A camp Classic.
D. Goldberg | LA , Ca | 12/27/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Beryl Reed is gives an amazing performance as the lecherous Sister George. Many people have condemned this film as being anti lesbian, but I feel it is a study in abusive behavior and the insecurities that feed it. It's also very campy and a hoot. Susannah York as Childie and Coral Browne ( Vera Charles in Auntie Mame) also give very brave and wonderful performances considering this movie was made in the sixties. The story is of a lechorous lesbian who plays a nun on a British Soap Opera.On screen she is kindly and a total humanitarian; offstage is something else altogeher. George is an alcholic lesbian who abuses her younger lover and comes on to real nuns in their taxi cabs. When the BBC threatens to write her out of the soap opera due to her scandalous off-screen behavior, a paranoid lesbian becomes even more abusive. See it for the wonderful performances and sixties sensibilities of gays."
Bill | 07/18/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is a lot of fun if you do not take it too seriously. It is set in the late 60's London and features the late great Beryl Reid as a soap star under threat at work and home. Great scenes of the Gateways club in London and the owners - Gina and Smitty as well as some of the regulars, who are used as extras. It is not for the faint at heart; there is a very funny scene involving an intoxicated Beryl Reid (George) and a couple of nuns in a taxi cab! If you are looking for a movie depicting a healthy lesbian relationship/love story then this is not for you!"
Moving lesbian character study in a very 60's framework.
Bill | Oakland, CA | 08/22/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It is a very good example of this type of cinema from the late sixties when directors loved to take all kinds of chances with their subject matter, not like today's pre-packaged films. That three such outstanding actresses as Beryl Reid, Coral Browne and Susannah York were willing to go along with Aldrich for the ride I find just amazing. Beryl Reid in particular shines, although all three put in stupendous performances. I have heard people criticize the film for being dated, but I don't find that a real criticism at all. The enlightened film-goer has to be receptive to other times, other mind-sets, other ways of feeling. If any film invites the viewer to cross those barriers, this one does. Yes, it is overly long, and could probably have been cut down to half its present length. That is the films great flaw, but like most good films which seem overly long upon first viewing, it's impact stays with you. If you can make it past the two-hour mark, I don't think you will find that this film is lacking anything in quality, sensitivity, or the cumulative power to move. Just excellent."
Sister George of the Jungle
tmp | Solar System, MA USA | 07/07/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Beryl Reed singlehandedly saves this movie. She manages to take a character that could have so easliy slid into camp caricature and make her an actual human being. At all times she projects the humanity in George, even when she is acting like a schreechy seven year old with ADD: boozing it up, being needlessly abusive to her girlfriend, huffily walking out on her TV show (even though she's in a precarious position on it). She's shrill, foolish, self-destructive and a bit mean, but Reed manages to make her also charming and sometimes even sweet.
Not that the ham-handed direction by Aldrich helps. We're presented with mega-closeups of Reed and especially Coral Browne that seem designed to make them look as bad as possible. Not that he does better by the heterosexuals in the cast: the people involved in her BBC program are presented little better than circus freaks, or predatory animals in the big bad TV jungle.
In some ways, the movie is hilariouly dated. We are treated to a long sequence in might have been an actual lesbian bar- which is presented as if it were the most shocking think in the world. It seems rather sweet, looking back at it 30-odd years later, and about as threatening as a high-school sock hop.
There is one sex scene that would most likely be rated light R today, other than that, this is an overlong TV movie. Worth seeing as a historical document to the time when merely the fact that Lesbians exist was enough to be "shocking"!"