The Trouble With Angels
A 1966 Columbia Pictures film starring Rosalind Russell, Hayley Mills and June Harding


Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of its theatrical release (1966 - 2016) and its filming in Ambler, PA

Website updated: November 27th, 2017


 

Above: Detroit movie theater ready to start showing The Trouble With Angels in 1966.


 

COMING SOON: Items from the collection of Robert Clark, who did research on the film for a project he was working on.

Robert graciously donated his entire collection to me so I could share items here.


JULY 2015: Announcing a brand new release of the soundtrack music on CD!

An expended version, with extras! Click on the CD cover above for information!


 

From the book: "Legendary Locals of Ambler, PA"  by Frank D. Quattrone


 

Here is a link to actress June Harding's personal website and her very special pages for Angels fans!  Her revealing "letters home" during the filming are a must-read!!


Spanish DVD cover


TV Guide ad for a broadcast of the film


Photos taken at the "castle" (Ambler, Pennsylvania) in February, 2014.  Copyright 2014 by Robert Clark (my brother!)  Thumbnails only here.


Belgian Movie Poster


 

 

The Shooting Schedule for "Mother Superior" (the original film name!) is a wealth of information.

This is the first page of a 16 page document, which details the 37 day California filming and one week of pre-production filming in Ambler, Pennsylvania.  Filming locations are clearly listed and script pages referenced.  It is a document such as this that shows just how complex making a movie is.  Want to know where the swimming pool scenes were shot?  The Shooting Schedule reveals that it was done at the Westlake School for Girls in Los Angeles!  Who in the cast was needed on the set and what props were needed are also shown.

Once you learn things like "INT" means "interior shot" or that "Diss" means that the scene will dissolve into the next scene, or that "STAGE 4 GOLDWYN" tells you where the filming would take place, you learn a lot about the production of The Trouble With Angels!

A detailed examination and comparison to the completed film would reveal scenes that were left out or altered.  Filming began on August 16th, 1965.

Click on the image to see the full-size page.  Many thanks to June Harding who provided this rare document!! 

 

 

 


Wardrobe girl Jody Evetts adjusts Miss Russell's habit. Looking on is Director Ida Lupino and Producer William Frye.
 This photo was taken on location in Ambler, Pennsylvania.


An exclusive "behind-the-scenes" report from David McClellan!

I spent a most enjoyable day on the set of The Trouble With Angels, filming on location at the train station in Monrovia CA, a mostly unused facility but a very picturesque remnant from the by-gone age of train travel. My friend Bernadette Withers (Valerie in the film) invited me and I grabbed at the chance, knowing my idol Rosalind Russell would be there. Like all film making, everything takes a long time and there is a lot of waiting around while the crew preps things. We ate lunch prepared by the studio catering service and Hayley Mills joined Bernadette and me and we had a fun chat about her time at Disney, etc. After lunch I got to meet Rosalind Russell, telling her I had been in love with her since seeing "Auntie Mame" (I was 13 then!). She grabbed my book and signed "To David, stay as nice as you really are" -- and I have that autograph framed next to my movie poster of "Auntie Mame." I got to meet director Ida Lupino as well, also one of my favs. A very nice day indeed. 


British film magazine review from July 1966 issue of "Films and Filming"
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Italian movie poster



Portia Nelson and Hayley Mills


 

Director Ida Lupino contemplates an upcoming scene while filming in Ambler, Pennsylvania


Actress June Harding

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                                                                                                     Above photo copyright Bruce Clark

"It's positively Medieval!" - Mary Clancy (Hayley Mills) in The Trouble With Angels

Some exterior scenes were filmed in Ambler, Pennsylvania USA


 

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Rosalind Russell practices her bicycle balance behind the sound stage.  She is often seen on the bike in the posters and ads for the film.



 

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Quite an unusual photo!  On the set, but off camera, Hayley spontaneously poses for the photographer in this candid shot. 

She holds, and looks at, a mismatched pair of fuzzy slippers (!), while on her lap sits the film's script.
Air Mail letters from home, resting on top of the script pages, offer her a welcome break from filming.
(Click on thumbnail to enlarge.)


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 Dress Up (left) and Brain Teaser (right): Do you recall this scene in the film?
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Here are some rare United Kingdom lobby cards for the film. . .
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Table for Two Troublemakers,  School Daze
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Original Radio Ads Found! 

Unheard in over 40 years, the movie studio produced two general radio spot announcements and six "special newscast report" advertisments to promote the film.  These latter ads were made to sound like "special news bulletins" to attract your instant attention as if breaking news were being announced during the broadcast.  While the ads do not include any actual actress voices from the film, some do feature an unknown actress pretending to be June Harding.  Two of the ads are a full 60 seconds long!  The total collection of eight amusing and unusual radio commercials would make excellent "extras" on a future DVD widescreen release of the film.  Is anyone at the studio listening?


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This rare behind-the-scenes photo is actually a cleverly staged shot.  It reveals some of the hard-working people that contributed to the film's success.  From left to right: cameraman Lionel Linden ("Curly" to his friends), Rosalind Russell, director Ida Lupino, Bob Burkitt, - camera operator - (behind the camera) and Ted Landon - camera assistant - standing behind Miss Lupino.  (Special thanks to June Harding for the identifications!)


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Actress Binnie Barnes in a publicity photo.
 


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Lobby Cards
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Lunch time on the set
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Very rare Japanese "SCREEN"  movie magazine from July 1969. 
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge.)


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Rare Print Ad, (left), and Storyline, (center), written to convince theater owners to book the film.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge.)


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The Letter (above left) and Lance Brisson (above right) visiting his mother, Rosalind Russell, on the set.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge.)


 

In Movie Life Yearbook #39 from 1966, June Harding was featured in the "Bright New Faces Going Places" column.


At left is a very rare item from the April 4th, 1966 issue of "Boxoffice", an industry publication.

It contains a review of the film and provides marketing ideas to create publicity for local screenings.  "Exploitation" they call it!  (Click image to read review.)

 


The castle at St. Mary's Villa in Ambler, PA was used in the studio artwork to promote the film. 

Pictured below is a page from the April 1966 Harper's Bazaar magazine.
A four-page photo spread, photographed on the grounds of St. Mary's in Ambler,
helped promote the film - and several lines of clothing.


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Click on the above image to see how the castle looks from the air now.


Rare Print Advertisements

 
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The Japanese movie poster for The Trouble With Angels (far left) focused on Hayley Mills - and her blue eyes!

I am working to confirm my suspicion that the center photo shows book author Jane Trahey visiting the set.

The next image shows the umbrella that can be seen on one of the USA video covers (at right).  The closed umbrella, held by one of the other nuns, does not look like an umbrella - it has even been mistaken for a rifle or a shotgun!


 

Hollywood doesn't visit Ambler Pennsylvania very often.... 

So, when some exterior scenes from The Trouble With Angels were filmed at St. Mary's Villa, it was, to say the least, a cause for local celebration and much curiosity.

Some of the most memorable exterior scenes from the film were done on the grounds of St.

 

Mary's, prominently featuring the castle.  Interiors were filmed on the sound stages of Hollywood.

The Trouble With Angels was Hayley Mills' 12th feature film, and the first outside of the Disney organization.  For June Harding, it would be her first feature film role and the movie credits reflected that.

 

 

 

Ambler and its surrounding area were shown in a very good light, from the tree-lined back country roads to the Fort Washington Fire Company trucks participating in the action.  Even the small town of Merion Station's railroad station (at right) was used as the arrival point for the girls.  But, after the bus arrives, a California train station is substituted when Mary Wickes first greets the girls at the station.

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When clicked, the thumbnail image, (at left), shows an aerial view of the Merion Station railroad station's approach, where the movie camera was located, and how the bus drove down Idris Road to reach its movie destination.

 

  

We are most anxious to hear from fans of the film and to find out what else might be "out there".

Articles, photos, etc. can all help to document the making of this film.  Feel free to write to the email address shown at the bottom of this page.

 

 

Early press interviews and articles about the film clearly refer to it as "Mother Superior", the working title.  But the change to "The Trouble With Angels" certainly gave audiences a better idea that the movie was a comedy! 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Long-forgotten documentary film unearthed!

While doing research on The Trouble With Angels, a very rare piece of film was uncovered.  The short featurette film, produced by Columbia Pictures in 1966, is a rare "making of" documentary.   While it is very common these days to produce such a short for use as a DVD extra, it wasn't a standard practice back then.  And, finding this long-lost featurette about The Trouble with Angels opens the possibility that it can be included in a future DVD release of the feature film.

Unseen for 40 years, this "day-in-the-filming-life" of Hayley Mills features all of the film's stars and shows many behind-the-scenes shots taken during of the production of the movie.

 

 

 

 

There is even time between scenes for a birthday party for June Harding!

 

 

 

(Click on thumbnails to see full-sized photos.)

June Harding's birthday party, captured by a studio still photographer while the documentary camera was also rolling...

 

 

Director Ida Lupino, discussing scenes with Hayley Mills.

 

 

 

 

Hayley takes a turn looking through the color Cinemascope camera.


 

 

You can write to us at the email address shown below.  You must type in our address, no clickable link is provided (to try to eliminate email spam.)  Thanks for understanding!

The Trouble With Angels is copyright Columbia Pictures Corporation / Sony Pictures.

Copyright 2006 - 2014 Bruce Clark.

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