Nuns on the Run

Nuns on the Run
Nuns on the Run

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jonathan Lynn
Produced by Michael White
Written by Jonathan Lynn
Starring Eric Idle
Robbie Coltrane
Camille Coduri
Janet Suzman
Doris Hare
Music by Yello
Hidden Faces
Frank Fitzpatrick (Music Supervisor)
Cinematography Michael Garfath
Editing by David Martin
Studio HandMade Films
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) March 16, 1990 (USA)
Running time 89 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Nuns on the Run is a 1990 British comedy film starring Eric Idle and Robbie Coltrane, also featuring Camille Coduri and Janet Suzman. It was written and directed by Jonathan Lynn and produced by HandMade Films. Many of the outdoor scenes were shot in Chiswick. The soundtrack was composed and performed by Yello.

Nuns on the Run grossed $10,959,015 US dollars, according to Box Office Mojo.



The film opens with two common thugs, Brian Hope (Eric Idle) and Charlie McManus (Robbie Coltrane) pulling off a bank heist with their mob, but their boss is killed and replaced with a new, rather brash one, Mr. "Case" Casey. Disapproving of Casey's methods, Brian and Charlie wish to leave, and a corrupt auto dealer, Norm, on Casey's payroll, desiring the same, tells Casey of this. Casey kills Norm to make an example of him, apparently intending to spare Brian and Charlie. Meanwhile, Brian meets and begins a romantic relationship with Faith Thomas (Camille Coduri), a short-sighted aspiring psychology student.

Brian and Charlie ultimately come up with a plan to betray their gang and flee the country, whilst robbing a Triad gang of their ill-gotten money through drug dealing. However, Casey, no longer trusting Brian and Charlie, plans to betray them at the same time, ordering his hit men, Abbott and Morley, to kill them during the robbery. Brian and Charlie's plan, to rob the Triads and flee, goes well until their car runs out of petrol, as Brian had forgotten to refill it. They flee the gunfight on foot and hide in a nunnery, dressing up as Nuns and introducing themselves to the Sister Superior, Liz (Janet Suzman) as Sisters Euphemia (Brian) and Inviolata (Charlie). Enraged, Casey places a bounty on Brian and Charlie's heads.

Faith, who witnessed the gunfight and saw Brian and Charlie enter the nunnery, goes to the nunnery to find them, but she is taken to the infirmary after Sister Liz notices a gunshot wound on Faith's arm (inflicted by Morley, who wanted to silence her). Brian spots her, and confronts her in her room, telling her that he is married and wants her to leave them alone for her safety. Faith lets slip that she is going to the church to confess. Brian, worried that the priest, Father Thomas, may advise Faith to go to the police, enlists Charlie's help in distracting Father Thomas long enough for Brian to pose as him. During the confession, Faith admits that she does love Brian, and Brian advises her to "keep her trap shut" and lie to the police if she has to. However, as Faith leaves the church, the Triads abduct her and interrogate her about their stolen money. Faith tells them that Casey will most likely have it, as Brian and Charlie worked for him. The Triads release her, but she bumps into a pole and bangs her head when she falls over, ending up in the hospital.

Brian attempts to call Faith at her home to renew their relationship, but she does not answer. They break into her apartment, but at the same time, Morley and Abbott come looking for her. They narrowly escape through the window, at the cost of leaving their nun attire behind. That night, after narrowly avoiding the Triads, Brian and Charlie sneak back into the nunnery through the window of a rather eccentric nun, Sister Mary, who wakes up and starts a commotion. Brian and Charlie make it to their rooms just in time and slip into their spare nun clothes. Once alone, Charlie convinces Brian that their best option now is to take their money and just go to the airport, but Brian learns that Faith is in the hospital and goes to see her as a nun. Brian begs Charlie to let him bring Faith with them, but Charlie refuses, spotting a Triad posing as a janitor, waiting for them.

Brian and Charlie prepare to carry out their plan, but Sister Mary spots them and recognises them as the two men who broke into her room. They tie her up and break into the cupboard to regain their confiscated money, but the other nuns catch them and they are forced to tell them the truth before making a run for it. Unfortunately, Abbott sees them steal a man's truck with the money and he and Morley give chase, as do Sisters Liz and Mary. Abbott contacts Casey, who joins the chase, as do the Triads, who were watching him. Brian directs Charlie to the hospital, where he tells Faith the truth whilst Charlie distracts their enemies and the police. Ultimately, Casey, Morley and Abbott meet their individual fates as Brian and Charlie escape from the hospital with Faith, disguised as nurses and stealing an ambulance. The Triads spot them, but are unable to give chase. Sisters Liz and Mary find a briefcase of money left behind accidentally by Brian and Charlie, and decide to donate it to a drug rehabilitation clinic.

At the airport, Brian and Charlie book a flight to Brazil for themselves and Faith, but a security guard appears and demands to speak with anyone called Hope or McManus. The final scene shows Faith on the plane to Brazil, apparently alone, until Brian and Charlie appear before her, disguised as flight attendants.


  • Eric Idle as Brian Hope/Sister Euphemia of the Five Wounds
  • Robbie Coltrane as Charlie McManus/Sister Inviolata of the Immaculate Conception
  • Janet Suzman as Sister Liz (Sister Superior)
  • Camille Coduri as Faith Thomas
  • Robert Patterson as "Case" Casey, the gang boss
  • Doris Hare as Sister Mary (of the Sacred Heart)
  • Lila Kaye as Sister Mary (of the Annunciation)
  • Robert Morgan as Abbott
  • Winston Dennis as Morley

See also

External links

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