The White Sister (1923)/The White Sister (1933) [2 Discs] [DVD]

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The White Sister
Based on the 1909 novel by F. Marion Crawford, The White Sister stars Helen Hayes as an aristocratic Italian girl who spurns the potential husband chosen by her father in favor of a handsome army lieutenant (Clark Gable). When her lover is reported killed in World War I, Hayes renounces the world to become a nun. After taking her vows, the lieutenant shows up very much alive. He implores her to give up the Order, but she refuses. The lieutenant is later injured in a bombing raid; he dies, with Hayes lovingly at his side. The White Sister was previously filmed in 1922, with Lillian Gish and Ronald Colman. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The White Sister
Lillian Gish plays the girl whose travails begin when her father dies and her conniving sister cheats her out of her inheritance. Gish is deeply in love with handsome army officer Ronald Colman, but when war erupts, he is sent to the front. Soon after he is listed among the dead. In her despair, Gish turns to God and enters a convent. The scene in which she assumes the veil and takes her final vows is particularly moving and was supervised by the chief ceremonial director for the Vatican so it is also accurate. Soon after the ceremony, Colman who didn't really die, shows up and begs her to leave the Church for him. When that fails, he tries to trick her into petitioning the Pope, but again she stands firm. Just as she says no, Mount Vesuvius erupts and the soldier saves his beloved from certain death. Her sister doesn't fare as well. Still, before she dies, she begs for Gish's and God's forgiveness. Colman heroically races toward town to warn them, but dies before he arrives. Gish is sad, but continues to live her life for God. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Helen Hayes
    Helen Hayes - Angela Chiaromonte
  • Clark Gable
    Clark Gable - Lt. Giovanni Severi
  • Louise Closser Hale
    Louise Closser Hale - Mina
  • May Robson
    May Robson - Mother Superior
  • Edward Arnold
    Edward Arnold - Monsignor Saracinesca
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