Based on a legend about a woman who became Pope in the 9th century in the guise of a man, and who was torn apart by an angry crowd when her deception was discovered, this was stripped here of the contemporary frame (shown in America) in which Joan reappears as a modern lass who believes herself to be the reincarnation of the 9th century Pope. What's left is a rough and often painfully clumsy costume epic with the usual love story underneath it all, and chauvinistic presumptions abounding. Against all odds, Ullmann gives a remarkable performance, and it could have been a gem of a subject had it been handled by a woman director.
Cast and crew
Liv Ullmann Olivia de Havilland Lesley-Anne Down Trevor Howard Jeremy Kemp Patrick Magee Franco Nero Maximilian Schell