Change Of Habit
Shooting began March 1969 and completed on May 2, 1969
Opened nationally November 10, 1969
Character: Dr. John Carpenter
Producer: Joe Connelly
Director: William Graham
Dr. John Carpenter heads a clinic in a ghetto area of a major metropolis. He is surprised to be offered assistance by three women. Unknown to him, the three are nuns in street clothing who want to aid the community but are afraid the local residents might be reluctant to seek help if their true identities were known. Dr. Carpenter falls in love with Sister Michelle Gallagher but Sister Michelle's true vocation remains unknown to Dr. Carpenter. Sister Michelle also has feelings for the good doctor., but she is reluctant to leave the order. The film concludes with Sister Michelle entering a church to pray for guidance to make her choice-the church or Dr. Carpenter.
"Change of Habit"-sung over the opening credits.
"Rubberneckin'"-Sung in John Carpenter's apartment above the Washington Street Clinic.
"Have a Happy"-Sung on the merry-go-round after a touch football game.
"Let Us Pray"-Sung at Father Gibbon's Catholic Church at the end of the film.
"Let's Be Friends" was cut from the film. In the nuns' apartment, Elvis played "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" on the piano with "guitar accompaniment" by Sister Michelle (Mary Tyler Moore). "Let's Forget About the Stars" was recorded for the film but not used.
Exteriors were shot in Los Angeles in the area of Fifth and Main streets, while interiors were photographed on Stage D at Universal Studios.
Change of Habit was a fictionalized account of Sister Mary Olivia Gibson's work with handicapped children. Sister Mary was head of speech clinic at Maria Regina College in Syracuse, NY. In working with children who had speech problems, she used variations of theatrical technique.
Most of the exterior scenes were filmed in the area of 5th and Main streets in downtown Los Angeles.
During filming, a dozen large rats used in a ghetto apartment scene got loose on Stage D. The crew and actors had to temporarily vacate the premises while animal handlers rounded them up.
A couple of weeks before its national release, Change of Habit was screened for psychiatrists, psychologists, and educators from Los Angeles and San Jose who were involved with autistic children.
Change of Habit reached as high as #17 on Variety's weekly list of top-grossing films.
The network TV debut of Change of Habit occurred on NBC's "Friday Night at the Movies" on October 20, 1972.
Washington Street Clinic located in New York City was run by Dr. John Carpenter. The clinic's address was 934 Washington Street and the telephone number was Madison 6-7234.
Sisters Michelle, Barbara, and Irene belonged to the Order of Little Sisters of Mary.
Sister Michelle was psychiatric social worker with a degree in speech therapy; Sister Barbara was a laboratory technician; and Sister Irene was a registered nurse with a degree in public health.
Dr. John Carpenter was from Shelby County, Tennessee (as Elvis was).
The Blossoms could be singing backup in the "Rubberneckin'" and "Let Us Pray" numbers.
Located across the street from the nuns' apartment saw Celestial Gardens, Maria's Cafe, and a liquor store.
Sister Michelle had five brothers.
During the touch football game, Sister Michelle wore a sweatshirt form the Notre Dame Athletic Department. Dr. Carpenter's sweatshirt was from the University of Tennessee at Memphis.
Sergeant Cal Edwards was in Dr. Carpenter's former Army unit. Cal was from Washington Street and it was because Carpenter felt he owed Cal something for his friendship that he came to Washington street.
The august 3rd street festival Fiesta of San Juan of Chequez was sponsored by the nuns. The festival was named in honor of the patron saint of Caribbean fishermen.
After the closing credits of Change of Habit, there was a plug for Universal Studios: "When in Southern California, Visit Universal City Studios".
In the film's opening credits, a sign on the side of a bus advertised KDAY radio, a Los Angeles station. The film, however, was set in New York City.