Cast & Crew
Margherita (Rita) Passi, a young novice at a convent near Venice, is about to take her vows when the bishop receives an anonymous letter which denounces the novice's past and casts doubt on her sincerity. Don Paolo, the bishop's secretary, hears Margherita's confession and discovers her true story. Upon leaving school, she had sex with Giuliano, a neighbor, and had fallen in love with him. She was aware that Giuliano was having an affair with an older woman, but when she discovered that the woman was Countess Passi, her own mother, and that Giuliano preferred her mother, Margherita killed him. The countess gave Margherita the choice of going to prison or entering a convent, and Margherita chose the convent. Don Paolo learns that the young woman's own guilt had led her to write the letter denouncing herself. She is subsequently expelled from the convent and arrested for her crime. At the trial, however, Margherita refuses to plead guilty, claiming extenuating circumstances.
Opened in Rome in December 1960 as Lettere di una novizia; running time: 105 min; in Paris in March 1961 as La novice; running time: 82 min. Also known as Letter From a Novice.