Tag Archives: Susan Penhaligon

Nasty Habits (1977)

nasty habits 2

By Richard Winters

My Rating: 2 out of 10

4-Word Review: Watergate in a convent.

It’s the Watergate scenario all over again only this time inside a convent with nuns. It’s a unique idea for sure that unfortunately doesn’t work because the screenplay by Robert Enders, which is based on the novel by Muriel Sparks keys in on only one angle and then plays it out until it’s boring. It’s a one-joke movie with nothing standing out as funny. There is also no action to speak of and the dialogue is too dry to elicit even a chuckle.

The once in a lifetime cast is wasted. Dame Edith Evans, in her last film appearance, gets hit the worst as she is given the typical old lady treatment and shown for only a few minutes looking feeble and then promptly dying. Jerry Stiller, Anne Meara, Rip Torn, and Eli Wallach are on so briefly that their appearances seem almost non-existent.

Glenda Jackson comes off best as she manages to give her character an added dimension. The forcefulness of her personality comes through quite clearly for the viewer. However her adversary, which is played by Sue Penhaligon, doesn’t have that same type of strong presence and therefore there is no chemistry or confrontation between the two.

Even the always reliable Sandy Dennis becomes a problem. They have her playing a sort of extended version of her tipsy persona from Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, but her off- key voice and overall kooky behavior gets overplayed and eventually becomes annoying.

The electronic music score by John Cameron is obtrusive. The pacing is terrible and the lack of momentum will have people turning this off long before it is over, which is good since the climactic sequence falls horribly flat.

There are a few surprise cameos. One is by the late newscaster Jessica Savitch another by former talk show host Mike Douglas, but nothing that helps make this entertaining or memorable.

My Rating: 2 out of 10

Released: March 18, 1977

Runtime: 1Hour 36Minutes

Rated PG

Studio: Brut Productions

Director: Michael Lindsay-Hogg

Studio: Brut Productions

Available: VHS