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and Reverend Mother. Sister George is the new breed of nun: pro-student
but prone to anger, especially when the group keeps getting lost because of
Sister Clarissa s faulty sense of direction.
Eventually, the tension building up between Sister George and Rev-
erend Mother peaks; when it does, it takes the form of a confrontation
between the old order and the new. Reverend Mother, looking older but still
clinging to her position of authority, expects obedience from the youngest
member of the community; the progressive Sister George cannot follow
orders that trouble her conscience, one of which is Reverend Mother s deci-
sion to allow Sister Clarissa to map out the route and do the driving rather
than risk hurting her feelings by chartering a bus.
Just as Mary learned to appreciate Reverend Mother s wisdom and
Reverend Mother, Mary s unbending nature so does Sister George. Conver-
sely, Reverend Mother realizes that the changes ushered in by the Second
Vatican Council mass (even folk style) in the vernacular, relaxed rules of
dress, social activism, and a renewed sense of mission cannot be imple-
mented by her generation, but by the Sister Georges, who, unfortunately,
will be fewer in number than the Reverend Mothers.
Where Angels Go, although somewhat shorter than Trouble, really
needed a director like Ida Lupino to give it some kind of focus. To be fair to
230 MOTHER MAME
director James Nielson, once the film became a Pennsylvania-California
bus trip, fragmentation was necessary, as is always the case when people
are on the road, whether in The Grapes of Wrath (1940) or About Schmidt
(2003). Where Angels Go is a series of stopovers some intentional, such as
a night at a boys school, where innocence triumphs, and a visit to an
Indian reservation; and others, the result of chance, such as an encounter
with menacing bikers with whom Sister George  communicates, getting
them to repair the bus as well as avoiding the proverbial fate worse than
death, and the group s stumbling onto the set of a western, where Reverend
Mother communicates in a different way with the director (Milton Berle),
who wears an eye patch in imitation of John Ford and makes it possible for
them to make the rally. Sister George and Reverend Mother practice the
art of communication in their own way, each with her own age group.
And each gets results, as nuns usually do.
While Trouble, a far better film, lacked a 1960s sensibility, Where Angels
Go had a superabundance of it. The film was pure sixties: tolerance, activism,
renewal, commitment, all of which had been grafted onto the script, as if to
take the original out of a time warp and into the present, where it became
the  before to the sequel s  after. Yet, in every respect, Where Angels Go is
inferior to Trouble. The sequel has voiceover narration by Reverend Mother;
each sequence begins and ends with an iris as if the film were a cartoon. The
technique may have seemed hip (although it was really retrograde), but in
the late 1960s it was part of the Day-Glo and pop-art look of the period.
Although the peace rally was the film s point of departure, it is never
shown, perhaps because it was never intended as anything other than, liter-
ally, a point of departure. All we know about the rally comes from Reverend
Mother s final voiceover, assuring us that it was an  eye-opener and the
prelude to many changes, including  habits  the cue for freeze-frames of
the nuns in their new attire, including Reverend Mother and Sister George,
former adversaries and now allies, ready to bring the Catholic Church into
the new age. Rosalind s heart was in the Catholicism of her youth. Besides,
she had more important concerns than religious reform as she entered the
last decade of her life.
CHAPTER 11
Trusting Him
Professionally, the early 1960s augured well for Rosalind. Despite her fail-
ure to win the Oscar for Auntie Mame, her name still resonated with movie-
goers and exhibitors; A Majority of One and Gypsy both opened at Radio City
Music Hall,  the Showcase of the Nation. To coincide with Gypsy s release,
Rosalind s alma mater, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, sponsored
a dinner dance in her honor at the Americana then one of New York s
newest hotels and now a memory on Sunday evening, 18 November
1962. Senator Jacob K. Javits presented Rosalind with the Academy s sev- [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]