Review: ‘Nasty Habits’

A witty, intelligent screenplay [from Muriel Spark's novella The Abbess of Crewe] leaves no doubts that this is the Watergate circus transposed to a convent, complete with Machiavellian intrigues and power plays, sexual hanky panky, visiting plumbers, hypocritical television chats, national and international political play, roving ambassadors, and so on.

A witty, intelligent screenplay [from Muriel Spark’s novella The Abbess of Crewe] leaves no doubts that this is the Watergate circus transposed to a convent, complete with Machiavellian intrigues and power plays, sexual hanky panky, visiting plumbers, hypocritical television chats, national and international political play, roving ambassadors, and so on.

Told straight, it’s all about the battle for power in a Philly convent once the aged abbess dies, an all-stops-out dirty scrap which pits establishment against young lib ‘outsiders’ who want a change.

Glenda Jackson is superb, making her role as the scheming climber unerringly her own. Only one actress nearly bests her: Edith Evans in a memorable cameo, the actress’ last stint in a distinguished legit/pic career.

Nasty Habits

UK

Production

Bowden. Director Michael Lindsay-Hogg; Producer Robert Enders; Screenplay Robert Enders; Camera Douglas Slocombe; Editor Peter Tanner; Music John Cameron; Art Director Robert Jones

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1976. Running time: 98 MIN.

With

Glenda Jackson Melina Mercouri Geraldine Page Sandy Dennis Anne Jackson Anne Meara
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