Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


THE TARNISHED ANGELS (1957). Director: Douglas Sirk. Produced by Albert Zugsmith.

Burke Devlin (Rock Hudson), a reporter, becomes involved with an air show troupe consisting of Roger Shumann (Robert Stack), his wife LaVerne (Dorothy Malone), and their buddy and associate Jiggs (Jack Carson). A WW1 flying hero, Roger can't recapture his glory days and takes it out on his wife and young son, Jack (Chris Olsen) while Jiggs, who loves LaVerne, fumes, and Burke and LaVerne bond out of sympathy. This has the same producer, director and stars of Written on the Wind, but a more prestigious literary source, William Faulkner's "Pylon," but it isn't as entertaining. This is supposed to take place during the 1930's but it has absolutely no period atmosphere [despite the black and white photography]. The four leads are all good, but none are outstanding. Robert Middleton scores as promoter Matt Ord, who has his own plans for pretty LaVerne. The movie is well-intentioned, and tries hard to be a thoughtful piece, but the characters lack dimension and the story never quite comes to a boil, with the climax coming twenty minutes too soon. One of the better sequences has the little boy stuck on a fun ride as disaster strikes at the air show nearby. Troy Donahue has a small role as a doomed young pilot.

Verdict: So so and ho hum, unfortunately. **1/2.

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