The Trouble with Angels (1966) Poster

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A Funny Entertaining film!
jsfmt999 June 2004
My family and I have always loved this movie and its sequel.

I was really young when it was being filmed here in Pennsylvania and remember seeing the big Christmas tree in front of the castle in the Winter just as you see it in the movie.

June Harding played a wonderful role in this movie as the clumsy, dim witted Rachel. Too bad that her career didn't go further because she had such good potential doing physical comedy. Hayley Mills was terrific as the rebellious Mary Clancy who always took chances and who always got caught. Harding and Mills together getting into all kinds of mischief was really funny.

We took a tour of the castle and its interior a few years back and it looks exactly the same now as it did in the movie and this movie is 38 years old!! The grounds of it have changed very little over the years and the movie served as a time capsule for it. It was formerly known as Lindenwold Castle and is now known as Mary's Home for Children. You can find more information about the castle on the internet.

In this movie the most believable character was played by Mary Wickes who is the epitome of a Catholic School nun. Those of you who attended Catholic school (againt their will or not) will know what I mean.

She was just too realistic and I got a kick out of her wearing those black high top sneakers! !! It was nice to see her reprising her "Nun Role" again in the "Sister Act" movies.

"The trouble with angels" is a funny entertaining movie good for the whole family.
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"The Devil's Agents"
phillindholm5 December 2005
"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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My favorite "personal" film of all time.
sultana-126 May 2001
There is more TRUTH in this honest and extremely funny movie about two young hellfires coming of age in a convent school than in all the subsequent expose-type movies, like Monsignor, purporting to reveal the truth behind the hypocracies (admittedly there, but extremely exaggerated) of the Catholic church. Having spent 9 years in female-only Catholic school, I must report that this movie strikes not a single false chord. The movie, instead, accurately portrays nicely the relationship a Catholic feels with God.

The girls are rebellious, defiant, and a bit hyperactive, very reminiscent of my own restless youth. The nuns are equally real, reflecting exasperation and frustration when appropriate, but always within proper boundaries.

One amazing thing about this film is the seamless transitions it constantly makes from drama and comedy and back again. Even the physical humor, while screamingly funny, is always contained within real situations. Moments with Rosalind Russell, Camilla Sparv, Marge Redmond, and Marge Redmond are filled with extraordinarily real emotions, and the last 20 minutes seamlessly weaves the serious and the comic into a truthful pastiche which is respectful without ever being preachy, and infused with a heavy dose of Russell's unique personality.

Don't miss the opportunity to share this timeless classic with your daughters!
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I love this movie
Boyo-21 October 1999
I am a guy, and I love "The Trouble with Angels"!

Now I feel better, I've admitted it. I remember seeing this as a kid and it made a great impression on me. The end is especially poignant and if you've never seen the movie, it can get to you. Plus, any movie that has a character named "Marvel Anne" is worth a look!

Hayley Mills and Rosalind Russell were in better movies in their career, but none I like better than this one.
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Mills & Russell Shine
Petunia-218 September 1999
Hayley Mills & Rosalind Russell truly shine in the only accurate portrayal of Catholicism I have ever seen on film. With the popularity of Catholic bashing by today's filmmakers, if this film were remade today, there would be lesbian overtones in the nuns' relationships with each other or the girls would be running off to have sex. Thank "God" none of that is here; I recently rented this movie and my two girls, ages 15 and 8, were glued. The movie is timeless, despite its 60's setting.

After attending Catholic school 12 years, the movie brought back many memories. Yes, we did pranks in our high school - the rigid curriculum leaves a girl no choice. But who can top the ones played by Mary (Mills) and Rachel (June Harding, who succeeds in stealing a few scenes of her own from Mills and Russell)? From spooning bubble bath powder into the sugar bowls before the nuns have tea, to sneaking cigars in the basement where the billowing smoke is seen by an aged nun who calls for the fire department's help, each of Mills "scathingly brilliant ideas" is hilarious.

The movie portrayed nicely the relationship a Catholic feels with God. Totaaly unaware that she is doing so, Mills becomes greatly affected by the lessons Russell, who plays Mother Superior and Dean of Students, is trying to instill in her. To Mills' puzzlement, she is much like Mother Superior, both having been orphans for starters. Mills' defiance is a result of living with a playboy uncle who pays her tuition but does not pay her attention.

But mothers is you are looking for a film that is nice but just a little naughty to keep your daughters interested, this is the one to rent! And they just might learn a little about themselves, too.
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Wonderful Film
johnm_00113 October 2000
A heartwarming, poignant, funny film, with first rate performances from the entire cast. Mills and Russell are stand-outs, as is June Harding, as Mills' "stooge". Episodic in its approach, the film manages to build to a totally cohesive climax. Beautifully directed by Ida Lupino, with a great score by Jerry Goldsmith (Poltergeist, Star Trek - The Motion Picture, The Omen, The Mummy). Even in this "sophisticated" world, this film will be enjoyed by the entire family. A hit in its day, spawning a less than satisfying sequel (Where Angels Go Trouble Follows), "The Trouble With Angels" is a wonderful film. See it!
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Great Movie!
alliesmom9710 January 2004
I absolutely love this movie. It is absolutely charming. Haley Mills does a great job as Mary Clancy, an orphaned teenage girl who is sent to a convent school by an uncle who thinks the nuns will "straighten her out" and who, in reality mostly doesn't want to be bothered by Mary or his own daughter. June Harding is a bit annoying as Rachel Devery, but I suspect that the character is supposed to be annoying (she's clumsy, a bit whiny and has a weird habit of licking her fingers and slicking down her bangs.) Her story is that her father was sick of the progressive school she was attending (aptly named "New Trends Academy"). The girls become friends immediately and a begin a four year "reign of terror" at the convent. And Rosalind Russell is great as Mother Superior, who in spite of her aggravation with Mary, comes to know that Mary NEEDS the convent school, whether Mary herself knows it or not.

What I like best about this movie is that the pranks the girls play and the scrapes that they get themselves into are funny without being malicious, violent or dangerous. My six year old has recently fallen in love with the original "The Parent Trap" and "Pollyana" and I plan to show her this soon. I was born the year this came out, so I don't know for sure, but I would guess that it was not marketed as a "kid" movie, and yet it is totally appropriate movie for young girls. The same certainly can't be said for most movies today that are marketed as "kid flicks". While I don't shield my daughter from all these movies today, it is nice to know that I can pop this movie in and she and I can snuggle up together and enjoy a movie with no violent or mean humor (Home Alone, Dennis the Menace), no vulgarity and really nothing offensive at all. I also find it refreshing that the characters grow and mature into better and wiser people by the end, which is rare in movies.

I'd just like to add that I have heard complaints that Haley Mills was too old to play the role of Mary. While it is true that Mary was probably supposed to be about 13 at the opening of the film, and around 17 or 18 at the end, and Haley was 20 when it was made, this never bothered me. When I first saw it, I didn't know her age, and she didn't look 20 to me!
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Wonderful film
fleurus-d18 January 2006
This is one of my favourite movies. I have even chosen my internet alias after it and been using it for years ! : ))

I enjoy watching it with my daughter immensely

as we laugh a lot.

Then I reach for the tissue box and cry at the end much to her desperation ( come on it's not that sad ! )

The cast is impeccable : Hayley Mills, Rosalind Russell and June Harding are really funny to watch and look like they 've had fun doing the movie together.

The credit title with the little cartoon is the cherry on the cake. As for the soundtrack it sums up the mischief in the two main characters.
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They don't make 'em like this anymore, alas.
grendelkhan10 December 2002
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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A surprisingly moving film
tjw-913 December 2006
"The Trouble With Angels" starts out as a fairly standard Hayley Mills teen comedy. She and June Harding play the roles of two reluctant students at St. Francis, a Catholic school run by nuns. Rosalind Russell is excellent in the role of Mother Superior as is the rest of the cast.

The story is fairly simple so there isn't much to say about it. The girls are rebellious and play many pranks on the sisters, but gradually, as the movie progresses and the girls reach their final year at St. Francis it transitions gently and believably into a very touching and poignantly bittersweet ending. It never fails to get to me emotionally.

I'm a sucker for a good tear-jerker and in terms of sheer lachrymosity this one rates right up there with "My Dog Skip", "The Return of the King", "The Bishop's Wife", "It's a Wonderful Life", "Born Free" and "The Family Way" and the final episode of "The Flame Trees of Thika" (the last two also starring Hayley Mills). Something about kids and animals and saying goodbye - it always starts the waterworks going for me.

The secret, as always, is to create characters that you really get to know and care about. It also helps to have good music and Jerry Goldsmith wrote a very memorable score for this film.

I highly recommended this movie for kids who haven't yet been jaded by the rubbish that Hollywood produces these days.
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Convent-school comedy actually gets better with age
capitan_movie3 July 2000
One of my favorites when I was 15, I love this even more now. The movie is whimsical and reverent without being sappy or silly. Some marvelous wit, and surprisingly subtle lampooning of convention. The cameos of Gypsy Rose Lee, Jim Hutton, and Ronnie Troup are all hoots. And June Harding almost manages to steal the film from Ms. Russell and Ms. Mills. Jim Boles, Mary Wickes, and Binnie Barnes are also hysterical in their supporting roles. Good fun and good life lessons for the entire family.
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"Scathingly brilliant"
AndrewDavidEskridge31 August 1999
A tour de force for Hayley Mills, the most gifted juvenile actress of her generation. She makes the contrived material about adolescent escapades in a Catholic girls' boarding school look believable. It's a rarity for a Hollywood comedy to show a teenage girl who is intelligent and sensitive, and director Ida Lupino should be applauded for it.

Mills is ably assisted in her antics by her comrade-in-arms played by June Harding, who shows how to put the awkwardness in adolescence. They also have a truly touching scene together near the end.

The movie is also notable for the best latter-career work of high-strung movie star Rosalind Russell, who gives a restrained performance for a change, as the Mother Superior. She shows quite a few arched eyebrows, however.

Watch for a rare cameo by the great Burlesque queen Gypsy Rose Lee, who is hilarious as a risqué instructor of dance and ladylike comportment.
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A Comedy that Evolves Into a Serious Drama
timcon19648 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
On the basis of its 1966 publicity, those who viewed the "The Trouble With Angels" (TTWA) must have been expecting a comedy. They got something rather more complex. In fact, most of the comic episodes occur early in the film; thereafter, life gets serious, as the girls visit a home for the aged, learn how one sister was abused by the Nazis, and how another plans to teach in a leper colony. Then the friendliest sister passes away. Thus, the film gradually evolves into a serious portrayal of life in a boarding school (St. Francis Academy), the transition from youth to maturity, and the experiences that can make, or break, friendships. The principal protagonists are guilty of various misdemeanors--smoking, entering the sisters' living quarters, and skipping swimming instruction. But these infractions are primarily a reflection of immaturity, which largely disappears after one year at St. Francis.

TTWA follows the relationship of its two principal characters, Mary Clancy (Hayley Mills) and Rachel Devery (June Harding) in their three years at St. Francis Academy. Both were sent there to be straightened out. At first, both react unfavorably to the school, which they see as "medieval," and akin to a girls' reformatory. They view school authorities as "the enemy," and agree that the Mother Superior (Rosalind Russell) is a "fink"--once when her back is turned they honor her with a Fascist salute. But, the girls have their differences, especially in matters of religion. Mary, who has visited the Vatican and seen the Pope, is increasingly receptive to Catholicism and its doctrines. Pretty obviously, Rachel is not a Catholic. Twice, under the Mother Superior's disapproving scrutiny, Rachel is unable to make the sign of the cross. Near the end of her first year at St. Francis, Rachel writes to the head of her former school that she is "a captive in a nunnery." Once, the Mother Superior tells Rachel that she is the "Devil's agent." In their second and third years at St. Francis, the differences between the girls are becoming clearer. When Rachel suggests that Mary stuff a picture of the Pope in the window to keep out the snow, Mary is horrified. Later, Rachel considers it appropriate that Sister Constance should leave the order and rejoin her former lover--a prospect that leaves Mary incredulous. Purely fortuitous happenings serve to confirm the girls' differing attitudes. Mary observes the Mother Superior feeding the birds, comforting an elderly woman, and grieving over Sister Liguori's casket. But Rachel, who hears only the Reverend Mother's impersonal announcement of Liguori's death, wonders aloud, "How can she be so cold?"

Predictably, contemporary promotional material emphasized the relationship between Mary and the Mother Superior, who were portrayed by Hayley Mills and Rosalind Russell, the most famous members of the cast. But, as other reviews demonstrate, TTWA can be viewed from various perspectives. It is perhaps most interesting to focus on friendship between Mary and Rachel, viewing them as two distinct, but equally important, personalities. Although it occasionally seems that Rachel is a failure in everything, in some respects, she seems to be more in touch with reality than Mary. It is Rachel who seeks Mary's assurance that the sisters will be away from the cloister during Mary's planned "tour." It is Rachel who expresses concern about skipping swimming lessons. When the girls are smoking in the boiler room, it is Rachel who inquires about the significance of the alarm bell; and, when fire engines arrive, it is Rachel who suggests an effort to locate the fire. As the girls, unable to swim, having avoided swimming lessons for three years, are about to dive into the pool for the mandatory life saving test, it is Rachel who asks, "What do you think we ought to do?" Rachel, in posing such practical questions, is playing Sancho Panza to Mary's Don Quixote. Mary's "leadership" has done nothing but get Rachel in trouble. It is a testimony to friendship or loyalty that Rachel continues to follow Mary--and Rachel expects the same loyalty in return. When she learns that Mary plans to become a nun, Rachel is stunned by what she regards as Mary's act of betrayal. In retrospect, Mary's decision, and Rachel's response are not surprising. And TTWA, having morphed from a comedy into an interesting cinematic essay about friendship, concludes in a dramatic final scene in which Rachel struggles with conflicting emotions and ultimately chooses reconciliation.

Equally talented in comedy and drama (and herself a product of a Catholic school), Rosalind Russell was well cast as the Mother Superior. The role of Mary did not capitalize on Hayley Mills's talents. And, for perhaps the first time in her career, Mills is not the center of sympathetic attention. Instead, that attention focuses on Rachel, whose shortcomings and vulnerabilities are manifest. June Harding was certainly not the obvious choice for the part of Rachel. She was too old (she turned 28 during the filming), and had almost no experience in comedy. Seeming to confirm her unsuitability for this role, she showed up at an early interview looking more like a Manhattan model than an adolescent schoolgirl. But director Ida Lupino immediately saw something in Harding--perhaps Harding was like Rachel--and lobbied executives to give her this role. Mills and Harding were a sort of cinematic odd couple. Mills was a scion of a prominent English theatrical family, who had already been in 10 films, usually as the star. Harding on the other hand, was the daughter of a wholesale meat packer in a tiny southern Virginia town, making her only major film. Nonetheless, they worked well together; and Harding delivered a convincing performance as Mary's rather naïve and impressionable understudy--although she was nine years older than Mills. From her letters, one gets the feeling that Harding was having more fun than anyone else on the set, and it shows. Also contributing to the success of TTWA are Lupino's unobtrusive but effective direction, and Jerry Goldsmith's music.
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Teenage girls in Catholic boarding school
mwerner8 February 2006
This is one of my all-time favorite movies! Always a Hayley Mills fan (can you guess "Parent Trap" is also on my list), and also a good Catholic girl who did not have the boarding school experience, I love the story of two girls who never seem to do the right thing. They get into scrapes all the time, and Rosalind Russell at her best as an authoritative, yet compassionate head of the order, trying to keep her temper when reigning in these two impetuous teens.

There is humor in their adventures, pathos when their favorite nun dies (played well by Marge Redmond) and surprise at the end. I recently found the dusty old 1962 book on which this was based in a book shop and I am 3/4 through the story and the movie is pretty true to form with the incidents of sewing the dress, the math nun dying, the cousin and the plaster cast, almost being kicked out, etc.

Great escapism and suitable for all ages.
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Just pure fun
vonnablady19 March 2008
I love this movie.

There are some inside jokes that kids today might not understand such as references to Kim Novak and Dior creations, but over all it's a wonderful coming of age movie.

Mary Clancy (Hayley Mills)is an irrepressible trouble-making orphan that is sent to a convent school by an absentee playboy uncle who says that "he'll lay odds the nuns could straiten her out" To which Mary responds "what odds?" At this school Mary becomes fast friends with the somewhat shyly inept Rachel Devry and bitter enemies (or so she thinks) with the school dragon known as Mother Superior. (Rosalind Russell) You'll find yourself laughing in wicked delight and anticipation each time Mary utters the phrase "I have a scathingly brilliant idea".

If you are feeling that there is something very familiar about this movie, that would be Mary Wicke driving the bus for St. Frances just as she did in the movies Sister Act 1 & 2.
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Creative schoolgirl pranks and wise guidance from teachers
lora6427 August 2001
Well I missed this one years ago and am just viewing the entire movie at long last. It's almost a female school version of "Goodbye Mr. Chips" you could say. Rosalind Russell as the Mother Superior certainly turns in an excellent performance. It was rather amusing to see her in one scene standing next to Gypsy Rose Lee whose mother she had portrayed a few years earlier in the film "Gypsy."

Hayley Mills is always charming to watch. We are seeing a more mature young actress now compared to her former successes. Yet as the schoolgirl, Mary Clancy, she's full of mischief, inspired to try all sorts of risky pranks, especially that episode of doing a face mask of plaster on fellow schoolmate, poor thing.

I do think that Mary's friend Rachel, played by June Harding, runs away with some scenes. I can't help thinking how much June resembles a younger female version of Tom Ewell, the same expression in eyes and mouth.

This is a heartfelt story of maturing schoolgirls, the deep bonds of lifelong friendship they create, and nuns who are tested in their faith to endure the lessons of Job -- patience and wisdom. Not to worry though, they have God on their side, as Mother Superior (Roz) aptly reminds us.

A very fine story for youngsters, and growing girls in particular will feel a strong empathy for this movie. I hope to see it again soon.
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A great blend of warm truths and riotous humour.
aromatic-227 November 1999
I have seen this movie about 50 times over the years, and very

few films have ever struck the chords in my heart that this one does. The chemistry between Hayley Mills and June Harding is fantastic. In many ways, long before Thelma and Louise, I thought this was one of the best "buddy" films for women ever made. This movie also does a nice job of showing the importance of same-sex bonding in the teen years. It is both hilarious and touching, with lots of nice moments between Mills and Russell.

Rosalind Russell does an excellent job conveying the very essences of truth and beauty. And Camilla Sparv is a stand-out in her role, and the always dependable Mary Wickes and Marge Redmond bring all they have to the entertainment.
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Love this movie
rslater-213 February 2005
This has always been one of my favorite movies. I remember seeing it when I was a girl. It's was on today and I couldn't resist watching. Still just as wonderful after all these years! The sequel is OK too, but this movie is a 10! Hayley Mills and Rosalind Russell are great in this movie. It's a fun movie about teenage girls in a Catholic school. Two girls are always scheming and getting into trouble (nothing serious, mostly teens trying to have fun and a place where fun is not allowed). But the one girl (Mills) finds her real place before the movie is over. Great movie for family. You should watch the sequel "Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows" as the St. Francis girls travel on a bus across country. I especially liked the scenes at Dorney Park, but hey, I'm from the Lehigh Valley!
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The Trouble The Angels Give Makes For Holy Entertainment !
Noirdame7911 December 2004
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this movie on video as a teenager, because Hayley Mills was (and still is) one of my idols. It is a funny, touching, and absorbing blast from the past, and I would recommend it to anyone, even if they are not Catholic.

Let me just say that it's such a treat to see so many talented actors working together on this family film. I had seen Rosalind Russell in "Auntie Mame" and thought her to be wonderfully eccentric and comedic. Hayley, is, as always, lovely, charming, mischievous and funny, and the cameo of Gypsy Rose Lee as Mrs. Phipps - (and in 1962, Russell had played her mother in the movie "Gypsy" - coincidence? I think not!!) is priceless. The line, "In the springtime we'll put on a festival. By then you'll all be as graceful as young willows!" Is so campy yet undeniably priceless and hilarious!!! Mary Wickes in one of her many performances as a nun, is the embodiment of the sisters who taught at Catholic schools, and any film that features her is worth watching!!! Portia Nelson played Sister Berita in "The Sound Of Music", and again, she was a wonderful choice as the short-tempered, impatient and uptight art teacher, Sister Elizabeth. Camilla Sparv is gorgeous and touching as Sister Constance, teacher of languages and "a flawless beauty" who leaves the school to teach children with leprosy in the Phillipinnes. Her scene with Hayley's Mary Clancy is poignant as she explains why she has made this risky but rewarding decision. Binnie Barnes, a veteran of stage and screen, shines as Sister Celestine, appropriately named, the conductor of the school band.

The friendship between Mary Clancy, an orphan who lives with her playboy, businessman, neglectful uncle George, and Rachel Devery, the progressive school educated, easily influenced sidekick, is an interesting and identifiable study of female friendships, one that many recent films have neglected. The opposition from the Mother Superior against their pranks and youthful exuberance, and her compassionate understanding, her confiding to Sister LaGorie, even to Mary, makes us understand her calling. Babara Hunter, as Mary's equally neglected, annoying "drop-dead" cousin is absolutely hysterically funny, and the other students provide excellent support, and bring authenticity to the Catholic school environment of the time (and I'm fairly certain that it doesn't exist anymore). In conclusion, the decision Mary makes at the end, a huge sacrifice, shows the viewer how she has grown and learned in these three years in the convent school. The tearful farewell scene at the train station is a real tear-jerker. And the final line? I'll let you decide for yourself, but I adore it. Mary: "Just think, Reverend Mother, maybe one day Rachel will come back and join the order." Mother Superior, not even remotely in jest: "If she does, I quit!"

Sure it's a bit dated, but rewarding. Share it with your children, your friends, and most of all, with the child that you were. It's great family entertainment all the way.
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Raising Hell Among the Sisters
AZINDN14 October 2007
Warning: Spoilers
The Trouble With Angles is a comedy of young girls growing into young women under the conservative roof of the St. Francis School for Girls, and directed by the actress, Ida Lupino. It is a clash of wills between the stern yet patient guidance of Mother Superior (Rosilyn Russell) and the headstrong, Mary Clancy (Halley Mills). Into the quiet cacophony of the school arrives the orphan, Mary aided by Rachael Devery (June Harding), her cohort in mischief and crimes against the regulations of the good sisters. As young freshman, the girls see the sisters as barriers to their natural high spirits, and curiosity about the life of devotion the women have chosen to follow. When push comes to shove, Mary and Rachael have "scathingly brilliant ideas" that challenge Mother Superior including smoking cigars, snooping in the private rooms of the convent, and inventing new ways to bring irritation to the sister's work. However, by their senior year, Mary and Rachael are growing up, soon to be out of the protected world of the school.

Having been educated in a similar environment as St. Francis, during the same time period depicted and with school uniforms that so closely resemble the costumes worn by actresses of the film, I can attest that the pranks on the sisters are not fiction, they are tame compared to some of the silliness we pulled. And, having been a ring leader for some situations, I can validate that their patience is infinite.

Halley Mills is perfect as the hard-headed, willful Mary who eventually learns that there is something far bigger in store for her. Rosilyn Russell gives an absolute pitch perfect performance as the resourceful, crafty, and enduring mother superior whose mettle is challenged by the prankish Mary, yet her higher commitment to transition the young girls who come her way is graceful and honest.

Fun, sentimental, and family fare, The Trouble With Angles is a heart warming story of the coming of age and the recognition of young girls to womanhood as their encounter with the sisters opens their eyes and minds. Sweetly devoid of both profanity and sexuality, the film is almost shocking in its presentation of young women of the 1960s, the age of Aquarious and hippie rebellion.
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One of my early favorites
glenndmiller30 January 2000
I first saw the movie when I was eight, and thought it was the best movie I had ever seen. Many years later, I was pleased to find that it was still a warm and amusing film. The chemistry between Hayley Mills and June Harding is simply wonderful (the two are excellent; it is amazing that Harding's career seem to end with this one film). Highly recommended.
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Schools like this one existed once--but no longer.
smorgano20 July 2000
My family and I have seen this movie innumerable times. It is probably tied with The Princess Bride as our number one family-entertainment favorite. The movie depicts a sentimental view of Roman Catholicism and Catholic schools of the 50s and 60s. Schools like this one existed once--but no longer. The story is excellent and has a lesson for all ages and for both genders, while the laughs are practically nonstop. I highly recommend this film. It is often played on free TV, and should be taped and stored for many repeat viewings.
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Surprising Excellence
roarshock16 July 2000
This is a surprisingly excellent movie. Through an almost impossibly deft balance of acting, writing, and directing "The Trouble with Angels" manages to be both very moving and very funny while avoiding gratuitous gags and overblown drama. It is episodic, but uses it's episodes to build toward a real climax and conclusion. And while it is rather idealized, that doesn't keep the story from being being both sincere and true. That's why the movie works so well, the actors tell the story not so much through actions and words as through emotions and character. The objective plausibility of any particular part of the movie can be ignored because all the personalities are true and everyone is true to their personality. The characters conflict, change, grow, and reveal themselves constantly through the movie so that even in the absence of a clearly defined story line the ending has a real resolution, a resolution of personality. This is such a rare wonder that the movie deserves to be studied... but don't bother, it is so much better simply to watch and enjoy.
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All Around Great Film
godfather19914 December 2004
The Trouble With Angels is just one of those old fashioned, all around, feel good movie. I watched it over the weekend, as I do every year around the holidays. My dad joined me this year, and he thought it was great. We have the story of St. Francis school for girls, taking place over a 3 year period. We have two girls, Mary and Rachel, who make sure they drive the nuns crazy, the whole time. Especially Mother Superior, played wonderfully by Rosaland Russell.

Haley Mills,(Mary) and her sidekick, get into several jams that bring about hysterical results. The film also has a warm, sentimental side, which may bring a tear to your eye. Will Mary and Rachel get kicked out of St. Francis? Or will the girls learn something during their years at the school??? Watch it and see. A GREAT film, for the whole family. Highly recommended.

I give this movie 10/10.


"One of us may have to leave. And I can guarantee you, it won't be me." - Mother Superior
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A "B" Movie with "A" appeal!
jwrowe315 October 2003
Great family movie. My two daughters, who were six and four at the time we watched this delightful little movie, were captivated. They sat still thru the whole viewing. A good sign in my home that a movie is "kid friendly".

Yes, it "looks" 1966, and some of the pranks seem tame by todays(low) standards, but it holds your attention, even if you are NOT Catholic! I'll watch any film that the hilarious Mary Wicks is in.

Without going into great detail about "Trouble", I suggest it for everyone to view.

Just pray(pardon the pun)that your little ones don't get too many ideas from this underrated gem!
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