6.0/10
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4 user 14 critic

Nasty Habits (1977)

In a Philadelphia convent, two nuns battle it out to be elected to the position of head abbess, and neither is about to let anything stand in the way of getting what she wants.

Writers:

Robert Enders (screenplay), Muriel Spark (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Glenda Jackson ... Alexandra
Melina Mercouri ... Gertrude
Geraldine Page ... Walburga
Sandy Dennis ... Winifred
Anne Jackson ... Mildred
Anne Meara ... Geraldine
Susan Penhaligon ... Felicity
Edith Evans ... Hildegarde
Jerry Stiller ... P.R. Priest
Rip Torn ... Maximilian
Eli Wallach ... Monsignor
Suzanne Stone Suzanne Stone ... Bathildis
Peter Bromilow ... Baudouin
Shane Rimmer ... Officer I / C
Harry Ditson ... Ambrose
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Storyline

The Watergate scandal is used as the basis to tell the story of corruption within a Philadelphia convent. The Abbey of Philadelphia is a wealthy, little known order of nuns loosely associated to the Catholic church. Its Mother Abbess, Sister Hildegarde, is on her deathbed. She admits to Alexandra (the Richard Nixon character) that she has always been her favorite of the nuns, and sees her as her heir apparent, while Hildegarde also admits to Alexandra that she has never trusted hard working Sister Felicity (the George McGovern character) and her liberal ideas. Among Felicity's ideas is wanting to turn the abbey into a love abbey, as she is secretly carrying on with a Jesuit priest, Father Thomas. Power hungry Alexandra also sees being Abbess of Philadelphia as her destiny. But Hildegarde dies before her intention of signing the documentation of her official endorsement of Alexandra as Abbess, which would have more than sealed Alexandra's ascension to the position. Alexandra, using her... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The outrageous comedy!

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 October 1977 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

The Abbess See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film boasts three real-life married couples: Geraldine Page and Rip Torn, Anne Jackson and Eli Wallach, and Anne Meara and Jerry Stiller. See more »

Connections

References All the President's Men (1976) See more »

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User Reviews

BRILLIANT!
31 March 2002 | by Zen BonesSee all my reviews

This is a wonderfully dry parody of the Watergate scandal set in a Philadelphia Abbey. It's election time, and to insure her victory as head abbess, Glenda Jackson and her cohorts scheme a break-in of her competition's sewing box. Yes, sewing box, where the young nun's love letters from her illicit lover are stored. Oh, the scandal! The plot thickens as the events leading up to the scandal are revealed (wiretappings and bribery, what else?), and even the Vatican (re: congress) would like to wash their hands of these power-hungry renegades. The layers of comedy might throw some viewers off, as this kind of humor is very rare these days. It's simultaneously whimsical and wicked, and all of the performers handle it with the most delicate touch (despite the premise, this is not 'nuns on parade'!). And like the magnificent DICK (1999), younger audiences who have little or no knowledge of Watergate will be in a fog. But the cast alone insures great pleasure just to watch them at their best. Glenda Jackson is superb as a very mannered version of Richard Nixon, and the supporting cast (some of the best actresses of that generation) are likewise mannered equivalents of 'all the president's men'. Well, somewhat mannered. Geraldine Page seems like a chain-smoking George Raft, and Sandy Dennis is Bugs Bunny incarnate. They're brilliant performances, all!


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