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Veiled DesiresIntimate Portrayals of Nuns in Postwar Anglo-American Film$
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Maureen Sabine

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780823251650

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823251650.001.0001

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Selfless Desires

Selfless Desires

Sacrificial and Self-Fulfilling Service to Others in Casablanca (1942), the Bells of St. Mary's (1945), and the Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958)

(p.18) 1 Selfless Desires
Veiled Desires

Maureen Sabine

Fordham University Press

Chapter 1 interrogates the traditional view of nuns as paragons of agape which opens The Bells of St. Mary's. “In the eyes of the world very few even take notice of us, but earthly honors and rewards are not for you.” It considers the representational problem this statement posed – how attractive actresses were to play self-effacing nuns – by tracing Ingrid Bergman's evolving portraits of dedicated service to others in Casablanca, The Bell's of St. Mary's, and The Inn of the Sixth Happiness. It argues that Bergman deployed an ardent film persona fusing erotic energy and spiritual incandescence to flesh out the full humanity of her women/ religious characters.

Keywords:   Film nuns, The Bells of St. Mary's, Casablanca, The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, Ingrid Bergman, Eros and agape

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