Moll Flanders (1996) is a period-piece drama directed by Pen Densham and starring Robin Wright, Morgan Freeman, and Stockard Channing.
This is the third film adapted from the well-known 18th century English novel by Daniel DeFoe. It was filmed in 1965 as The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders with Kim Novak, and again in 1996 as a PBS telefilm The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders with Alex Kingston.
The story follows the life and sometimes bawdy adventures and misadventures of a free-spirited young lady in early 18th-century England.
The spanking scene
Early in the story, Moll (Robin Wright) fights off and injures a lecherous priest and is punished by the nuns right there in the church. She suffers a brief, non-explicit thrashing with a very large birch. This is filmed using a conservative head-on point of view so no nudity or impact of the birch is seen.