Hayley Mills and June Harding act up in this affectionate comedy as two juvenile pranksters at the St. Francis Academy for Girls. It is up to Rosalind Russell, starring as the patient and understanding Mother Superior, to ... more »show them the right path. Starring Rosalind Russell and Hayley Mills.« less
Kathleen A. from LAWRENCE, KS Reviewed on 5/4/2013...
Love this movie! Hilarious & has to be based on a true story because nobody could make up some of these pranks & comedic situations. Laugh out loud in places but touches the heart in others. An interesting role for Rosalind Russell and a cameo appearance of Gypsy Rose Lee.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
S A A. (Learned2Heal) Reviewed on 7/13/2011...
A very disjointed little movie. No real plot to it at all. And the whole thing is set in this kind of phony looking Disney-like castle. Kind of fun, old-fashioned, harmless interactions. But no real depth and - again - no real plot.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jenny G. (Luke1242) from ELIZABETH, CO Reviewed on 3/24/2011...
They just don't make them like this anymore. There are a lot of fun scenes, and my daughters loved The Trouble With Angels. There are a couple of scenes where the teen girls smoke that we had our girls not watch, but other than that it is very good. I really wish they made Disney movies like this instead of the new ones where they make adults seem like idiots, and all the children are disrepectful.
2 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Theresa H. from OAKDALE, CA Reviewed on 12/5/2010...
PERFECT FOR TWEENS
It's not too grownup for those kids who are done with strawberry shortcake and princess cartoons. Wholesome, funny and reminds me of the nuns I liked at school-tough, don't mess with me but you can cry on my shoulder any time.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
A Wilson | Canada | 10/31/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"It is wonderful that they are bringing out The Trouble with Angels, but it should have been done letterboxed. The problem is , it probably won't be released again. All movies should be released in their original aspect ratio or given the option on the dvd."
Funny and Very Charming Film For The Entire Family
Gary F. Taylor | Biloxi, MS USA | 06/13/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Smartly paced direction and sparkling performances highlight this extremely funny and ultimately touching story of two prankster teenage girls who run riot through a Catholic boarding school--and who, almost in spite of themselves, develop in maturity and spirituality in sometimes unexpected ways.Ida Lupino is generally best remembered as a noir-ish actress of the 1940s and 1950s--but she was an accomplished director as well, and THE TROUBLE WITH ANGELS possesses a remarkably stable feel that bespeaks Lupino's talents. The script is funny without being frantic and spiritual without being sentimental and the cinematography is simple yet often elegant. But the real sparkle of the film comes from the extremely enjoyable performances offered by an ensemble cast led by Rosalind Russell as the formidable Reverend Mother and Haley Mills and June Harding as her problem students. Russell gives one her best performances here, Haley Mills is her equal every step of the way, and June Harding is equally enjoyable; the truly memorable supporting cast includes the likes of Binnie Barnes and Gypsy Rose Lee. A truly fun and sometimes touching film to which you will likely return again and again, well worth the investment. Recommended."
The important thing in life is not to yield, but to choose
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 09/22/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Trouble with Angels" is one of those films where the whole is greater than the sums of the part. Worldly Mary Clancy (Haley Mills) constantly has "scathingly brilliant" ideas and drags her innocent best friend Rachel Devery (June Harding) into all sorts of hi-jinks at the St. Francis Academy for Girls, a Catholic School lorded over by one of the more formidable Mother Superiors in movie history, played by Rosalind Russell. Mary has modern views and has never seen a rule she was not interested in breaking, while Rachel wishes with all of her heart to be more like her friend. Based on the novel by Jane Trahey, the screenplay by Blanche Hanalis offers by a very episodic story as Mary and Rachel get in and out of trouble over and over again. Yet every time Mary and Mother Superior butt heads each earns a bit more respect from the others. More importantly, they come to understand each other. The original tagline for this film was that it was "a habit forming comedy," which is a rather ironic description given the film's rather surprise ending. Like Rachel, at first glance what happens at this end of this film is a complete shock. But upon reflecting-or watching the film a second time-it becomes clear that this is a film about finding something better. It is not surprising that Rosalind Russell captures the comedy of the Reverend Mother, but what might surprise you is how she provides the heart and soul of the film as well. I also want to recognize Jerry Goldsmith's score for this film and the way he takes the title theme and turns it into both the St. Francis marching band's song and appropriately religious sounding music for a key moment in the film. An excellent use of a basic theme in myriad ways. The title sequence was created by Fritz Freleng and David H. DePatie."The Trouble with Angles" is a not a great film, but it is a solid, moving story that sneaks up with its message through the laughter and tears. I find myself watching this film every time I come across it on television, which probably speaks more to its strengths than anything, because I have never been a big Haley Mills fan. You should recognize Mary Wickes as Sister Clarissa, seeing as how she played another albeit more memorable nun in the "Sister Act" movies. Of course the movies are quite similar in terms of having a large cast of nuns who as distinct and interesting characters (who can ever forget Marge Redmond as Sister Liguori?). Finally, keep an eye out for Gypsy Rose Lee as Mrs. Mabel Dowling Phipps, who teaches interpretive movement..."
To bend but not to break... to yield but not capitulate... t
J. Riesenbeck | California, USA | 07/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Back when The Trouble with Angels was released (back in the olden days of the sixties), I recall one reviewer writing it was a run of the mill cutesy poo movie with cutesy poo nuns or words to that effect. Can't remember who the critic was, but they not only missed the boat on this one, they weren't even at the dock. Sister Act had cutesy poo nuns, this movie had nuns that had personality, character, and a story to tell. Perhaps this critic saw the cartoonish titles and decided not to give it a chance. Could be that's all they actually watched of this terrific film, that can be viewed by young and old alike.
Hayley Mills plays orphaned teenage girl, Mary Clancy, who is sent by her Uncle George to the St. Francis Academy For Girls, because he believes it will straighten her out. On the train to the school, she strikes up a conversation with Rachel Devery (June Harding)), whom is also being sent to the school by her parents. They quickly become friends and co-conspirators, who at the very outset seem to have one thing in mind-give the nuns one big giant size headache. So much so that as soon as they arrive the school they find theirselves in Mother Superior's (Rosalind Russell)office and bad graces.
If this movie had been made today, I have no doubt that the whole film would taken place during one school year, and be only about Mary and Rachel playing one prank after another (of course in this day and age the pranks would probably just be gross out gags), and tidy things up with some silly ending. Ida Lupino, who skillfully directed this film from a script by Blanche Hanalis, gives us so very much more. We follow these young ladies through three different years at St. Francis. With each year we see their characters grow and mature. The majority of the pranks they pull occur in the first year, tapering off until in their final year, the only two pranks we get are one that is a leftover from something they had been doing for three years (won't give it away)and the other trouble they get into in their last year is because they were actually trying to help the St. Francis. Seems, they were indeed maturing.
Rosalind Russell gives a very underrated, and more often then not overlooked performance. She has a tough exterior, but there is so much more to her than meets the eye as Mary and Rachael find out over the course of the movie. There are some very telling scenes in this story about her character, when she is ready to expel Mary but thinks better of it after meeting Uncle George, after Mary mimics Sister Ursula's German accent and Rev. Mother begins to tell Mary about what happened to the Sister during the war, when Rev. Mother helps Rachel with a sewing project and tells Mary about her own past after Rachel has fallen asleep, and a terrific scene that takes place in an old folks home. There is one more scene with Rosalind Russell that will bring tears to any but the most cold-hearted viewer, that shows more emotional depth than you could get in all the current summer blockbusters stacked on top of one another.
In the early part of this movie, one might mistakenly believe they are getting Hayley Mills in a run-of-the-mill kids movie with no substance. As the movie progresses, we find we are getting so much more than that. Her character doesn't suddenly change from one scene to another. We see her mature and grow gradually, from the prankster, to the young woman who matures and finds not only what life has to offer, but also what she can give in return. When people talk about Hayley Mills, most of the time they think of Parent Trap or Pollyanna, and while she gave excellent performances in both of those films, she was not required to bring the depth of character she brings to Mary Clancy. If she hadn't been able to do that, then the ending of this movie wouldn't have been at all believable. It is Hayley's performance that brings the whole thing together.
June Harding is excellent also. As Rachael, we believe in her friendship with Mary, we know how much the two of them really care about each other. She also lets us see that Mary is not just her friend but also her idol, which helps us understand why she believes Mary is committing an act of betrayal.
I could go on and on about this movie. All the nuns have their own distinct personalities, but they are never made to be caricatures. Marge Redmond as Sister Liquori stands out in her role as Rev. Mother's closest friend and confidant. Mary Wickes as the gym teacher and bus driver, may seem a little daffy, yet we know she loves doing what she's doing. (Mary Wickes also played the nun who drove the bus in Sister Act II, coincidence or paying homage to this character?) Camilla Sparv as the beautiful Sister Constance has a great scene with Mary, explaining why she is leaving St. Francis.
Checking Ida Lupino's biography, I find that while she directed many episodes of television series, this is the only feature film that I can find with her as director. I don't know the reasons, it could have been a prejudice against women directing feature films at the time, or maybe something else. I wish she had been given the chance to do more feature films. It would have been interesting to see the result. Unfortunately, as so often happens in the movie world we will never know. I just wish I could thank her for having us brought this truly remarkable film.
On the other hand, I have not bought this disc. There's really no excuse to release just a pan and scan version of any film these days. Until Sony can see the light, I'll settle for my widescreen copy of the film burned onto a DVD from Turner Classsic Movies. Wise up, Sony."
MacGuffin | New York City | 10/01/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I can't believe that Sony released a pan-and-scan edition of this and that I didn't catch it before purchasing it. Please, Sony, if you're going to assign a $24.95 list price to a DVD with NO EXTRAS WHATSOEVER, at least have the decency to offer pan-and-scan as an option (for those who'd actually want such a thing) along with an anamorphic widescreen print in the correct aspect ratio, as you did with The Long Gray Line, for instance. I'm really disgusted that this charming, hilarious film was accorded such shabby treatment, and the high list price adds insult to injury. Not surprising, given that the Columbia catalog is owned by the same folks who screwed up with Betamax, and are the last label to offer hybrid SACD's, despite their having pioneered the technology. Incidentally, this film is based on a true story written by Jane Trahey titled Life with Mother Superior. The movie is faithful to the spirit of the book, which is devastatingly funny. Grab it if you can find it."