When a drifter falls for an ambitious waitress at a roadside cafe, he tricks a local heiress into marrying him, intending to take her money and run away with Darnell — but his plans are soon complicated by an unexpected turn of events.
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There’s a sickness hanging over Otto Preminger’s Fallen Angelthat clings to every location, every set, every fluid camera move, and every off, but very human expression on the actor’s often haunted faces.
Alice Fay was understandably upset when they cut out many of her scenes, including a song. They did it to give Linda Darnell a bigger role. I think it probably made it a better movie, because it highlighted the good girl/bad girl dynamic. She quit 20th Century Fox after seeing the movie.
Indispensable Film Noir for the connoisseur. One year after LAURA, Otto Preminger tells us once more the story of a woman adulated by all the men she meets. A fabulous shot: during their honeymoon in San Francisco, Alice Faye and Dana Andrews sleep in the same bed (all dressed up of course thanks to the Hays code) and the camera lingers on the window through which we see half of the sign HOTel. Mythical.
A fine film which has a stellar 1st half & then settles for mere good in its 2nd half. It's very well directed by Preminger & features Andrews in his one of his best performances as a shifty, charismatic con man. The film seems to want to veer into more existential dilemmas but it just doesn't follow through on its promise for more misanthropy. I wouldn't be surprised if the filmmakers wanted a different ending.
Linda Darnell shines in this, much like Tierney did in the similarly Preminger helmed Laura. Andrews relishes every bit of dialogue, adding twists of cynicism and world-weariness to his role. Bickford is great as usual, solid actor for decades. One can't help feel a bit sorry for Faye, as many scenes wound up on cutting room floor (her leaving show biz for a time as result), but it made for a better film. 4 stars