story" is basically a movie about a young woman (Hepburn, as Sister Luke) who struggles with her decision to become a nun. The movie is set in the years prior to and during WWII, and it was made in 1959. Most of the movie takes place in Belgium, but about a fifth of the movie is set in the Belgian Congo (later Zaire, now Congo again), where Sister Luke is sent to work as a nurse in a hospital -- her desired assignment all along, but one that she had to wait for. There she works with a brillant but difficult doctor (Peter Finch) who has his own demons to battle. Their strained relationship is the emotional crux of the story.
It is this portion of the movie that may be of interest to Africanists. The scenes set in Congo were filmed there, evidently in Kisangani. There is something of a documentary quality to much of this part of the film: Congolese people at work and play, life around a missionary hospital, colonial officials and uniformed native soldiers, colonial architecture, etc. It is really a sort of window on the past, and while the movie is not about the Belgian Congo, it does give a good idea of what part of the Belgian Congo looked like, and what life was like for the urban inhabitants in the Belgian Congo. As far as I know, this is the only movie you are likely to find in your local video store that has anything like that. Recommended for anyone interested in African history; and the part about the nun and the ex-pat doctor makes a pretty good movie.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars STIRRING FILM Feb. 3 2002
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
THIS FILM IS A TRUE STORY....IN FACT, THE REAL SISTER LUKE, WHOSE NAME WAS MARIE-LOUISE HABETS NURSED AUDREY HEPBURN THROUGH A SERIES OF ILLNESSES. KATHRYN HULME, WHO WROTE THE BOOK, IN REAL LIFE WAS IN CHARGE OF THE UNDERGROUND NURSING STAFF TO WHICH SISTER LUKE WENT TO AFTER SHE LEFT THE CONVENT.....THE ACTING WAS GREAT AND KEPT ME MESMERIZED... THE FILM IS BASED ON ACTULAL EVENTS THAT THE REAL SISTER LUKE EXPERIENCED DURINT HER TIME IN THE CONVENT...... WHEN I WATCHED IT. I FORGOT THAT I WAS WATCHING A MOVIE..............IT IS LIKE LOOKING INTO ANOTHER PERSON'S SOUL.... THERE IS A GOOD BIOGRAPHY OF AUDREY WHERE FURTHER DETAILS CAN BE READ.......ALSO, YOU SHOULD READ THE NUN'S STORY....IT WOULD BE WELL WORTH YOUR WHILE.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new Audrey Sept. 21 2008
Format:DVD
I knew Audrey had acting talents, but you can see why she chose this role to identify herself when all she had under her belt were romantic comedies.

This movie was really impressive, on so many levels. The Congo part was very cool, and I'm really glad it wasn't in black in white, because who would want to mask those colors?

I should have bought this movie sooner, and I would absolutely place this movie in my top three favorite Audrey movies. I might even say it's my favorite. I didn't watch this movie thinking about the religious aspects of the film, because I'm not really religious myself. I watched it with the story in mind, and I thought about how amazing everyone was in this movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soul Food -- Make That A Soul Banquet March 3 2002
Format:VHS Tape
"The Nun's Story" ranks with "Citizen Kane", "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre", and "Chinatown", as one of the very best films ever produced in Hollywood. Its director, Fred Zinnemann, has never received a fraction of the credit he deserves, for this and for other masterpieces of intelligent narrative filmmaking such as 1966's "A Man for All Seasons", perhaps because he serves his stories so well that Oscar Wilde's dictum -- that the aim of art is to reveal art and conceal the artist -- has been all too well fulfilled. What I truly love about the story of Sister Luke is that it is in no sense a polemic: it is possible to see that, for certain persons (such as the Reverend Mother, played to angelic perfection by Edith Evans), the "Holy Rule" can indeed be the way to a blissful sense of unity with the eternal, while for a creative and dynamic spirit like Sister Luke's, that same discipline can ultimately only stifle and defeat that which makes her fully human.The scene in which Sister Marcella urges her to fail her medical qualifying examinations deliberately, in order to combat her sense of intellectual pride, is one of the most exquisite moments in cinema -- there is no doubt that this is, in every sense, a monstrous demand, while there is also no doubt that the person suggesting it is doing it out of a genuine sense of concern for the young nun. (Where on earth is this type of mature moral complexity in today's movies?) The only aspect of the film that is likely to trouble intelligent viewers is the racial subtext of the Congo scenes. Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars good insight
I've known very little about the life of nuns. This story reveals the motivation and challenges of some of the women who choose to serve God in this manner. Read more
Published 10 months ago by George Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars History in Action
I like Audrey Hepburn, having the desire to become a nun in the 60s, I was drawn to this story. Ms. Hepburn performed a believable role, and I have empathy for her choices. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Lynda
5.0 out of 5 stars Great classic!
An old, but good movie that was purchased for my mother-in-law who enjoys old movies with great stories to watch. Based on a true story makes it one great movie to watch.
Published 19 months ago by Risé
5.0 out of 5 stars Nun's story
We were worried about buying such an old movie but it looks like it has been fixed up (re-mastered?)

Excellent quality, oldie but goodie, at a great price. Read more
Published 22 months ago by geotracker
5.0 out of 5 stars The Nun's Story
I remember watching this movie when it first came out and then anytime I saw that it was on TV and so I just had to have my own copy. Read more
Published on July 26 2012 by mater
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable
In Bruges, in 1930, a bright and willful young woman (Audrey Hepburn) enters a convent and undergoes rigorous training for the religious life. Read more
Published on Sept. 1 2010 by Kona
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
The entire movie, I thought she was going to marry the doctor in Congo, and then she doesn't! The end was much too solemn. Read more
Published on March 31 2004 by marlene954
4.0 out of 5 stars Hep-py now?
It's a testament to the filmmakers that the scene in which Sister Luke signs papers to leave the church has real gravity. Read more
Published on Jan. 25 2004 by Gary
1.0 out of 5 stars Dreadful
I wish I had known the film was about the triumph of selfishness and pride before purchasing it. I found the film carried a strong anti-Catholic message in justifying the nun's... Read more
Published on Nov. 3 2003 by peanutbutterman
5.0 out of 5 stars Lets ride
This movie holds a special place in all our hearts. It's just a great story. Audrey pulls off this difficult roll with ease. Read more
Published on Feb. 25 2003 by Zach McGregor
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