The Nun and the Sergeant

The Nun and the Sergeant is a 1962 Korean War drama starring Anna Sten and Robert Webber in the title roles. It was produced by Sten's husband Eugene Frenke, who had produced the 1957 film Heaven Knows, Mr Allison, also a pairing of a Catholic nun and a U.S. Marine. It was directed by Franklin Adreon and released through United Artists.

The Nun and the Sergeant
Nun and the sergeant.jpg
Original film poster
Directed byFranklin Adreon
Produced byEugene Frenke
Written byDon Cerveris
StarringAnna Sten
Robert Webber
Leo Gordon
Hari Rhodes
King Moody
Linda Ho
Music byJerry Fielding
CinematographyPaul Ivano
Edited byJohn Hoffman
Carl Mahakian
Eastern Productions
Springfield Productions
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date
  • January 1962 (1962-01)
Running time
74 minutes
CountryUnited States


In a forerunner of The Dirty Dozen, Marine Gunnery Sergeant McGrath (Robert Webber) takes 12 Marines from the brig and trains them to blow up a tunnel behind North Korean lines. McGrath's only friend on the patrol is his Korean guide Pak (Dale Ishimoto). Hating their sergeant, the Marines plan to return to their lines without him, seeing that he becomes "a casualty of war". However, en route to their target they find an injured nun (Anna Sten) and a group of Korean convent girls whose bus has been destroyed.

The Marines change their views when Sgt. McGrath protects the group. When one of their squad (Leo Gordon) attempts to rape one of the young girls, the brig rats turn against him.[1] They proceed with their mission as Marines.



Don Cerveris was an English teacher breaking into screenwriting; one of his pupils was Frank Zappa.[2] Producer Frenke sought Department of Defense cooperation for the film in 1960 when the project was originally titled The Nun and McGrath.[3] The stars of the film, Robert Webber and Hari Rhodes, and director Franklin Adreon were former Marines.


  1. ^ p.50 Projansky, Sarah Watching Rape: Film and Television in Post Feminist Culture 2001 NYU Press
  2. ^ p.32 Slavan, Neal Electric Don Quixote: The Definitive Story of Frank Zappa 2003 Omnibus Press
  3. ^ "Booth Family Center for Special Collections – Georgetown University Library". Retrieved 5 February 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

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