Coming-of-age story for two girls, Mary Clancy (Hayley Mills) and Rachel Devery (June Harding), who find themselves as students at the St. Francis Academy, a Catholic boarding school for girls. The story spans three years and follows the girls and their many pranks including setting off fire alarms, smoking cigars in the basement, and putting bubble baths in the nuns' sugar bowls. As the girls mature, they gain a greater respect for their teachers and the commitment and devotion required to be a nun, leading one of them to make a life-changing decision.Written by
"The Trouble With Angels" is truly a gem. Ostensibly a comedy about the efforts of two slightly disgruntled, high spirited teenage girls (Hayley Mills and June Harding) to turn a convent school upside down, it combines lighthearted pranks with dry humor, most of the latter supplied by the splendid Rosalind Russell. As the worldly and wise Mother Superior, Rosalind is both amused and unsettled at the stunts her two incorrigible charges pull. The supporting cast is well chosen, with Mary Wickes ("Sister Act") and Marge Redmond ("The Flying Nun") standing out among the faculty nuns. Despite the unexpected appearance of legendary stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, cast as (what else?) a teacher of interpretive dance, both nuns and students are believable. Mills sparkles in her role as devilish Mary Clancy, as does June Harding as Rachel Devery, her neophyte partner in crime. Aided tremendously by a truly beautiful score by the great Jerry Goldsmith, (which has the remarkable ability to blend in with the film AND stand alone as a pleasurable listening experience) and directed with a sure hand by actress/director Ida Lupino, "The Trouble With Angels" is both funny and moving, one of the best family films ever made. Strangely enough, reviews were decidedly mixed (when not downright negative) back when the movie was released in 1966. But it was a sizable hit, and spawned an agreeable sequel ("Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows") two years later. Today, it remains as fresh as ever, and head and shoulders above most of the contemporary family films which followed it.
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