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IN THE CONVENT OF ST. ARCHANGEL, THERE IS A STRUGGLE FOR LUST & LOVE.
Religious orthodoxy, human desire and institutional corruption all rise to a mesmerizing boil in multi-genre Italian director Domenico Paolella's The Nun and the Devil/Le Monache di Sant'Arcangelo (1973), a cinematic fever dream about power plays within - and brought to bear outwardly upon - a 16th-century Neopolitan nunnery. Inspired by authentic period records and a novella by Stendhal, the film casts Anne Heywood as a senior sister scheming to become Mother Abbess, Ornella Muti as a defiant aristocrat sequestered into religious service, and policier star Luc Merenda as a righteous cleric investigating the convent's sexual and heretical improprieties. It stands out as one of the more noteworthy cinematic successors of Ken Russell's notorious The Devils (1971). Package design by Jim Titus.