5.6/10
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12 user 3 critic

Pope Joan (1972)

In medieval Europe, a pious young woman becomes a scholar of theology, disguises herself as a man, rises through the Catholic Church hierarchy and is elected Pope.

Director:

Michael Anderson

Writer:

John Briley (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Liv Ullmann ... Pope Joan
Jeremy Kemp ... Joan's Father
Natasa Nicolescu Natasa Nicolescu ... Joan's Mother
Sharon Winter Sharon Winter ... Joan as a child
Margareta Pogonat Margareta Pogonat ... Village woman
Richard Bebb Richard Bebb ... Lord of Manor
Peter Arne ... Richard
Patrick Magee ... Elder monk
George Innes ... Monk
Nigel Havers ... Young monk
Lesley-Anne Down ... Cecilia
Susan Macready Susan Macready ... Sister Nunciata
Shelagh Wilcocks Shelagh Wilcocks ... Sister Louise
Olivia de Havilland ... Mother Superior
André Morell ... Emperor Louis
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Storyline

This movie is based on the medieval legend of Pope Joan, who was made Pope for a brief period around 855 A.D. Although it is questionable that Pope Joan really did exist, this movie presents her existence as fact, and portrays her relationships with other notables of the time. Written by edk <laplaza@ccnet.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Heresy ... or history ? See more »

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 October 1972 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

La papisa Juana See more »

Filming Locations:

Brasov, Romania See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Nigel Havers' film debut. See more »

Alternate Versions

The 2009 cut includes the 20th century scenes but omits 20 minutes of scenes with Joan being Pope. See more »

Connections

Featured in A Quiet Revolution (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

Veni Creator Spiritus
Sung by The Sistine Chapel Choir
Under the Direction of Domenico Bartolucci
See more »

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User Reviews

 
a most enjoyable film...full marks!!
12 March 2009 | by sallyfisher-fisherSee all my reviews

SHE…WHO WOULD BE POPE

I really enjoyed this film as a real aficionado of historical faction and legends. Movie buffs who yearn for renowned actors whose sex appeal and charisma fill up the screen, as soon as they appear without uttering a word, would also find this motion picture enthralling.

Franco Nero as Prince Louis, with blazing blue eyes brimming over in sensuality , becomes Emperor, conquering both Infidels and the Vatican. Although Jeremy Kemp, has a small role, whose pockmarked face, as handsome as it is rugged and scarred with life, makes him so credible as Joan's bible thumping father. Maximilian Schell, in his part as Brother Adrian is yet another from this large cast of famous faces who are a pleasure to watch as they captivate and capture the audience as they embrace their characters. The beautiful Lesley-Ann Downe although very young, is not as innocent or virtuous as she looks. No less are any of the remarkable cast such as the enchanting hero/heroine Liv Ullman, whose transformation from a nun to a priest is seamless, that makes the two hours of SHE..WHO WOULD BE POPE such compelling viewing.

Although the setting is in the Dark Ages, there is a lightness in the way the unpleasant events are portrayed that make the reality of the harshness of life in that time, acceptable to all, from rape, pillage, murder and forbidden love.

The Evangelicals haven't changed their book or mantras and the flowing robes and costumes of the clergy have all remained the same in authentically reproduced settings and lavish scenery. This story had to be retold in its original uncut form, sliding in and out of millennia, to fully understand how the world has turned despite that we, as individuals remain the same. The psychologist analysing a woman claiming a former life as Pope, ensures a multifaceted film that would appeal to a wide audience. SF


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