The Trouble with Angels (film)
|The Trouble with Angels|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Ida Lupino|
|Produced by||William Frye|
|Written by||Jane Trahey (novel)
Blanche Hanalis (screenplay)
|Music by||Jerry Goldsmith
Frank De Vol
|Edited by||Robert C. Jones|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Running time||112 minutes|
|Box office||$4.1 million (est. US/ Canada rentals)|
The Trouble with Angels is a 1966 comedy film about the adventures of two girls in an all-girls Catholic school run by nuns. The film was directed by Ida Lupino and stars Hayley Mills (in her first film after her contract with Walt Disney expired), Rosalind Russell and June Harding. The film's cast also includes Marge Redmond (who would play a nun in the television series The Flying Nun which premiered the following year) as math teacher Sister Liguori, Mary Wickes (who also later on in her career played a nun in Sister Act and its sequel Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit) as gym teacher Sister Clarissa, and Portia Nelson as art teacher Sister Elizabeth (who also played a nun in The Sound of Music).
The movie is set at St. Francis Academy (also the name of the school in Sister Act 2), a fictional Catholic boarding school all-girls in Pennsylvania, operated by an order of nuns. Russell plays the Mother Superior, who spends the movie at odds with Mary Clancy (Hayley Mills), a rebellious teenager, and her misery-loves-company friend Rachel Devery (June Harding). The episodic storyline follows the young women through their sophomore, junior and senior high-school years. After spending much of the film resenting the authority of the Mother Superior, Mary receives the "call" senior year and, after graduation, remains at the school in the novitiate of the order.
The Trouble with Angels was based on the book, Life with Mother Superior by Jane Trahey about her own high-school years at a Catholic school near Chicago in the 1930s. While in the novel the school was portrayed as a boarding school outside the city, Trahey actually attended what is now Providence-St. Mel's High School, which was only a day school. Many of the incidents mentioned in the book were actually based on Trahey's experiences at Mundelein College in Chicago, Illinois. The character of Mary Clancy (Mills) was based on Jane's actual friend, Mary, who later became Sister John Eudes, a Sinsinawa Dominican nun.
The Trouble with Angels was filmed from September to December 1965. The St. Francis Academy in the film was filmed on location at St. Mary's Home for Children in Ambler, Pennsylvania. All interior shots were filmed at Columbia Studios at Sunset & Gower in Hollywood. The film was budgeted at $2 million.
- Hayley Mills as Mary Clancy
- Rosalind Russell as Mother Superior
- June Harding as Rachel Devery
- Marge Redmond as Sister Liguori
- Camilla Sparv as Sister Constance
- Portia Nelson as Sister Elizabeth
- Mary Wickes as Sister Clarissa
- Binnie Barnes as Sister Celestine
- Barbara Hunter as Marvel-Ann
- Gypsy Rose Lee as Mrs. Phipps
- Mary Young as Mrs. Eldridge
- Jim Hutton as Mr. Petrie (uncredited)
The film marked a departure for Mills, who was attempting to emerge from her juvenile leads in Walt Disney-produced teen comedies as a comedic actress.
The Trouble with Angels enjoyed good reviews and enough success to warrant a sequel (Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows). However, Mills opted not to reprise her role as the progressive protagonist and was replaced by Stella Stevens, who played Sister George, foil to Rosalind Russell’s Mother Superior. Variety magazine said "An appealing story idea...hip Mother Superior nun who outfoxes and matures two rebellious students in a Catholic girls' school...has lost impact via repetitious plotting and pacing, plus routine direction".
An uncredited Jim Hutton appears briefly as the principal of a competing school.
- "Big Rental Pictures of 1966", Variety, 4 January 1967 p 8
- The Trouble with Angels at the Internet Movie Database
- The Trouble with Angels at the TCM Movie Database