Half Angel (1951)

77 or 80 mins | Comedy | May 1951

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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Half an Angel . In Mar 1950, LAEx reported that screenwriter Robert Riskin co-wrote the film's screenplay with his brother, Everett Riskin, and that they had originally intended to produce the picture independently. No other contemporary sources mentions Everett Riskin in connection with the picture, however, and the extent of his contribution to the completed production has not been determined. As noted in a 10 Jul 1950 HR news item, Jules Dassin was replaced as director by Richard Sale approximately two weeks into production. According to a modern source, Loretta Young had Dassin fired because they disagreed over her interpretation of her role. It has not been determined how much, if any, of the footage shot by Dassin was incorporated into the released picture. Although a 19 Jun 1950 HR news item includes Leif Erickson in the cast, he does not appear in the finished film. According to studio publicity, the amusement park sequences were filmed on location at the pier in Long Beach, CA. Half Angel bears no resemblance to the 1936 Twentieth Century-Fox picture of the same ... More Less

The working title of this film was Half an Angel . In Mar 1950, LAEx reported that screenwriter Robert Riskin co-wrote the film's screenplay with his brother, Everett Riskin, and that they had originally intended to produce the picture independently. No other contemporary sources mentions Everett Riskin in connection with the picture, however, and the extent of his contribution to the completed production has not been determined. As noted in a 10 Jul 1950 HR news item, Jules Dassin was replaced as director by Richard Sale approximately two weeks into production. According to a modern source, Loretta Young had Dassin fired because they disagreed over her interpretation of her role. It has not been determined how much, if any, of the footage shot by Dassin was incorporated into the released picture. Although a 19 Jun 1950 HR news item includes Leif Erickson in the cast, he does not appear in the finished film. According to studio publicity, the amusement park sequences were filmed on location at the pier in Long Beach, CA. Half Angel bears no resemblance to the 1936 Twentieth Century-Fox picture of the same name. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
14 Apr 1951.
---
Daily Variety
9 Apr 51
p. 3.
Film Daily
10 Apr 51
p. 6.
Hollywood Citizen-News
12 May 1951.
---
Hollywood Reporter
19 Jun 50
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Jun 50
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Jul 50
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Aug 50
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Apr 51
p. 3.
Los Angeles Examiner
30 Mar 1950.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
14 Apr 51
p. 802.
New York Times
15 Jun 51
p. 27.
New York Times
16 Jun 51
p. 9.
Time
25 Jun 1951.
---
Variety
11 Apr 51
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Based on a story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Ward dir
Cost des
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Electrician
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
SOURCES
SONGS
"My Castle in the Sand," music by Alfred Newman, lyrics by Ralph Blane
"I Had the Craziest Dream," music and lyrics by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren
"Goodnight Sweetheart," music and lyrics by Ray Noble, Jimmy Campbell and Reg Connelly.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Half an Angel
Release Date:
May 1951
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 15 June 1951
Production Date:
late June--early August 1950
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
11 May 1951
Copyright Number:
LP1083
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
77 or 80
Length(in feet):
6,896
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
14723
SYNOPSIS

Prim nurse Nora Gilpin reacts disparagingly upon learning that wealthy lawyer John Raymond, Jr. will be attending that day's hospital board meeting, as she believes that his philanthropy is self-serving. As Nora goes about her business, her subconscious mind tries to remind her of her childhood love for John, but her conscious mind drowns out the musings and also perpetuates her amnesia of their past as playmates. Determined to rid herself of any nagging doubts that she has unfinished business from her past, Nora accepts the marriage proposal of her longtime beau, contractor Tim McCarey. Nora's boss, kindly Dr. Jackson, is worried about Nora, but her father, botanist Harry Gilpin, accepts her engagement when she insists that she is happy. After her engagement party ends, however, a sleepwalking Nora rises from her bed, dons a sexy dress and goes to John's mansion. There, she flirts with the stuffy John, calls him a frog and kisses away the "warts" caused by his priggishness. John is bewitched by Nora, whom he does not recognize even though some of her mannerisms are familiar, and becomes frustrated when she refuses to divulge her name. After spending the night talking, Nora slips away and goes home, where she returns to bed. Shortly after, Nora awakens and is bewildered by her exhaustion. Upon finding the dress and a cigarette butt, the non-smoking Nora asks Jackson how she can help a "friend" who apparently has been sleepwalking. Realizing that Nora is talking about herself, Jackson states that sleepwalking can be caused by a deep frustration that splits the unconscious mind into a separate personality in order to satisfy ... +


Prim nurse Nora Gilpin reacts disparagingly upon learning that wealthy lawyer John Raymond, Jr. will be attending that day's hospital board meeting, as she believes that his philanthropy is self-serving. As Nora goes about her business, her subconscious mind tries to remind her of her childhood love for John, but her conscious mind drowns out the musings and also perpetuates her amnesia of their past as playmates. Determined to rid herself of any nagging doubts that she has unfinished business from her past, Nora accepts the marriage proposal of her longtime beau, contractor Tim McCarey. Nora's boss, kindly Dr. Jackson, is worried about Nora, but her father, botanist Harry Gilpin, accepts her engagement when she insists that she is happy. After her engagement party ends, however, a sleepwalking Nora rises from her bed, dons a sexy dress and goes to John's mansion. There, she flirts with the stuffy John, calls him a frog and kisses away the "warts" caused by his priggishness. John is bewitched by Nora, whom he does not recognize even though some of her mannerisms are familiar, and becomes frustrated when she refuses to divulge her name. After spending the night talking, Nora slips away and goes home, where she returns to bed. Shortly after, Nora awakens and is bewildered by her exhaustion. Upon finding the dress and a cigarette butt, the non-smoking Nora asks Jackson how she can help a "friend" who apparently has been sleepwalking. Realizing that Nora is talking about herself, Jackson states that sleepwalking can be caused by a deep frustration that splits the unconscious mind into a separate personality in order to satisfy its desires. A week passes as a private detective hired by John tries to locate his mysterious visitor without success. One day, as John wanders the streets, he spots Nora and Tim browsing in a furniture store. John grabs Nora and calls her his princess, as she had referred to herself during her visit, but Nora does not remember their night together and rebuffs him. Baffled, John accepts the explanation of his partner, Michael Hogan, that he mistook Nora for his mystery woman because he is so obsessed with her. Later that night, John is about to board a train for Washington, D.C, where he has an important hearing, when the sleepwalking and sexy Nora appears and asks him to stay. As they later relax on the beach near an amusement park, John remembers going to an amusement park long ago with the young daughter of the gardener who was landscaping the Raymond estate. John finally realizes that Nora was the little girl and laughs when he remembers that he used to call her "Jughead." The couple then try out the park's roller coaster and have so much fun that John pays the attendant to stay open past closing time and they ride on it for hours. The next day, a newspaper prints the story of John's "midnight prank," while Nora, still unaware of her sleepwalking, exhaustedly prepares for her wedding to Tim. John comes to the hospital to visit Nora, but she again denies being involved with him, and John creates such a fuss that he is arrested. John decides that he wants to take the case to court, to force Nora to admit that she knows him, but during the trial, Nora cannot remember anything when John asks her about their nocturnal visits. She is surprised to see a piece of lace from her petticoat, which was torn on John's garden gate, but still denies John's assertions about their romance. Nora's primness then convinces John that he has indeed mistaken her for his dazzling "Jughead." Meanwhile, Nora rushes home and matches the piece of lace to her torn petticoat, and Jackson advises her to postpone her wedding until she can sort out her feelings for John. Still declaring that she hates John, Nora consumes coffee and plays the radio loudly to prevent herself from falling asleep and unconsiously visiting him. John, who has gotten drunk, waits outside Nora's house and, upon speaking to the neighborhood policeman, learns that Nora sleepwalks, as did her late mother. John then consults with Jackson, who warns him that Nora will never be happy unless her conscious personality meshes with "Jughead." Still wanting to marry Nora, John is uncertain what to do, while at the Gilpin home, Nora falls asleep and, sleepwalking, takes a packed suitcase to meet John. Nora seductively asserts that she is marrying him rather than Tim, and John hurries her off to a justice of the peace before she wakes up. In the morning, Nora awakens to find herself in a motel room with John, and sneaks out without waking him. Horrified that her nocturnal wanderings have turned illicit, Nora is distraught when she returns home but determines to marry Tim. During the ceremony, Nora keeps dozing off until John bursts in, declaring that she is already married to him. Nora faints, but when she recovers, she finally realizes that she loves John, and rewards his patience with a lovely smile and a big kiss. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.