Half Angel


1h 17m 1951

Brief Synopsis

A prim and proper lady has an alter ego that comes out while she sleepwalks.

Film Details

Also Known As
Half an Angel
Release Date
May 1951
Premiere Information
New York opening: 15 Jun 1951
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Long Beach, California, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 17m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,896ft (8 reels)

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 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.

Film Details

Also Known As
Half an Angel
Release Date
May 1951
Premiere Information
New York opening: 15 Jun 1951
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Long Beach, California, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 17m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,896ft (8 reels)

Articles

Jules Dassin (1911-2008) - TCM Schedule Change for Director Jules Dassin Memorial Tribute on Friday, April 20th


In Tribute to director Jules Dassin, who died Monday, March 31st, at age 96, TCM is changing its evening programming on Sunday, April 20th to honor the actor with a double-feature salute.

Sunday, April 20th
8:00 PM Naked City
9:45 PM Topkapi


TCM REMEMBERS JULES DASSIN (1911-2008)

Jules Dassin gained experience in theater and radio in New York before going to work in Hollywood in 1940, first with RKO (as assistant director) and then with MGM. Dassin hit his stride in the late 1940s with such dynamic (and still well-regarded) film noir melodramas as "Brute Force" (1947), "The Naked City" (1948), "Thieves' Highway" (1949) and "Night and the City" (1950), starring Richard Widmark who died this past Monday, March 24th.

After being blacklisted he moved to Europe, where he scored his greatest international successes with the French-produced "Rififi" (1955) and the then-scandalous "Never on Sunday" (1959), starring his second wife Melina Mercouri. For the most part, his later films--such as "Up Tight" (1968), an ill-conceived black remake of John Ford's 1935 classic "The Informer"--have been disappointing and inconclusive. Dassin, however, maintained that among his own films, his personal preference was "He Who Must Die" (1958), starring his wife Melina Mercouri. It is one of his least known films and is rarely screened today but here is a description of it: "Greece, in the 1920's, is occupied by the Turks. The country is in turmoil with entire villages uprooted. The site of the movie is a Greek village that conducts a passion play each year. The leading citizens of the town, under the auspices of the Patriarch, choose those that will play the parts in the Passion. A stuttering shepherd is chosen to play Jesus. The town butcher (who wanted to be Jesus) is chosen as Judas. The town prostitute is chosen as Mary Magdalene. The rest of the disciples are also chosen. As the movie unfolds, the Passion Play becomes a reality. A group of villagers, uprooted by the war and impoverished, arrive at the village led by their priest. The wealthier citizens of the town want nothing with these people and manipulate a massacre. In the context of the 1920's each of the characters plays out their biblical role in actuality."

Family

DAUGHTER: Julie Dassin. Actor. Mother, Beatrice Launer.
SON: Joey Dassin. Mother, Beatrice Launer.
SON: Rickey Dassin. Mother, Beatrice Launer.

Companion
WIFE: Beatrice Launer. Former concert violinist. Married in 1933; divorced in 1962.
WIFE: Melina Mercouri. Actor, politician. Born c. 1923; Greek; together from 1959; married from 1966 until her death on March 6, 1994.

Milestone

1936: First role on New York stage (Yiddish Theater)

1940: First film as assistant director Directed first stage play, "The Medicine Show 1941: Directed first short film, "The Tell-Tale Heart"

1942: Feature directing debut, "Nazi Agent/Salute to Courage"

Jules Dassin (1911-2008) - Tcm Schedule Change For Director Jules Dassin Memorial Tribute On Friday, April 20Th

Jules Dassin (1911-2008) - TCM Schedule Change for Director Jules Dassin Memorial Tribute on Friday, April 20th

In Tribute to director Jules Dassin, who died Monday, March 31st, at age 96, TCM is changing its evening programming on Sunday, April 20th to honor the actor with a double-feature salute. Sunday, April 20th 8:00 PM Naked City 9:45 PM Topkapi TCM REMEMBERS JULES DASSIN (1911-2008) Jules Dassin gained experience in theater and radio in New York before going to work in Hollywood in 1940, first with RKO (as assistant director) and then with MGM. Dassin hit his stride in the late 1940s with such dynamic (and still well-regarded) film noir melodramas as "Brute Force" (1947), "The Naked City" (1948), "Thieves' Highway" (1949) and "Night and the City" (1950), starring Richard Widmark who died this past Monday, March 24th. After being blacklisted he moved to Europe, where he scored his greatest international successes with the French-produced "Rififi" (1955) and the then-scandalous "Never on Sunday" (1959), starring his second wife Melina Mercouri. For the most part, his later films--such as "Up Tight" (1968), an ill-conceived black remake of John Ford's 1935 classic "The Informer"--have been disappointing and inconclusive. Dassin, however, maintained that among his own films, his personal preference was "He Who Must Die" (1958), starring his wife Melina Mercouri. It is one of his least known films and is rarely screened today but here is a description of it: "Greece, in the 1920's, is occupied by the Turks. The country is in turmoil with entire villages uprooted. The site of the movie is a Greek village that conducts a passion play each year. The leading citizens of the town, under the auspices of the Patriarch, choose those that will play the parts in the Passion. A stuttering shepherd is chosen to play Jesus. The town butcher (who wanted to be Jesus) is chosen as Judas. The town prostitute is chosen as Mary Magdalene. The rest of the disciples are also chosen. As the movie unfolds, the Passion Play becomes a reality. A group of villagers, uprooted by the war and impoverished, arrive at the village led by their priest. The wealthier citizens of the town want nothing with these people and manipulate a massacre. In the context of the 1920's each of the characters plays out their biblical role in actuality." Family DAUGHTER: Julie Dassin. Actor. Mother, Beatrice Launer. SON: Joey Dassin. Mother, Beatrice Launer. SON: Rickey Dassin. Mother, Beatrice Launer. Companion WIFE: Beatrice Launer. Former concert violinist. Married in 1933; divorced in 1962. WIFE: Melina Mercouri. Actor, politician. Born c. 1923; Greek; together from 1959; married from 1966 until her death on March 6, 1994. Milestone 1936: First role on New York stage (Yiddish Theater) 1940: First film as assistant director Directed first stage play, "The Medicine Show 1941: Directed first short film, "The Tell-Tale Heart" 1942: Feature directing debut, "Nazi Agent/Salute to Courage"

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was Half an Angel. In March 1950, Los Angeles Examiner 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 July 10, 1950 Hollywood Reporter 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 June 19, 1950 Hollywood Reporter 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.