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

Thursday, December 11, 2014


Alice Faye and Dana Andrews
FALLEN ANGEL (1945). Producer/director: Otto Preminger.

" ... 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. ***.

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