Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Where Angels Go Trouble Follows! (1968)

After a series of misadventures on the road with a broken down bus and screaming girl students, ROSALIND RUSSELL toward the end of the film states: "It proved to be a wonderful experience." That she says it with so much conviction is a testament to her acting skill--because it's another matter for the audience.

This is one of those strained comedies where a series of seemingly disconnected incidents on the road are supposed to be hilarious, but are more likely to provide just a few chuckles. Most enjoyable of all is the scene where two of the more rebellious girls are asked to wash the bus and instead, send it through the car-washer apparatus with disastrous results. Most of the other attempts at humor are less successful and even more improbable, especially the sequence involving an Indian chase with a cameo by Milton Berle as a film director wearing an eye patch (a la Raoul Walsh).

STELLA STEVENS is the modern nun who has a run-in with some knife wielding bikers and is able to keep her cool and seem impervious to their threats. The dialog in this scene has to be heard to be believed. Let's just say it is about as far removed from reality as the script gets, and that's pretty far.

ROSALIND RUSSELL is stern and amusing as the head nun, ready with a quip whenever circumstances demand it. STELLA STEVENS, BINNIE BARNES and MARY WICKES are capable as the other sisters, but SUSAN ST. JAMES and a few of the other girls in the cast have irritating roles.

One of the best features: Lalo Schifrin's bouncy background score, but the whole film reflects the '60s to such an extent that it appears dated in the extreme. It's the sort of film that must have seemed dated even in '68.

Summing up: The only surprises were nice cameos by Van Johnson and Robert Taylor, both giving amiable performances.

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