7.5/10
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71 user 7 critic

The Trouble with Angels (1966)

Two high-spirited young students at St. Francis Academy For Girls keep things hopping for the challenged Mother Superior and her staff of bewildered Sisters.

Director:

Ida Lupino

Writers:

Blanche Hanalis (screenplay), Jane Trahey (based on a novel by)
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rosalind Russell ... Mother Superior
Binnie Barnes ... Sister Celestine
Camilla Sparv ... Sister Constance
Mary Wickes ... Sister Clarissa
Marge Redmond ... Sister Liguori
Dolores Sutton ... Sister Rose Marie
Margalo Gillmore ... Sister Barbara
Portia Nelson ... Sister Elizabeth
Marjorie Eaton ... Sister Ursula
Barbara Bell Wright ... Sister Margaret
Judith Lowry ... Sister Prudence
Hayley Mills ... Mary Clancy
June Harding ... Rachel / Rachel Devery
Barbara Hunter ... Marvel-Ann
Bernadette Withers ... Valerie
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Storyline

Coming of age story for two girls, Mary Clancy and Rachel Devery, 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 garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She'll Try Anything...including the patience of a saint See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Family

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 March 1966 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Life with Mother Superior See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This gentle comedy would be the final theatrical film directed by Ida Lupino. She would finish her directing career working in television. See more »

Goofs

When Rachel knocks over the bust in the art room, there is already debris on the floor from something else (probably another bust used in a take) and when Rachel goes to pick up the pieces of the newly broken bust, she picks up the stuff that was already there. See more »

Quotes

Mother Superior: As for the social graces, I'm convinced that your school encourages barbarism and concerns itself only with free thinking, free wheeling and finger-painting.
Mr. Petrie: The finest educational minds in the country happen to be on our side!
Mother Superior: God is on ours!
See more »

Crazy Credits

A halo appears over the A when the Columbia name appears on the torch lady logo. Then, Hayley Mills' "Angel" cartoon appears from behind the A, flies around the screen a bit, then blows out the Columbia torch. See more »

Connections

References The Teahouse of the August Moon (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

The Trouble With Angels
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Lyrics by Ernie Sheldon
Vocals by The Devils
See more »

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User Reviews

They don't make 'em like this anymore, alas.
10 December 2002 | by grendelkhanSee all my reviews

They don't make 'em like this anymore, alas. There was a time when you could see great "B" movies, like this one, in theaters. They were entertaining pieces, produced for less money, but with just as much fun as their "A" siblings. You don't find many "B" movies anymore (at least good ones) and it's a shame. Even cable and tv movies don't live up to some of these classics.

Hayley Mills and Rosalind Russell are the two opposing forces in this battle of wills, and they're pretty evenly matched. Russell sees some of herself in young Mills, as she comments to Marge Redmond. Mills comes to realize that Russell represents something she has been looking for, but has been unable to define, a sense of community and purpose. Both are orphans who were raised by relatives, with dreams of fashion and glamour, but longing for something greater.

The film treats the Catholic Church and work of the nuns with far greater respect than most films, particularly more modern examples, like Sister Act. We see the depth of their faith and their commitment to serving their fellow human beings. I was raised Protestant and have little experience with the Catholic Church, but have always found a deeper respect for the less glamorous work that the nuns often carry out, compared to their male brethren.

The film is full of great character moments and some laugh-out-loud gags. It has a warmth and charm that grows with age. It's a shame that Haley Mills didn't perform in more films like this, as an adult; she had a real flair for comedy and could shift to drama just as easily. It's understandable for an actress to want to move into more serious parts, but I really think she passed up some great opportunities.

This was a film that deserved a sequel. Too bad that the one it got didn't live up to it's predecessor. It would be interesting to see Haley Mills return as Mary, carrying on the tradition of Rosalind Russell's Reverend Mother, with some "scathingly brilliant" ideas. Unfortunately, I doubt Hollywood would be up to the task.


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