Catholics rate the movies -- From ''Sister Act'' to ''The Devils,'' what real nuns think of Hollywood's conception of them

By Nisid Hajari
Updated November 06, 1992 at 05:00 AM EST
  • Movie

What do real nuns think of Hollywood’s often less-than-immaculate conception of them? The U.S. Catholic Conference’s Office for Film and Broadcasting now reviews nearly all new theatrical releases, classifying them according to a code: A-I (general patronage), A-II (adults and ado-lescents), A-III (adults), A-IV (adults, with reservations), and O (morally offensive). The USCC has published a collection of its reviews, A Movie and Video Guide for Families, in part, it says, ”to provide concerned parents with sufficient information about the moral dimen-sion of story and treatment.” Here’s what the Guide says about some notable nun movies:

*SISTER ACT (PG, A-III) ”Sister Act may not quite be heaven-sent, but its appeal is Catholic with a big and little ‘c.”’

*THE DEVILS (R, O) ”Director Ken Russell’s attempts to shock with scenes such as nuns cavorting at the altar in the nude are pathetic both in their imagination and in their execution.”

*AGNES OF GOD (PG-13, A-IV) ”Although this pretentious and shallow movie is not meant to be anti-religious, some may be offended by its use of a religious setting.”

*THE SINGING NUN (unrated, A-I) ”Henry Koster’s glossy direction is out of tune with the reality of a basically interior story about the difficulty of secular fame for a member of a religious community.”

*THÉRÈSE (unrated, A-III) ”The young may find its picture of 19th-century religious life more confusing than inspiring.”

Sister Act

  • Movie
  • PG
  • Emile Ardolino