"Almost Angels" Publicity Materials:
The following publicity materials and photographs were also provided by "Almost Angels" collector Joe Kelly! All pictures are © 1962 by Walt Disney.
The operetta dress rehearsal, prior to Peter's broken voice becoming known to Herr Heller. As you can see, the photographer's shutter failed to stop the boys' motion in marching.
Today we wonder if Uncle Walt had adequate insurance on these boys! "Almost Angels" stars Vincent Winter, Sean Scully, Hennie Scott and Denis Gilmore went on what was called a "mountain climbing excursion" during on-location filming of the movie's picnic scene, a segment of the movie which really showed the Austrian countryside's beauty.
SO many wonderful things in the production of "Almost Angels"-- such as the mix of "boy stars" with "real" Vienna Choir Boys and the fact that the producers allowed the boys to have some recreational activities in Vienna. But one would think the publicity people for the film were working for a different company!
As you will notice in the newspaper promo ad at left, a "black eye" has been added to the movie! There was never a scene involving a fight of any kind, much less a black eye!! Was it just "expected" in 1962 that any three randomly selected boys would have at least one black eye?
And the heading "Boys will be boys... even during the most important performance of their lives!" The only "prank" during a public performance came at the children's hospital-- are we to believe that concert was the most important of their lives? Yes, boys WILL be boys, but boys are also the young gentlemen who present polished performances during two-month-long tours on a foreign continent. My point being: Boys rise to the level of your expectations when treated fairly and when they know, beyond any doubt, what is expected of them!
The theater window poster, at right, clearly illustrates that Disney expected cute, animated dogs-- to do better at the box-office than singing boys. Yes, "Angels" was a "double feature" (remember those?) with "Lady And The Tramp". And you can easily tell which movie was given the most promotion with more space and larger fonts.
Actually, the heading here was pretty good: "BOYSterous DOGS... DOGgondest BOYS." You will also note that "Lady" was proclaimed as Disney's *happiest* motion picture, while "Angels" was declared the company's *newest*.
The "press and lobby kit" from which these two images came included some additional information, such as:
* The Vienna Choir Boys were making their "screen debut"-- NOT true of course. "An Orphan Boy of Vienna" was indeed shown on screens, and that film was made way back in 1937!
* Peter Weck, the Austrian actor who played Max Heller, was a former member of the choir, and thereby did double-duty as a technical advisor!
* The Vienna Choir Boys were termed "The World's Most Exclusive Boys' Club"!
* No boy pays fees of any kind to be in the choir.
* Vincent Winter was 14 years old as he made the film (good luck for him that his voice change was delayed!), and was correctly termed an Academy Award Winner (for his role in "The Little Kidnappers").
And the following story was probably a true one, from what we have heard and seen of the young star who played Friedel Schmidt:
Disney Moppet Imitates Organ Grinder's Monkey On Set of 'Almost Angels'Enterprising 12-year-old Denis Gilmore knows how to make money on a rainy day. During a lull in production due to rain on Walt Disney's Technicolor motion picture, ALMOST ANGELS, in which Gilmore plays a mischievious member of the famed Vienna Boys Choir, Denis observed director Steve Previn strolling among the crew playing plaintive French tunes on his miniature accordion.
Denis quickly borrowed an oversized derby, tied a long string around his waist, hooked up to Previn's belt, then made like a monkey with a hat in his outstretched hand.
The enterprising youngster made enough money from the crew to keep him in candy for a month. ALMOST ANGELS, starring Peter Weck, Sean Scully and Vincent Winter, is released by Buena Vista.
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