DISMEMBERCEMBER: The Trouble with Angels (1966)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Thanks to Jennifer Contino for suggesting this.

The Trouble with Angels was based on Jane Trahey’s book Life with Mother Superior, which is the story of her own high school years in a Catholic boarding school. Hayley Mills’ character of Mary Clancy was based on her friend Mary who became Sister John Eudes in real life. It was directed by Ida Lupino, who was mostly working in TV when she wasn’t acting herself.

She said, “… it’s such a nice change – no blood spilled at all, darling.”

Mills was escaping being typecast in Disney roles with this film, playing a rebellious girl while many of the actresses in this would go on to play nuns in other films:

Math teacher Sister Liguori is played by Marge Redmond who would be on The Flying Nun TV show as Sister Jacqueline.

Gym teacher Sister Clarissa is Mary Wickes, who also appears in the sequel Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows and also Sister Mary Lazarus in the Sister Act movies.

Art teacher Sister Elizabeth is Portia Nelson, who had just finished playing Sister Berthe in The Sound of Music.

Mother Superior (Rosalind Russell) is dealing with two rebellious students, Mary Clancy (Mills) and her friend Rachel Devery (June Harding). Yet by the end of the movie, Mary hears the call of being a nun and realizes that living a life of sacrifice is better than one of smoking in the basement.

This movie even finds a role for perhaps the most famous exotic dancer of all time., Gypsy Rose Lee. Russell played her mother in the movie of her life, Gypsy.

Stella Stevens would end up taking over Mills’ role in the sequel.

Producer William Frye had offered Greta Garbo a million dollars to play Mother Superior, but she remained in hiding.

One thought on “DISMEMBERCEMBER: The Trouble with Angels (1966)

  1. Pingback: What’s Up in the Neighborhood, December 24 2022 – Chuck The Writer

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