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The White Sister

(1933 b 106')

En: 5 Ed: 6

When a soldier is lost in the war, his fiancée becomes a nun in this adaptation of the novel by F. Marion Crawford.

The priest Saracinesca (Edward Arnold) announces the bans for Angela Chiaromonte and Ernesto. During carnival the army driver Giovanni (Clark Gable) runs into the car of Prince Guido Chiaromonte (Lewis Stone) and meets his daughter Angela (Helen Hayes). Angela and Mina (Louise Closser Hale) go to carnival. While Mina is looking for her lost bag, Giovanni and Angela get acquainted. Giovanni is in love with Angela; but she writes him a letter explaining her position. At the prince's reception Giovanni dances with Angela. She can't say she does not love him, and he kisses her. Chiaromonte tells Giovanni to leave, and he says he will marry Angela. Angela tells her father Chiaromonte she loves Giovanni and not Ernesto. Chiaromonte tells Angela her mother left them for a "great love" and committed suicide. Angela leaves; Chiaromonte follows her and is killed in a car accident.

Giovanni gets Angela's address from the priest and takes her flowers and sherry; but she asks him to go. War is declared, and Giovanni tells Angela that going to war is like going to the dentist; he promises to come back. In an air battle his plane is shot down. Believing he is dead, Angela decides to become a nun in order to help his soul. Badly wounded, Giovanni is cared for by a German family. Angela says good-bye to Mina and enters the nunnery. Mother superior (May Robson) says being a nurse will be hard. With soldiers arriving, Giovanni leaves the family but is put in a prison camp. He gets carried out as a corpse, kills the guard, and steals a plane. Angela takes her vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience; her hair is cut, and she becomes the "bride of Christ." Looking for Angela, Giovanni goes to the priest at the hospital. When Giovanni meets Angela, he kisses her; but she runs off and prays. Giovanni asks to see Angela, and the mother superior gives her permission. Angela is glad Giovanni is alive; but her vows have brought her peace, and she says good-bye. Giovanni meets her again and tells her to ask for a release. She says it would be like him deserting. When an air raid breaks a window, she prays to Jesus that she will never accept any other spouse. Giovanni takes her back to the nunnery and says good-bye. She says she will think of him every day. In the final scene Angela comforts Giovanni in a hospital as he dies.

In this heart-rending story death and war interrupt a blossoming romance. Angela finds consolation in religion and ironically cannot break the commitment she took because she lost Giovanni.

Copyright © 1999 by Sanderson Beck

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