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The Tarnished Angels

The Tarnished Angels(1958)

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  • tarnished angels

    • kevin sellers
    • 1/17/17

    The "Written On The Wind" team (Rock Hudson, Robert Stack, Dorothy Malone, screenwriter George Zuckerman and most prominently director Douglas Sirk) returns with another tawdry tale of moral corruption. And like the earlier film the melodrama is front and center, but offset and undercut by odd bits of Sirkian quirkiness, such as the director's strange affection for the sleaziest character in the cast, the portly pervy businessman Matt Ord, perfectly embodied by the great 50s/60s character actor, Robert Middleton, (Indeed, the shot of Ord's stricken face as Dorothy Malone walks out on him is, to me, the most unforgettable image in the film) as well as what has to be the most depressing wake I've ever seen put on film, following the death of Robert Stack's "tarnished" yet ultimately noble stunt flyer. Also good are the performances of Jack Carson as the pathetically weak mechanic, Jiggs, and Rock Hudson as the romantic newspaperman, Burke Devlin, whose drunken eulogy for Stack, delivered to his editor is, along with the fight scene in the diner in "Giant," and his entire performance in "Seconds," the highlight of this very underated actor's career. Dorothy Malone is more an alluring, mysterious presence than a character. Basically, she has to convince you that all the male characters in this film are hopelessly in love with her, a difficult task which Malone accomplishes, nicely. (You do not, however, buy that she's a big Willa Cather fan!) Robert Stack is the weakest of the cast (as he was in "Wind.") Not only are his motivations for pimping his wife to get flying gigs unexplained in George Zukerman's paradoxically too talky yet under developed script, but Stack is the most hysterical of what tends to be an over the top ensemble. A stronger performance by Stack and a more fully developed character by Zuckerman would have lifted this film to greatness. As it is, let's give it a B plus. P.S. I agree with Wm. Faulkner that this is the best movie adaptation of his work.

  • Good Faulkner

    • Steve Myers
    • 1/13/17

    A very good version of Faulkner's story. Hudson is excellent and the rest of the cast is fine. Well worth watching.

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