Hello, What a wonderful website! All this time I thought I was alone in my supreme delight and reverence for this film. I saw "Almost Angels" for the first time at the age of ten, when my mother, who had seen it as a child in Taiwan, spotted it in the video rental section at Tower Records. I watched it and was entranced. Later, we managed to snag a copy of the movie from a friend, and I have since watched it innumerable times, in addition to attending live WSK performances. My favorite parts in "Almost Angels" are probably when Peter and Toni sing "Der Lindenbaum" accompanied by Herr Heller, and when Ferdie falls down during the operetta (and nearly loses his moustache) while singing for Peter. The Wiener Sangerknaben are not only phenomenal musicians, but funloving and adorable as well. I met them once after a performance, and they broke away from an animated game of tag to politely sign my program and pose for pictures. It amazes me that mortal boys could produce such heavenly music! --- Helen Lin, New York, New York Visitor Comments - Page 3
PS- Anyone noticed that the last performance in the movie where Peter conducts The Blue Danube, puportedly taking place in Australia, was actually filmed in the Musikverein in Vienna?
I found this mailing address when I searched for a copy of the movie "Almost Angels" (former "Born to Sing"). My uncle is in this picture... he is the boy that did not get into the Vienna Boys Choir. Steve Previn and Walt Disney wanted him for the leading role but he refused because he wanted to go home and spend the summer with his family. About my uncle: His name is Bernhard Hindinger and I saw on the site that he played Felix Meinl. My uncle will turn 50 this year and as a surprise we wanted to rent or buy this movie for him for he hasn't seen it since he left the choir. Do you know where we could get our hands on any copy of it? --- Irene Ludick, Netherlands
Webmaster's Comment: Ms. Ludick later e-mailed: "Well, I was calling my mom yesterday to tell her that I found the movie "Almost Angels" just to hear that she had a talk with my uncle's wife who told her that my uncle succeded recently in getting a copy of the movie himself... there goes our surprise!"
(We had explained to her the great difficulty in finding copies of the movie, and the very high prices some copies bring at auction.) But we thought you might like to see her uncle, who played Felix during the auditions scene. That is him in the snap, at right! Mr. Hindinger still lives in Austria, as does his sister, Irene's mother. Our sincere thanks to Irene, and we hope to later hear from her uncle.
I am very happy to have discovered your web-site. I saw the movie of Almost Angels in 1966 in Hong Kong. The story, the three boys actors and the music attracted me. After these years I still remember them. I am now 48. Recently I tried to look up for the videotape of Almost Angels only to find that it is out of print and used tapes are very expensive in the market (websites). I hope Walt Disney Home Video will release it again some day. In fact I have put in my suggestion in their web-site. I am also a fan for the Vienna Choir Boys. I particularly love their songs--waltzes and polkas accompanied by orchestra instead of piano only. Of all the CDs, LPs I have come across, only " Austria Revisited " ( LP - Capitol Records ) contained music with orchestral accompaniment. If you fans know about any of their CDs or LPs that contain songs with orch. accompaniment, would you please let me know. Thank you for your efforts in bringing Almost Angels onto web-pages so that people and fans worldwide can stop and refresh their memories. --- Tong Tak On, Hong Kong, China
The first time I saw "Almost Angels" was in 1966, when I was eight years old and in my church choir. Somehow, someone had gotten a copy of it and showed it on one of those big old projectors for our girls choir and the boys choir. I was absolutely entranced! The idea of being able to go to school and have singing be the focus of life was something I would have given anything for. Of course I thought it was just a fantasy until I told my mother about the movie I'd seen and she explained that the Vienna Boys Choir really existed. Shortly thereafter they performed in Los Angeles where I grew up. My mother took us all to see them and I felt like I was in heaven being able to hear those voices live. Since then I've always taken advantage of every opportunity to see them perform, and now take my own children. I also do remember, or think I remember, seeing the movie again on an episode of The Wonderful World of Disney. As an adult, once video rentals became available in the 80's, I assumed I'd be able to find a copy of "Almost Angels" to show to my kids. I've been dismayed not to be able to find it. I have often wondered if there's any avenue for influencing Disney to release it as they did some of the other films that were shown only on The Wonderful World of Disney but not in theaters. The film will always be special to me not only for portraying a life dedicated to the enjoyment of singing, but also for the wonderful characteristics of loyalty and honesty depicted by the boys. It truely is a very special work. --- Pam Keon, Mill Valley, California
Searching for some information on Sean Scully, whom I had lately seen on a video of The Prince and the Pauper, I ran over this site on Almost Angels as well. (That's where I knew Sean from in the first place.) And I just thought I ought to write some comments on it as well. Actually, I have no idea if Almost Angels ever came out on video here. We recorded it from tv, since the Dutch, Belgian and German broadcasting companies have shown it once or twice each over the past few years. Also: Gene, you can add one language subtitled more: Dutch/Flemish! (For your information: Holland and northern Belgium (Flandria) have practically the same language.) But I really must say that I consider Almost Angels as one of the best movies ever made, perhaps only surpassed by the famous Sound of Music. I love watching it, and I love listening to the beautiful songs the choir sings. The actors were great, and each of them very sympatic. Great story, great actors, great songs, great voices, what else does a movie need? To all of you: thank you for keeping this treasure alive on the internet, and I hope, like you, to learn a bit more about the Wiener Sangerknaben and the movie's actors in time. I'll visit here now and then to see if someone got up to something interesting! In the meanwhile, I'll keep searching a bit more for Sean Scully. For my part, I think he is a very good actor (and a handsome boy as well. Pity he must be some 55 years now, twice as old as I am...) --- Margreeth, Arnhem, Holland
Webmaster's Note: We now have a page devoted to the later career of Sean Scully. You may check it out HERE !
GOT TO SEE ALMOST ANGELS ON THE DISNEY NETWORK A FEW MONTHS AGO AND DIDN'T REALIZE ON HOW MUCH THAT MOVIE INFLUENCED ME ON THE INTERESTS I NOW HAVE AND HELPED ME TO FULLFIL SOME OF MY AMBITIONS THAT I HAD AS A TWELVE YEAR OLD. I ALWAYS HAD A FASCINATION WITH AUSTRALIA AS LONG AS I COULD REMEMBER AND WAS DETERMINED TO GET THERE SOME DAY WHICH I DID BACK IN THE EARLY SEVENTIES LIVING THERE FOR NEARLY THREE YEARS. IT ALSO SPARKED SOME WHAT OF AN INTEREST IN CLASSICAL MUSIC WHICH I SHARE WITH MY KIDS. LOOKING BACK I'M THINKING OF HOW IMPORTANT FRIENDSHIP AND LOYALTY HAVE BEEN TO ME ALL THROUGH MY ENTIRE LIFE, A LESSON THAT I THINK THE MOVIE WAS TRYING TO GET ACROSS. I ENJOY LISTENING TO THE VIENNA BOYS CHOIR AND FIND MYSELF PLAYING THOSE TAPES AND CD'S MORE OFTEN. I WAS SO PLEASED TO FIND YOUR WEB SITE AND HAVE THE CHANCE TO SHARE SOME PLEASANT MEMORIES. --- David Obuchowski, Webster, Massachusetts
One could take such things (films and choirs) for granted in those days, but what a mistake that was: in the ensuing decades, boychoir after boychoir in America was sabotaged on whatever conceivable pretext proved most expedient. They are now a gravely endangered species, as little sympathy as that may evoke from people oh-so-concerned about endangered species of other kinds. It was a movie, however, which I never forgot. I soon yearned to be able to see it again, and it has been quite galling to see it systematically neglected even in places which purport to specialize in offering Disney movies of the period. Finally finding it, I marveled at its authenticities: the fine music to which it treated the audience; the vocal training and technique which it adumbrated; the power and glory of possessing a beautiful treble voice, such that boys otherwise as eager as any to mature into manhood could shed tears at its passing. I doubt that any such genuine presentation would be considered viable for American audiences now. Surely such an attempt would be trivialized and bastardized today even to a much greater extent than perhaps it was then. Popular attention is finally devolving, if belatedly and only as an issue of self-preservation, upon the legacy of incompetence which socio-political trends have bequeathed to the raising of boys in the past generation. I commend this film, and the institution which it shows, as one redress whose value, proven over centuries, remains undiminished and ripe for recovery. --- Paul Emmons, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
There are two parts of 'Almost Angels' that I particularly enjoyed. 1. Where it finally dawns on Peter that Tony is not going to 'squeal' on him and, 2. The 'Omnes de Saba venient' sequence where Tony's father finally realizes the value of his son being in the choir. It was very difficult choosing only 'one' favorite part of this film. I'll never understand the thinking behind Disney's decision not to release this film on video for the general market. --- Larry Ford, Monticello, Kentucky
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