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A Change Of Habit

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A Change Of Habit

Postby » December 8th, 2013, 12:15 pm

I'm almost surprised to be writing the Elvis Presley last acting movie A Change Of Habit is an excellent film. It bears in mind what I've been thinking in recent years, that is movie career was on the up, after his IMO mid 60s junk. Though it could be said that Elvis' reputation as a serious actor might well have been so tarnished after those awful movies that when he did something good, it was all but ignored. I agree with composer Tim Rice Elvis would have been better of mixing up his movie career with his concerts, but at a lighter pace than what his Manager Colonel Parker scheduled for him during the 1970s.


As a kid I enjoyed A Change Of Habit, but rideculed the film for many years because I thought it stupid that 3 nuns would change from their body covering habits for shortish skirts and dresses and go undercover as nursing missionaries. However, it appears I was ignorant to think that way as the American Catholic church often went undercover in that manner. In fact I recently read a comment from a former nun that the film was accurate in its potrayal and that Elvis gave a realistic performance as Dr. John Carpenter, who unknowingly was sent 3 nuns to work for him as nurses.

The one problem I have is the 2nd of 3 songs Elvis sang in the film. I could see the point of Rubbernecking, which was sung in a jam session in Carpenter's upstairs apartment and Let Us Pray, which he sang brilliantly in the church at the end of the film (I wonder if there was ever a better male gospel singer than Elvis), but Have A Happy, where on carnival Elvis bursts into song to cheer up a sad little girl, seemed to me to be out of place in what was a seriously dramatic film.

Mary Tyler Moore as Sister Michelle is the leader of the 3 nuns, who falls in love with Carpenter and though the film ends with her back in the habit, she still seems undecided about her future. Black actress Barbara Mcnair plays Sister Irene, who is reluctant at first about her mission, but ends up risking her life to expose the lone shark villian The Banker. She also has to prove herself to the local black people, who think at first she'd sold her soul to the white community, but gains respect after she's punched in the face by The Banker. (That scene also gives Presley a chance to show his underrated ability to do convincing fight scenes) Jane Elliot's nun is a political activist, who chooses to give up her vocation to carry on the fight for a better life in the neighbourhood.

There also appeared to be shades of the Bing Crosby film Going My Way, as regards the nosy neighbours, who as forever reporting the undercover nuns to the local Priest for what they thought was bad behaviour, just as Crosby had to endure in GMW. Here's what 2 of the nuns said, Sister Michelle-I think our neighbours are Catholic. Sister Irene-Yes, it's to bad they're not Christian.

2 actors from a past era Regis Toomey as a Priest and Richard Carleson as a Bishop appear. Ed Asner, a future star, plays a cop.

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Re: A Change Of Habit

Postby RedRiver » December 8th, 2013, 4:57 pm

This is not a bad movie. Most Pelvis films offer little to the serious movie fan. This one at least has a credible story and a dose of drama. MTM was such a charming young woman it's impossible not to like her!

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