HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Annette
Shepherd
Dying to Divorce
Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn
Trouble with Being Born, The
Last Matinee, The
Strings, The
Free Hand for a Tough Cop
People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan
Dear Future Children
Accidental Luxuriance of the Translucent Watery Rebus
Swallow
Thin Red Line, The
Petite Maman
Fast & Furious 9
Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat
Sweet Thing
Maelstrom
Father, The
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Night House, The
Father of Flies
80,000 Years Old
Dead & Beautiful
Bull
Censor
Sleep
Freaky
Nightbooks
Whisker Away, A
Wild Indian
Whale Island
Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires
Don't Breathe 2
Closing Time
Cryptozoo
Weathering with You
Rim of the World
Love & Basketball
JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time
   
 
Newest Articles
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
   
 
  Change of Habit Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves
Year: 1969
Director: William A. Graham
Stars: Elvis Presley, Mary Tyler Moore, Barbara McNair, Jane Elliot, Leora Dana, Ed Asner, Regis Toomey, Robert Emhardt, Doro Merande, Ruth McDevitt, Richard Carlson, Nefti Millet, Laura Figueroa, Timothy Carey
Genre: Musical, Drama, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Three nuns, led by Sister Michelle (Mary Tyler Moore), embark on good deeds in the community by working as nurses in the inner city practice of Dr John Carpenter (Elvis Presley). They want to be seen as women first, rather than just nuns, so they dress in civilian clothes and keep their religious vocation a secret from everyone, which leads to complications for them all - especially Sister Michelle, when romance blossoms between her and the doctor...

Jesus or Elvis? Jesus or Elvis? Jesus or Elvis? King of Kings or King of Rock 'n' Roll? That's the tough decision facing Mary Tyler Moore in this well-meaning social drama. Written by James Lee, S.S. Schweitzer and Eric Bercovici from a story by John Joseph and Richard Morris, Change of Habit featured Elvis in his last dramatic role before he gave up Hollywood and settled down in Las Vegas. 1969 had already seen two Elvis movies, and the sheer volume of them throughout the sixties was impressive. But it was time to call it a day, and so this final effort had him paired with another American icon: sitcom queen Moore.

Painfully sincere, the film packs in as many social concerns as it possibly can in an hour and a half, as if to show Elvis as a man with his finger on the pulse of current affairs. The inner cities are rife with crime and poverty, and Dr John is doing his bit to stem the flow by looking after the victims. The nuns represent three separate problems: Michelle is the place of religion in modern life, Sister Irene is the racial issue, and Sister Barbara is the protest movement. Despite raising the topic of women's place in modern society at the outset, not much is done with it for the rest of the story.

As for that religious angle, there are interesting parallels between Elvis and Jesus here. Like Jesus, Elvis goes to live amongst the poor, heals the sick and is not short of wise words. He also drives out the moneylenders and even performs a miracle when he cures an autistic child - is it no wonder Sister Michelle is confused? However, she's not being entirely honest with him, and when Dr John finds out she's a nun, he feels betrayed. And probably a bit frustrated, too.

As with most Elvis movies, there are musical numbers, starting with the rollicking "Rubberneckin'", but you have to wait a good three quarters of an hour before the next one, and it's cutesy rubbish performed on a merry-go-round, hardly worth hanging around for when you knew what the King was capable of, even in the occasional number of his latter pictures. The only other song, apart from the title track, is a so-so religious one at the end - not having Elvis sing a few of his gospel songs seems like a missed opportunity.

By the end, things have changed. When Dr John first met the nuns, he joked that it's a tough neighbourhood, and his last two nurses were raped - one of them against her will (ahem). But now everyone has the benefit of experience, and he has to accept that Sister Michelle has given her vows to God, just as the other two nuns have found something out about themselves (no, they're not lesbians). Yet that last scene sees Sister Michelle undergoing a crisis as images of Christ on the cross and the rockin' Elvis flash before her eyes - who will she choose? Alas, we never find out. It's one of the great mysteries of film history. Another is why Timothy Carey was hired and given so little to do - Presley was apparently a fan, however. Music by William Goldenberg.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 12508 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: