Come to the Stable, 1949

Today's movie review features a nun from France who doesn't have a French accent. Is she from France or not?

In this movie, a Great Dane named Arson helps introduce his owner to the two nuns who are new in town. That’s a mild way of putting it. He actually almost knocks down the nuns at 5 AM when they’re praying on top of a snowy hill. When his owner explains to the nuns about the dog’s name, they find out that he used to belong to the fire department and thinks he’s a Dalmatian because of the spot on his back.

“Something tells me that an Irresistible Force has been let loose in New England.”

Two nuns from France move into Bethlehem, but not where the star gleamed overhead as the shepherds ran to see. This Bethlehem is in New England. Sister Margaret is played by Loretta Young, and Sister Scholastica is played by Celeste Holm. The two actresses won Oscar nominations for their work.

The nuns stay with Amelia Potts played by another Oscar nominee, Elsa Lanchester, whom we know as Katie Nanna in the movie Mary Poppins and as Jessica Marbles in the movie Murder by Death.

Miss Potts uses the stable as an art studio where she paints religious figures using her neighbors as models. When the nuns stop in to introduce themselves, the ball starts rolling and doesn’t stop until the end.

The nuns tell their story to Miss Potts, but not everyone who helps the nuns knows the whole story. They meet a neighbor who was out walking his dog and eventually obtain permission to use his jeep to drive into town.

The Monsignor in Bethlehem meets the nuns and can tell right away that nothing will ever be the same. The nuns go to New York to meet landowner Luigi Rossi. No one in Bethlehem has met him, and they don’t plan to. Mr. Rossi is well-known for his shady business dealings, but the nuns capture his attention.

Sister Margaret and Sister Scholastica find help in strange places, but can they raise enough money to fund the hospital before someone else takes over their opportunity?

This film was nominated for seven Academy Awards: Best Actress (Loretta Young), Best Actress in a Supporting Role, (Celeste Holm and Elsa Lanchester), Best Art Direction-Set Direction in a Black & White, Best Cinematography in a Black & White, Best Music in an Original Song, and Best Writing in a Motion Picture Story.

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