Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, March 6, 2014


Joseph Cotten and Loretta Young
HALF ANGEL (1951). Director: Richard Sale.

"What the night shift has done to what was once irresistible beauty!"  -- Nurse Kay

Now here's a weird one. Nurse Nora Gilpin (Loretta Young) is engaged to her boyfriend Tim (John Ridgely), but at night she enters a trance state and pays lascivious calls on a man she normally hates, a lawyer named John Raymond (Joseph Cotten). John is convinced he knows Nora from somewhere, but when he tries to speak to her during the daytime, she becomes apoplectic, leading to a trial and various complications. Half Angel seems to be using an old screwball script from the 1930's but it just doesn't work twenty years later, even though both Young and Cotten give good performances. Cecil Kellaway is Nora's father, and Irene Ryan of The Beverly Hillbillies adds a slight bit of fun as Nurse Kay. Jim Backus also has a supporting role. As usual in movies of this nature, Ridgely's character is treated very badly.

Verdict: Sleepwalking and multiple personalities given the allegedly comedic approach. **1/2.

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