12 user 2 critic

Half Angel (1951)

Passed | | Comedy, Romance | 5 May 1951 (USA)
Nurse Nora Gilpin is attracted to lawyer John Raymond whom she dislikes during the day and seduces during the night, when she sleepwalks.


Richard Sale


Robert Riskin (screenplay), George Carleton Brown (story)




Complete credited cast:
Loretta Young ... Nora Gilpin
Joseph Cotten ... John Raymond Jr.
Cecil Kellaway ... Harry Gilpin
Basil Ruysdael ... Dr. Jackson
Jim Backus ... Michael Hogan
Irene Ryan ... Nurse Kay
John Ridgely ... Tim McCarey
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lou Nova ... Fighter (scenes deleted)


Nora Gilpin is a demure nurse, who has just become engaged to her long-time beau, Tim. She is also secretly fighting her attraction to attorney, John Raymond, whom she insists she dislikes. However, at night, she sleepwalks and adopts a different --and sexier-- personality. Nora then seeks out John and expresses her true feelings for him. Written by afsnowbird

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


You meet the nicest people when you walk in your sleep and you do the DARNDEST things!


Comedy | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


During pre-production, freelancer Loretta Young had director approval, and very reluctantly was talked into accepting Jules Dassin. Ten days into shooting she refused to work with him any further, telling the producer to either replace her or the director. Overnight Dassin was dropped and she approved Richard Sale, who completed the film. See more »


When Loretta Young is preparing to go out she puts on a necklace of a double row of pearls and one of orange bead but when she meets Joseph Cotten she the has four rows of pearls and orange beads with green ribbon tied to them. See more »


Referenced in Porky's (1981) See more »


(What Can I Say) After I Say I'm Sorry?
Music by Walter Donaldson
Played on the radio while Raymond and Ofc. Callahan are outside talking
See more »

User Reviews

Light '50s comedy
4 August 2007 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Loretta Young is a "Half Angel" in this 1951 comedy starring Joseph Cotten, Cecil Kellaway, Jim Backus and Irene Ryan. The beautiful Miss Young plays Nora, who by day is a very professional-looking nurse and by night a glamorous seductress. Apparently she has a split personality, and when her conscious mind goes to sleep, Nora's other personality wakes up and drops in on an old school chum who is now an important attorney (Cotten). Her mystique, her allure, her seductiveness make him crazy. Every time he spots the daytime starched nurse Nora, he happily approaches her and throws his arms around her - only to get slapped in the face. Nora is engaged to be married to someone else and besides, she has no memory of these nighttime escapades.

One of the reviewers on this site complained about the holes in the plot. This is the kind of film that doesn't hold up well under much - or any - scrutiny. It's a fantasy and has to be enjoyed as such. Nitpicking about how fast a trial is docketed and why someone receives a subpoena is like saying that tapping red rhinestone shoes together will never take you back home.

At 38, Loretta Young is absolutely gorgeous, as she always was and remained for the rest of her life. Huge eyes, a face the shape of a cameo, beautiful hair, slim figure - as if any of it is really hidden by a nurse's cap and uniform. For Nora the wild one, she wears her hair down and a flashy seafoam-colored dress. Which brings me to the film's color. It's very reminiscent of a Better Homes and Garden book from the '50s that I used to look at as a child - very bright colors and lots of them. I found the use of color in the film quite unusual.

A light comedy is strange casting for Joseph Cotten, but for my money, he pulls it off. This isn't a wildly funny movie, but it is an amusing one, and the psychiatric plot is in line with the post-war interest in the subconscious so prevalent in films of that era. This film takes the fluff approach, which movies like "The Snake Pit," "The Dark Past" and "Spellbound" did not. Loretta fans will love it.

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Release Date:

5 May 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Half an Angel See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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