Friday, February 21, 2014

"Fallen Angel"

As you know, I usually comment on animation in my Scribble Junkies blog posts, but today I want to talk about a live-action film - an old live-action film.

I caught the film about three years ago on TCM and thoroughly enjoyed it.  It was classic noir sleaze - all of the characters were evil, selfish and immoral.

That is, until about 2/3 of the way into the film, when the tramp waitress, played by a very sexy Linda Darnell, is murdered.  Then the film takes a hard right turn into a righteous religious sermon about goodness.

A year later, I still couldn't get that film out of my mind - what a great film, ruined by a goody-goody ending.

I wanted to see the film again, perhaps I could remake the story and keep that sinister nasty feeling throughout the whole film.  But damn, I forgot what it was called.  I went through all of my diaries of films watched, but I couldn't find it.  Then, luckily, I found it programmed again on TCM - it was called "Fallen Angel", it sounded like the same movie, and after the first few minutes, I knew this was my lost gem of a movie.

It stars Dana Andrews as a drifter who ends up in a dead-end beach town, where he falls in love with a very sultry, sexy gold-digger waitress, played by Linda Darnell.  She won't take a tumble with him unless he's got a lot of money.  So Dana plots to marry and kill the local spinster, played by Alice Faye.

And it's here that the film is ruined by the waitress's murder. 

It was made in 1945 by Otto Preminger, and I suppose it was the Hollywood distributors that forced the sermonizing ending.  But I bet if Billy Wilder had made the film, we would have a live Linda Darnell and a dead Alice Faye - now there's a film I'd love to see!

Check out "Fallen Angel" - it's got some of the sexiest non-sex scenes I've ever seen in a movie.  I give it an A+.


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