Entertaining Angels

Theatrical Release: November 6, 1996
DVD Release: November 6, 1996
Entertaining Angels


“Entertaining Angels: The Dorothy Day Story” shows how the journalist and social activist served New York’s poor and became a voice for the voiceless. The film shows Dorothy’s struggle as she establishes the Catholic Worker movement and commits herself to a lifetime of peacemaking, battling for justice, and hands-on service to the poor.

Dove Review

“Entertaining Angels: The Dorothy Day Story” is a faith-based film that will inspire viewers. It successfully makes the point that one individual can make a difference. Moira Kelly is superb as Dorothy Day and gives a multi-faceted performance. In the beginning of the film, she’s an elderly woman in jail, comforting a drug-addict female prisoner who becomes her cell mate. Next the film flashes back in time to when she is a young rebel, a suffragette who works as a reporter when she’s not fighting for a woman’s right to vote. She also has two relationships which produce two children: one whom is aborted and a daughter she raises named Tamara. She is so happy to have a second child, after aborting the first — a decision she regretted — that she begins to visit the local Catholic Church and becomes friends with a nun. Soon, her spiritual hunger grows, and she begins to help the poor and eventually births the Catholic Worker movement.

Day is portrayed as a compassionate woman, helping prostitutes, the hungry and drunks, and lives with them, along with her daughter. The challenges are plenty but, as a reporter friend tells her, she is making people’s lives “more bearable.” One priest says Dorothy has shown them that “Christianity is not just bake sales, Sunday mass, and Friday fish.” A local news story calls Dorothy the “Champion of the Poor.” Due to strong uses of language and sexuality in the film, as well as few scenes of strong violence, we are awarding it for our Faith Based Seal. This inspiring and powerful movie makes it clear: a little faith can go a long way!

Content Description

Faith: None
Integrity: None
Sex: Passionate kissing; single woman becomes pregnant twice and has one child after aborting the other; scenes of woman in bed with man; woman kisses man's chest; husband kisses wife; innuendo about "that's not all" a man is great at; a comment about "easy" women.
Language: G/OG-4; H-5; D-4; SOB-2; Bi*ch-2; "Da*n you"-2; "S*rew you"-1; Shut up-2; N*ggers-2; Kikes-1; Chinks-1
Violence: Woman seen dead in bathtub, with cut wrists and a pool of blood on the floor; guard shoves woman into cell with foot; struggle between police and several people; women are shoved and a woman is struck; a burning building is visible and three children reportedly died in the fire; a woman throws things in anger; a woman breaks a mirror and bloodies her wrist; old marks seen on another woman's wrists; a man hits a man with a pole; a woman gets struck with a club and has some blood on her forehead.
Drugs: Several scenes of smoking and drinking and the mention of drinks or cigarettes; bar scenes; woman is drunk; woman attempts to steal money to buy alcohol.
Nudity: Shirtless men; woman's bare shoulders are visible when she is in night clothes in bed.
Other: Woman vomits; a few people hold atheistic views and believe Christians are hypocrites; a man's philosophy is "eat, drink, make love: that's what it's all about"; racist remarks; tension between characters; a homeless woman reportedly froze to death.


Company: Gateway Films / Vision Video
Writer: John Wells
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 112 min.
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter