Conspiracy of Hearts

  • PG
  • Ralph Thomas (1960)
  • UK
  • 108 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

This moving and underrated tale from Rank about nuns helping Jewish children escape the Nazis in war-torn Italy was made with sincerity and feeling by Ralph Thomas, himself a Jew. The movie boasts an immensely talented cast, headed by the luminous Lilli Palmer as the Mother Superior, with Sylvia Syms and Yvonne Mitchell as caring nuns, David Kossoff as a rabbi and an early appearance by stage actor Henry Goodman as one of the children. This thoughtful casting lends the film resonance, and it's far better than its potentially mawkish plot combination of children and nuns would suggest.

Plot Summary

Second World War drama starring Lilli Palmer. Italy, 1943: the Sisters of Charity are smuggling children out of a nearby Italian-controlled concentration camp. But then Mussolini is deposed and the nuns must pit their wits against a ruthless new Nazi commandant.

Cast and crew


Mother Katherine
Lilli Palmer
Sister Mitya
Sylvia Syms
Major Spoletti
Ronald Lewis
Colonel Horsten
Albert Lieven
Sister Gerta
Yvonne Mitchell
Lt Schmidt
Peter Arne
Sister Tia
Nora Swinburne
Fr Desmaines
Michael Goodliffe
Sister Constance
Megs Jenkins
David Kossoff


Ralph Thomas

Other Information

Black and White
Theatrical distributor: 
Rank Film Dists Ltd
Available on DVD
Certificate PG