Skip to main content
BFI logo











Screenonline banner
Amelia and the Angel (1958)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

Five little girls, Amelia, Margaret, Mary, Rosemary and Jane, rehearse a dance for the school play. They're dressed as angels, complete with elaborate feathery wings, and Miss May, their teacher, tells them that they must not damage them under any circumstances, as they're irreplaceable. After the rehearsal, the girls get changed, hang up their wings and go home.

But Amelia can't resist the urge to take them home to show her mother. Sneaking back into the changing room, she removes the wings and manages to get them home unharmed, despite several scares from passing dogs, cats, traffic, crowds and, worst of all, small boys. Throughout her journey, whether on foot or on the Underground, she strokes her wings lovingly.

The next day, Amelia's brother steals the wings, puts them on and goes off to the local playground. After a few minutes' energetic swinging, sliding and see-sawing, the wings are ruined beyond repair. Amelia is inconsolable, and sobbing on her bed and praying to the saints above her mirror don't help.

So she raids her money-box and goes out to try to find new wings. Although the people she talks to are helpful, the shops she visits either have no wings at all, or hopelessly unsuitable ones more appropriate for a beetle than an angel.

Finally, she sees a dog with wings attached to its back. She follows it into a nearby park, past a sign that reads 'Mike Sniver and Rock his Wonder Dog'. Mike, who has been worried by Rock's disappearance, is delighted to see him and rehearses their "somersaulting angel" act (which involves a stepladder, a see-saw and a hugely reluctant dog).

After this goes disastrously wrong, Amelia asks Mike if she can borrow the wings. He looks doubtful, but lets her try them on - but they're much too small. If only Rock had been a Great Dane, muses Amelia sadly as she bids them farewell.

Her hopes rise again when she sees a little girl drawing a chalk picture on the pavement of 'The Angel in the Park'. After being given directions, she runs to the park... but finds that the angel is made of stone.

Despondent, she turns and heads for home, her last hopes of getting the wings before the play begins (in two hours' time) completely dashed. But then she sees a woman running past, sporting a magnificent set of wings. She follows her, but is delayed when she falls over and has to put her money back into her purse.

Fortunately, the "angel" has left a feather outside the house that she disappeared into. Amelia enters it, walks up several flights of stairs, and is briefly terrified by a strange man carrying an empty dress. At the top of the stairs, she pushes the door open to reveal the "angel", who turns out to be an artist's model - and it turns out that the artist has a perfect set of spare wings which he's only too happy to give to Amelia.

Ecstatic, Amelia runs to her school, her magnificent new wings catching the fading sunlight.