The Trouble With Angels (1966)

Genres - Children's/Family, Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Family-Oriented Adventure, Religious Comedy  |   Release Date - Mar 30, 1966 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 111 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

The Trouble With Angels is in the tradition of such Catholic-themed Hollywood films as Going My Way, but its take is slightly different. Here, the emphasis is as much (or more) on the students than on the adults, and while these students are deep down as good-hearted as their cinematic forebears, these adults have much less tolerance for them. The story is episodic and essentially silly, but director Ida Lupino handles it with loving care. She takes the time to create small moments and telling details, fleshing out the characters beyond their stereotypical roles. As a result, the audience genuinely cares and roots for everyone involved. The cast is very good, with Hayley Mills playing effectively against type as a spoiled-and-looking-for-attention rich girl and June Harding believable as the shyer, more reluctant partner who exults in being drawn into Mills' plots. Rosalind Russell is her usual dependable self, bringing a heft and authority to the role which works well against Mills. She also knows when to let the Mother Superior's softer side show through. And, as always, Russell is an expert at sending a line home. The rest of the cast, including Marge Redmond, Gypsy Rose Lee, and Mary Wickes, is solid and reliable. Not a great film, The Trouble With Angels is surprisingly entertaining and affecting.