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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Change Of Habit (1969)

Three nuns (Mary Tyler Moore, Barbara McNair, Jane Elliot) are involved in an experimental community outreach program by a diocese of the Catholic church. However, they choose to wear secular clothing so their vocation won't impede them. But this causes misunderstanding, especially when a young doctor (Elvis Presley) falls for one of the nuns (Moore). Directed by William A. Graham, this is an updated version of those awful Bing Crosby priest movies from the 1940s. Only this time, the crooner is Elvis and Mary Tyler Moore (who passed away this week) dons Ingrid Bergman's habit. It's updated, of course, though I remain perplexed  that a film featuring an attempted rape of a nun got a "G" rating! This was Presley's last film as an actor but really, he'd just stopped caring at this point and his "performance" consists of expressionless reciting of lines. The most interesting character and story line are Barbara McNair's as the black nun who must question using her habit to hide from the realities of where she came from and her place in an emerging world of black power. Moore was trying to transition from TV to films at this stage of her career but with material like this, it was never going to happen. With Edward Asner, Leora Dana, Richard Carlson, Ruth McDevitt, Regis Toomey, Robert Emhardt and Darlene Love.

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