A movie that I have always enjoyed and found to be lots of fun to watch is The Trouble with Angels. It is a delightful and magnificent production that is wholesome and viewable for the entire family. This movie is a terrific comedy about two rambunctious teenagers attending school at a Catholic convent. It is all about their rebellion against the system, and that is really what ignites the two girls.
The two teenagers are full of life and always getting into trouble for their wicked ways; that is, testing the waters as teenagers who are essentially sent away to a boarding school do. Things come to a head after one of their capers and just when the Mother Superior is about to give them the heave-ho, she realizes the depth of the girls’ familial situations. She does not have the heart to kick them out, so she lets them stay with a new awareness.
The remarkable Rosalind Russell stars as Mother Superior, who still believes in the traditional way of doing things, though she is not really narrow minded either. The troublesome teenagers are played by the marvelous Hayley Mills and June Harding. Mills is fantastic in anything she does, and she’s a favorite of mine, especially in movies like this. Her role here is a complex one and not quite as simple as she first appears. Mills has many moments when she is watching the nuns, and it takes a lot to make silent scenes like that work.
Also great to watch is character actress, Mary Wickes, who portrays Sister Clarissa. She provides a lot of spunk and spirit to this role and most everything she appears in.
There are many very good moments in the movie. One concerns some band costumes and scenes with the charismatic Jim Hutton. Another is more touching and involves the death of one of the nuns. This scene really helps the Mills’ character to mature. It’s a turning point for her.
The majority of The Trouble with Angels is one teenage prank after another, with a few poignant scenes tossed in. Hearing the Mother Superior’s story about being a seamstress is really so nice and unexpected.
This film survives the test of time, is well acted, and still makes me laugh after all these years.