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By Brent Davidson
27th May 2017

Give me a fake nun and a bunch of musical numbers, and I am set to enjoy a film. Can you believe that ‘Sister Act’ is now 25 years old? Good Lord above!

You’ll all remember the story, so entrenched has ‘Sister Act’ become in our collective pop-culture unconscious. Deloris, a lounge singer hiding out from the mob, goes into witness protection only to revolutionise the choir of the convent where she is pretending to be a nun.

Can anyone say “Whoopi?”

This standout film was a career-defining role for the singularly named (or so the poster would lead you to believe) star. Fresh from her performance in ‘Ghost’, this is a role that shows just what a force of comedy she was to be reckoned with. Not only is she funny and powerful but also incredibly inspiring as Deloris. It's no wonder that with the run away success of ‘Sister Act’, ‘Sister Act 2’ was not far off. Whoopi Goldberg is such a rare talent that she is also one of the few stars in the world to be a famous EGOT-er (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony).


The supporting cast are also phenomenal, with two of my favourites for two very different reasons: Maggie Smith (the Reverend Mother) and Kathy Najimy (Sister Mary Patrick). Maggie Smith can do almost no wrong and has literally had a golden age for her whole life, whereas Najimy could say that the late 90s was here moment to shine with ‘Hocus Pocus’ (another absolute childhood favourite of mine) being released a year after ‘Sister Act’.

The legacy of ‘Sister Act’ goes far beyond that of just a film. Have you ever noticed Facebook on those rare occasions that the movie is shown again on free-to-air TV? Seemingly everyone who is anyone needs to let the world know that it's on; even on a Saturday night when people are supposed to pretend to be cool, ‘Sister Act’ trumps cool.

It's a bit of a trend for films around this time to be adapted into Broadway musicals - I’m looking at you 'An Officer and a Gentleman' and 'Ghost' (if there is a merciful god out there they will give us ‘Hocus Pocus’) - and it is no wonder that ‘Sister Act’ was destined to join their ranks. The story is so suited to a musical, and let's be honest, the film practically is one; it surprises me that they didn’t think to just put it straight on the stage. Also the song ‘Fabulous Baby’ is, indeed, just that.

The legacy of ‘Sister Act’ goes far beyond that of just a film.

Whenever we get to anniversaries like this, I always start to get nervous about the potential for a remake. I would argue that the performances are too iconic and the film too legendary to be touched. But then I was wrong about ‘Dirty Dancing’ and the travesty that is ‘The Mummy’ remake, so now all we can do is hope this gem remains untouched.

Regardless of that, I am sure that next time I’m sitting home on a Sunday (read: Saturday) night, I’m sure I’ll be up for the fantastic time that ‘Sister Act’ is, and I’ll probably be posting on Facebook about it PSA-style too. And then annoying my housemate for the next week with nonstop singing. Okay, I sing anyway, it’s a hard... habit... to break!

RELEASE DATE: 29/05/1992
RUN TIME: 1h 40m
CAST: Whoopi Goldberg
Maggie Smith
Kathy Najimy
Wendy Makkena
Mary Wickes
Harvey Keitel
Bill Nunn
Richard Portnow
Robert Miranda
Joseph Maher
DIRECTOR: Emile Ardolino
WRITER: Paul Rudnick
PRODUCER: Teri Schwartz
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