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sister act

SISTER ACT (1992)

Delores Van Cartier is a struggling Reno casino lounge singer who, after witnessing her mobster boyfriend kill an employer, is forced to flee to a convent where, with the help of the FBI, she is takes the alias "Sister Mary Clarence." Quickly befirending Sister Mry Robert, Sister Mary Lazarus, and Sister Mary Patrick, Dolores is anything but becoming to a skeptical Mother Superior, who continually catches her violating the convent's moral codes, often with other nuns following in suit. Before Dolores can wreak total havoc on the convent, however, Mother Superior assigns her to head the local church choir, hoping that her vocal skills can work to save the church from certain doom. As Dolores puts hers and her Sisters' pipes to the test, Mother Superior anxiously awaits for the pews to once more fill up with expectant guests as in the days of old.

The cast includes: Whoopi Goldberg, Maggie Smith, Kathy Najimy, and Harvey Keitel.

Directed by Emile Ardolino.

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After inadvertently witnessing a murder, ordered by her married, mobster boyfriend, a "going nowhere," lounge singer, Delores Van Cartier (Whoopi Goldberg), with an attitude problem runs to the police, in fear of her life, and is sent to lay low in an inner city, Catholic church and its conservative convent, in danger of closing. This experience changes not only the nuns, but also her outlook & focus in life, as she is given the task to improve the convent's woeful choir, to keep her out of trouble, and in the good graces of the Mother Superior (Maggie Smith).

Surprisingly, the atmosphere of the convent, and the nuns there have a positive influence on Delores, and bring out her best qualities; her courage, talent, and her leadership abilities. She uses her musical knowhow, staging ideas and modifies the Motown hits used in her group's lounge act, to transform the pathetic choir, into a "soulful chorous of swingin', singing sisters," that becomes quite an asset to their church, increasing the congregational numbers and reaching out to the neighborhood. However, danger lurks around the corner though. Delores finds herself a sudden celebrity, and in danger of blowing her cover. Plus, there is an informant for the mob, located in the police department, who is about to find out where Delores is hiding.

This comedy - musical is well cast and superbly directed. The script is well-written and hilarious, described as "Outrageous Fun!" The ensemble cast works well together, well experienced in the art of comedic timimg. The talented Whoopi Goldberg is well cast, as Delores, and pulls off her role in her own humorous style, without a hitch.

Maggie Smith is a seasoned, gifted performer, who brings Mother Superior to life, as a "formidable woman", determined to keep the nuns she's responsible for safe, and is in the beginning resistant to new ideas, reaching out to the poor community surrounding them, taking chances for the common good. However, by the end of the movie, her character shows almost as much growth as Whoopi's Delores.

This film "bursts with 1960s Motown Hits." The Motown music used by the choir is cleverly adapted for a spiritual atmosphere, and the other Motown music used in background scenes, and montages is most enjoyable and fits the storyline well.

Favorite Scenes Include: The Catholic school scene, which leads to The Lounge Medley, A Witness To Murder, Mother Superior Meets Deloris, "Hail Holy Queen," Kidnapped, Nuns To The Rescue, and "I Will Follow Him."

Executive Producer: Scott Rudin. Produced by: Teri Schwartz. Written by: Joseph Howard. Original Music & Adaptations by: Marc Shaiman. Edited by: Richard Halsey. Director of Photography: Adam Greenberg Production Designer: Jackson DeGovia. Directed by: Emile Ardolino.

If you enjoyed SISTER ACT, you may like SISTER ACT 2, WITNESS, THE CLIENT, and SOME LIKE IT HOT.