In Robert Aldrich's taboo-shattering adaptation of Frank Morse's play, June (Beryl Reed) is a lesbian who plays the part of a nun, Sister George, on a successful television soap opera. Her world collapses when the show's executive director, Mercy Croft (Coral Browne), decides to kill off June's character. As she searches for another acting job, she begins to abuse her lover, Alice (Susannah York), and spirals into a self-destructive free fall. The precociously frank and sultry depiction of June's sexuality earned the film an X rating in many places upon its initial release. Though time has muted the once-controversial aspects of THE KILLING OF SISTER GEORGE, it remains a historically resonant film, offering the first Hollywood depiction of a woman completely at ease with her love of other women. Reid turns in a brave and moving performance, infusing this landmark of lesbian cinema with an enduring, humane radiance.
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