Hepburn second to nun

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 December, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 08 December, 1995, 12:00am

THERE is some interesting trivia surrounding The Nun's Story (World, 9.35pm), which stars Audrey Hepburn as a Belgian girl who enters a strict order, endures hardship in the Congo, and eventually returns to normal life.

Did you realise, for instance, it is the only film made by this studio (Warners) that does not have music over the final titles? No one could decide if composer Franz Waxman should write an upbeat or downbeat tune because the choice would imply an editorial decision on behalf of the film's makers.

Studio head Jack Warner fought against the decision, but director Fred Zinnemann (he of High Noon, Oklahoma! and Day of the Jackal ) won the argument, and silence prevails, leaving you to decide whether the ending is happy, sad, or somewhere in between.

It is hard to believe that this rare and moving film did not win a single Oscar from the six for which it was nominated. Most went to Ben-Hur, with others going to Simone Signoret and the screenplay for Room at the Top.

Zinnemann directs in unadorned style and Hepburn gives a truly radiant performance. She has a quality that suggests she might have made an excellent nun, had she not become a film star.

The first half hour of the film is especially riveting - an uneditorialised documentary segment of the young novitiate's experiences and her development from postulant to nun.

The order, which is never identified, is run by Mother Emmanuel (Edith Evans) who admits the life of a nun is, in many ways, a life against nature.

OLIVIER Gruner is surprisingly appealing in Nemesis (Pearl, 9.30pm), as a cop in the near future who has had many of his body parts replaced with mechanical duplicates and uses them to take on a group of androids.

Otherwise the film is just an amalgam of ideas from others of the post-apocalypse genre.

IT'S not the one with Alec Baldwin and the pouting Cindy Crawford; Fair Game (World, 2.05am) is a smaller film, but perfectly formed, about a group of Australian kangaroo hunters who decide their next victim should be human.

There is more antipodean drama on STAR Plus at 2am with The Club, which stars Jack Thompson. He never became famous outside Australia, but his career includes big roles in small classics such as Breaker Morant.

In this he is in charge of an Australian Rules football team in which friction develops when a new player is signed for a record sum.

IT'S shades of O J Simpson in NYPD Blue (Pearl, 8.30pm), when the officers bungle a case against a man accused of slashing his wife - 55 times in total, which would seem to rule out suicide.

Larry Joshua makes his debut in this episode, as the new commander, Clifford Bass. Look out also for the man (played by Jeff Allin) who has sex with ugly women, so he can milk them out of their savings by telling them he has found a way to get rid of cellulite.

IN the second and final part of Moonshot (World, 8.35pm) astronauts Alan Shepherd and Deke Clayton give the low-down on the first moon landing and the race between America and the Soviet Union to be first there. When America won, the Soviets immediately denied they had really been trying.

The programme includes footage that has never before been broadcast and photographs from both NASA's and the astronauts' personal archives.

FILMS on Cable Movie Channel: Weakness of Man (5.30pm). Hong Kong comedy about a sailor who hears that his wife is pregnant - and suspects she has been having an affair with his best friend. Cecilia Yip and Carrie Ng star.

Now You See Love . . . Now You Don't (9pm). Another comedy, this time starring Chow Yun-fatt and Teresa Mo as star-crossed lovers who can't quite seem to tell each other how they really feel. Eventually, he plucks up the nerve to ask her to take a holiday with him, but disaster strikes.