The Nun's Story

The Nun's Story

Fred Zinnemann (1959)

PG Certificate


Our Score
Kathryn C Hulme's popular novel here makes a magnificent vehicle for the luminous Audrey Hepburn, who plays a young Belgian girl battling with her conscience and wondering if she is truly cut out for her religious calling. Hepburn is a marvel, whether flirting with passion in the Congo (in the guise of Peter Finch, who's terrific as an agnostic doctor) or discovering that some nuns (Dames Edith Evans and Peggy Ashcroft) are only human after all. This is arguably director Fred Zinnemann's finest movie; it gained eight nominations, but no Oscars, in the year of Ben-Hur. Unjust, really, as you watch Franz Planer's superb photography, listen to Franz Waxman's haunting score and wonder to what greater heights popular cinema can aspire.


An independent-minded woman enters a convent and develops a gift for medicine, while struggling to curb her rebellious nature. She is sent to the Congo to assist a doctor in his work, but suffers a crisis of faith at the outbreak of the Second World War. Drama, based on Kathryn C Hulme's novel, starring Audrey Hepburn, Peter Finch, Peggy Ashcroft, Dean Jagger and Mildred Dunnock.

Cast & Crew

Sister Luke Audrey Hepburn
Dr Fortunati Peter Finch
Mother Emmanuel Edith Evans
Mother Mathilde Peggy Ashcroft
Dr Van Der Mal Dean Jagger
Sister Margharita Mildred Dunnock
Mother Christophe Beatrice Straight
Sister Eleanor Rosalie Crutchley
Director Fred Zinnemann
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Warner Bros Pictures LtdAvailable on: video and DVD