|Alice Faye and Dana Andrews|
" ... and love alone can make the fallen angel rise, for only two together can enter paradise."
In a small coastal town not far from San Francisco, ex-publicity man Eric Stanton (Dana Andrews) has set his sights on the wealthy June Mills (Alice Faye), whose sister, Clara (Anne Revere), may be a tougher nut to crack. Then there's sexy waitress, Stella (Linda Darnell), who may throw a monkey wrench into Eric's schemes if he's not careful. A murder investigation ensues, which brings in tough detective Mark Judd (Charles Bickford), and a suspect named Dave Atkins (Bruce Cabot). Fallen Angel can be looked upon as a mystery, film noir, or whatever you want to call it, but it's full of such good performances and nice moments that it emerges as a strong (if flawed) and compelling drama. In a different role for her, Faye [On The Avenue] is excellent as a woman who loves someone unconditionally -- she has a particularly good moment telling Eric how she feels about him -- Darnell [Day-Time Wife] is vivid and vital as the saucy waitress, and Andrews [Boomerang] gives another sharp and solid performance, playing a man who is more complex than he first appears. Revere, Cabot, Bickford, as well as John Carradine as a professor and Percy Kilbride as a cafe owner with feelings for Stella, are all on the mark. The story is, perhaps, wrapped up a bit too neatly, but this is an engrossing and interesting movie.
Verdict: One of Preminger's better efforts. ***.