Review: ‘The Singing Nun’

The Singing Nun, patently designed to cash in on the story of the Belgian nun Soeur Sourire and her song 'Dominique', carries an expectancy not always realized. Fictionized approach to the truelife character - necessitated by agreement with Catholic church authorities not to make pictures autobiographical - resultantly loses in the transition, and while there are engaging musical interludes what emerges is slight and frequently slow-moving.

The Singing Nun, patently designed to cash in on the story of the Belgian nun Soeur Sourire and her song ‘Dominique’, carries an expectancy not always realized. Fictionized approach to the truelife character – necessitated by agreement with Catholic church authorities not to make pictures autobiographical – resultantly loses in the transition, and while there are engaging musical interludes what emerges is slight and frequently slow-moving.

The production unfolds mostly in the small Samaritan House, situated in a slum section of Brussels, where the young Dominican nun carries on her work with children and study preparatory to an African missionary assignment. In this role, Debbie Reynolds expertly warbles a dozen numbers to her own guitar accompaniment, some nine of the songs composed by the Belgian sister.

1966: Nomination: Best Adapted Musical Score

The Singing Nun

Production

M-G-M. Director Henry Koster; Producer John Beck, Hayes Goetz; Screenplay Sally Benson, John Furia Jr; Camera Milton Krasner; Editor Rita Roland; Music Harry Sukman; Art Director George W. Doris, Urie McCleary

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1966. Running time: 96 MIN.

With

Debbie Reynolds Ricardo Montalban Greer Garson Agnes Moorehead Chad Everett Katharine Ross
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