Emile Ardolino’s irreverent musical comedy Sister Act was first released 25 years ago today, on 29th May 1992.
Starring Whoopi Goldberg, the film follows a loud-mouthed, wisecracking lounge singer who, after witnessing an execution by her shady mobster boyfriend (Harvey Keitel), is put into witness protection at St. Katherine’s Parish – a stoic convent in which she must pose as a nun to conceal her identity.
After trying and failing at several attempts to adhere to the simple life of a nun, the Reverend Mother (Maggie Smith) assigns Delores/Sister Mary Clarence to the choir. Using her talents as the lead singer of a Reno cover act, Delores soon finds herself in the position of choir director, transforming the tone-deaf gaggle of nuns into a harmonic act with a twist.
With a wonderfully hyperbolic plot like that, it is easy to see why audiences gravitate to the film, which made $231, 605, 150 worldwide upon release, becoming the eighth highest-grossing film of 1992. A mainstay on TV screens todat, the comedy is renowned for its wry sense of humour, excellent musical arrangements and Goldberg’s hilarious central performance.
A sequel entitled Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, was released in 1993. The film also spawned a musical production, that has accrued massive success on both the West End and Broadway. The musical will be arriving in Southampton’s very own Mayflower Theatre later this summer, starring Alexandra Burke in the lead role.
Remind yourself of the film’s innate charm in the clip below.