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Columbia TriStar Home Video presents
Where Angels Go...Trouble Follows (1967)

"Do you mind if I'm not exactly crazy about what's happening with our youth?"
- Mother Superior (Rosalind Russell)

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: November 18, 2003

Stars: Rosalind Russell, Stella Stevens, Susan Saint James, Barbara Hunter
Other Stars: Binnie Barnes, Mary Wickes, Dolores Sutton, Milton Berle, Arthur Godfrey, Van Johnson, Robert Taylor
Director: James Nielson

Manufacturer: DVSS
MPAA Rating: PG for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 01h:33m:39s
Release Date: November 11, 2003
UPC: 043396016804
Genre: comedy


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B B+CB- D-

DVD Review

After the success of the Catholic girls' school comedy The Trouble With Angels, a sequel was probably inevitable. This time, the nuns take their show on the road in a period piece that nicely captures the transition from the early to the late 1960s.

Rebellious new nun Sister George (Stella Stevens) has convinced the bishop (Arthur Godfrey) to let her take some of the girls to a peace rally 3000 miles away in Santa Barbara. The Mother Superior (Rosalind Russell again) considers Sister George being in charge as about the same thing as having the girls unsupervised, so she takes charge of the expedition herself. Among the unruly crew are Marvel-Ann Clancy (Barbara Hunter) and her stowaway friend Rosabella (an excruciatingly young Susan Saint James). Hijinks predictably ensue.

Although the linear tale of a bus journey gives this picture a better narrative thrust than the original, the scriptwriter doesn't seem to be entirely sure what to do with the girls and the nuns at times, so they end up wasting footage with an eventless trip to an amusement park, though I suppose if one finds the notion of nuns in habit riding roller coasters to be hilarious there's some entertainment value here. More interesting are the unsuspecting stop at a boy's school, a mishap at a car wash, the bus wandering onto the set of a cowboy movie directed by Milton Berle, and in particular a confrontation with a motorcycle gang. It's in the latter scene that Stevens really gets to shine and add some depth to Sister George, making her more than a stereotypical hip nun as she displays her own conservative streak behind her streetwise façade.

Russell doesn't get as much to do this time around other than cluck unapprovingly for much of the running time. She does have one terrific scene where she discusses with Sister George the proper relationship that they ought to have with the girls. One wonders if the Sister George part hadn't originally been written for Hayley Mills to continue her reign of mayhem at St. Francis Academy, but Stevens fills in well. Barbara Hunter gets a bigger part this time, and is less the comic stock cardboard character that she was in the original, since she gets to have actual feelings here. Saint James doesn't really contribute much to her ostensible lead role, and her timing is off with line delivery that seems perfunctory at best. Perky isn't enough to carry this part. The other nuns are all back, of course with Mary Wickes in tow. She gets off a couple of good lines and her usual character is always fun.

But more than anything this picture is about the intergenerational conflict that was really coming to a head in 1967, not to mention the upheavals brought about by the early 1960s Vatican II and the general liberalization of the church. Though hardly a serious examination of these issues, it does at times treat them as serious issues, and gives more than lip service to both sides of the divide. That's a difficult task to fulfill, but the picture manages to do so and be moderately entertaining at the same time. If only the viewer weren't repeatedly subjected to the bland and insipid title song throughout the running time.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - P&S
Original Aspect Rationo
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: Columbia for some reason foists only a pan-and-scan transfer of the film onto disc. That's too bad, because it has vibrant color and good black levels, as well as decent detail and texture. A proper aspect ratio presentation would have graded highly. There is some moderate speckling in the first reel, but the condition improves rapidly. As usual, edge enhancement is present though not quite as severe in the previous film.

Image Transfer Grade: C

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The 2.0 mono track generally sounds pretty good. The aspect most likely to win favor with the home theater audience is a heavy, pounding bass on the title sequence. Dialogue is clear for the most part, and hiss and noise are at reasonable levels. The music sounds quite good and makes for an adequate mono listening experience.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 28 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
1 Other Trailer(s) featuring Madeline
Packaging: generic plastic keepcase
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: The sole extra is a trailer for an unrelated film, presented in full frame. Columbia has the temerity to consider ads for its Annie, Matilda and The Swan Princess DVDs to be trailers, so I'm docking a point for that misrepresentation.

Extras Grade: D-

 

Final Comments

This on-the-road sequel manages to acquit itself well enough for fans of the original as the nuns attempt to adapt to the modern world. Nothing much for extras, and the pan-and-scan transfer is decent for what it is.

 


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