"Almost Angels" is the only color movie which has a boychoir as its entire theme. Many members of The World of Treble Voices credit this movie as their first introduction to not only the Vienna Choir Boys, but also to the world of boychoirs in general!
Our aim with this page is to pay tribute to this often overlooked film which was filmed entirely on location in and around Vienna. Unfortunately "Almost Angels" did not have a major theatrical release, but rather went out on a double bill with a "Lady and the Tramp" reissue. The film was dubbed in German, Persian, Japanese, Spanish and Dutch/Flemish. It was subtitled in Portuguese for release in Brazil. The New York Times called it "...a wholesome...family film, attractive to the eye and ear." It was copyrighted by Disney in 1962.
Except for being made available on 16mm rental copies, it was not heard from much again until being released on VHS in April of 1986. The real tragedy is that "Almost Angels" videos were never placed on public sale but were sold only to rental outlets.
It has been shown on The Disney Channel several times during the past two years, but at times around midnight when the only boys awake would be those with severe sleep disorders.
"Almost Angels" is not just about boys singing. It presents a wonderful story which teaches much about friendship, honesty and loyalty.
Tony (at right) comes into the Vienna Choir Boys despite the objections of his 'practical' father who is afraid there will be no future for him in music. The talented boy is seen as a serious rival to be dealt with by Peter, a leader in his choir.
Peter's picture (at right, below) captures the moment when the director informs him that Tony had insisted that only he was responsible for having to make a dangerous 'window entrance' for a children's hospital concert from which they have just returned. Having failed twice to get the newcomer into trouble, Peter now realizes that Tony does not hold grudges and is not going to inform on him. Thus begins a friendship which grows stronger and endures to the end of the film.
Research and contributions from other boychoir enthusiasts has provided some interesting facts about the production of "Almost Angels".
The boys featured in the film were a combination of Disney child actors and actual members of the Vienna Choir Boys at that time. So far we have heard from relatives and friends of only three of the boys who were in the movie (see Memorials & Letters link, below), but are hopes are always high that we will be contacted by more.
Peter Weck, who played Tony's and Peter's director Max Heller (at right) was reportedly a member of the choir when he was a boy. Throughout the story Herr Heller provides the boys with much needed lessons in cooperation. His part is so well played it is very obvious that he had been 'on both sides' of the podium. In the manner of all good boychoir directors, he shows sincere concern for the boys-- not just for their singing! When Peter's voice breaks, the boy does not just regret not being allowed to go on the next world tour, but not being able to continue his composition studies under Heller. "You know what I'm getting at!" Peter tells him.
Click here for more about Sean Scully's career!
Follow the links below for much more about "Almost Angels"!
Are you aware of anyone who may know surviving members of the cast or crew? Please inform us by E-MAIL. Your comments and suggestions are also appreciated!