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Entertaining Angels: The Dorothy Day Story (1996)

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Chronicles the life of Dorothy Day who dedicated herself in service to her socialist beliefs and her adopted faith of Catholicism. The movement she created continues to thrive to this day, ... See full summary »


Michael Ray Rhodes


John Wells



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Moira Kelly ... Dorothy Day
Martin Sheen ... Peter Maurin
Lenny von Dohlen ... Forster Batterham
Melinda Dillon ... Sister Aloysius
Paul Lieber ... Mike Gold
Heather Graham ... Maggie Bowen
Boyd Kestner ... Lionel Moise
James Lancaster ... Eugene O'Neill
Geoffrey Blake ... Floyd Dell
Brian Keith ... Cardinal
Heather Camille Heather Camille ... Tamar
Thom Adcox-Hernandez ... Dan Irwin
David Berón ... John
Pamela Shafer Pamela Shafer ... Tesse
Allyce Beasley ... Frankie


Chronicles the life of Dorothy Day who dedicated herself in service to her socialist beliefs and her adopted faith of Catholicism. The movement she created continues to thrive to this day, with more than 200 communities across the United States and another 28 communities abroad. The title of the movie is taken from a phrase which means to treat all guests, whether they be kings or peasants, like they were visiting angels. Written by mahajanssen

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


No force could sway her. No fear could stop her.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for a range of thematic elements, some sensuality and brief language | See all certifications »






Release Date:

27 September 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Entertaining Angels See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(Encore-True Stories Library print)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Moira Kelly and Martin Sheen also star together in, "The West Wing." See more »

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User Reviews

Catholic Workers
20 January 2017 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Looking astonishingly like the women she portrays Moira Kelly gives a great performance as Dorothy Day who with the Catholic Worker movement managed to combine Karl Marx and Jesus Christ. She came to believe that man shall not live by bread alone, but bread was certainly essential. A radical doctrine for that hidebound institution known as the Roman Catholic Church.

When we first meet Dorothy Day she's a most militant suffragette and she's out there hanging out with a crowd that Warren Beatty introduced us to in Reds. They all went their separate ways be it John Reed to Russia, Eugene O'Neill to the theater. At some point Day came to believe that humankind had a soul and a spiritual hunger that the Communist Manifesto was not addressing.

She will never be considered for sainthood, she was not the type to whom sainthood is granted. She had her share of lovers, she had a child and it's not too clear whether she was married to Lenny Von Dohlen or not when their daughter was born. But if deeds is the measure she should qualify.

Brian Keith has a role and he's simply identified as the Cardinal. In fact he's Cardinal Patrick Hayes of the New York Archdiocese and while not 100% supportive was indulgent. Cardinal Hayes did quite a lot spending much of the Archdiocese's own funds to help in relief. He died in late 1938. His successor was Cardinal Francis Spellman who had he been in charge no doubt would have squelched her movement. But Catholic Workers was a fait accompli when he took over and he gave her a wide berth and her do her thing while he did his vigorous anti-Communist thing.

In fact in their scene Keith does mention that he is distressed she associates with these anti-clerical elements who are sympathetic to the Spanish Republic. She doesn't give an inch. The scene with Keith and Kelly is the high point of the film.

No sainthood for Dorothy Day, but the love and respect of millions whom she served. Really fine biographical film.

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