Fallen Angel (1945) - Rotten Tomatoes

Fallen Angel (1945)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Otto Preminger directed this stylish film noir exercise, intended as a follow-up to his surprise hit Laura. Kicked off a bus traveling cross-country for not being able to come up with the fare, down-and-out press agent Eric Stanton (Dana Andrews) ends up in Walton, a small coastal town in California. Stanton fast-talks Joe Ellis (Olin Howland) into giving him a place to stay for the night in exchange for promoting Professor Madley (John Carradine), a "mentalist" whose show Ellis manages. While in Walton, Stanton makes the acquaintance of June Mills (Alice Faye), a wealthy but reclusive young woman, and has his eye on Stella (Linda Darnell), a good-looking waitress working at the local diner. Thanks to Madley, Stanton learns a few things about June, and when Ellis and the professor pull up stakes after a successful engagement, Stanton opts to stay behind, hoping to win Stella's heart. Gold digger Stella makes it known that she has no interest in Stanton unless he comes into a lot of money, but June has made her interest in Stanton quite clear. Stanton hatches a plan: he'll marry June, take her money, divorce her, and then take up with Stella. Stanton and June do in fact marry, but just as he's about to give her the brush-off, Stella turns up dead. Mark Judd (Charles Bickford), a retired cop-turned-detective, is investigating the murder, and while the initial suspect is Dave Atkins (Bruce Cabot), Stella's ne'er-do-well ex-boyfriend, Judd's focus eventually falls on Stanton. Stanton flees Walton for San Francisco, with ever-loyal June at his side; he quickly abandons her after taking her money, but he returns to her side when word reaches him that June has been charged with Stella's murder. Fallen Angel marked a dramatic change of pace for Alice Faye; however, she was very unhappy with how Preminger edited her performance, convinced that much of her best work ended up on the cutting-room floor. Faye was so angry that she quit the movie business altogether and didn't appear in another film until State Fair in 1962.


Dana Andrews
as Eric Stanton
Alice Faye
as June Mills
Anne Revere
as Clara Mills
Bruce Cabot
as Dave Atkins
John Carradine
as Prof. Madley
Olin Howland
as Joe Ellis
Mira McKinney
as Mrs. Judd
Gus Glassmire
as Hotel Clerk
Jimmy Conlin
as Hotel Clerk
Leila McIntyre
as Bank Clerk
Garry Owen
as Waiter
Paul Palmer
as Detective
Herbert Ashley
as Plainclothesman
Matthew 'Stymie' Beard
as Shoe Shine Boy
Chick Collins
as Bus Driver
William Haade
as Bus Driver
Dorothy Adams
as Store Keeper
Harry Strang
as Policeman
Max Wagner
as Bartender
Dave Morris
as Reporter
Betty Boyd
as Bank Clerk
Wally Wales
as Johnson
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Fallen Angel

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (3)

The portrait of small-town loneliness and desperation is well and sharply drawn.

Full Review… | October 23, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

For all of its acting wealth, Fallen Angel falls short of being a top flight whodunit.

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

A sharp, small town melodrama.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

The overall mood, lighting, and pace of the film, nevertheless, are top, hardboiled film noir.

Full Review… | October 23, 2007
TV Guide

Heck, you almost expect Mildred Pierce to show up at Pop's Diner to sell him some pies!

Full Review… | July 5, 2006

Its subtle analysis of shadowy tropes proves both a continuation and a deepening of Preminger's use of moral ambiguity as a tool of human insight.

Full Review… | March 10, 2006
Slant Magazine

Audience Reviews for Fallen Angel

Has film-noir elements but not all one would normally expect. The acting performances of leads and supporting actors and actresses are good without any weaknesses. Cinematography is classic Preminger long take with moves in and out of close-ups for excellent effect. Script dialog is also good. The problem with this movie is its story structure. Gets bogged down in the first two thirds that lead up to the murder to be solved with implausible situations in which two women would consider marrying an unknown drifter who rolls into town with no money and hasn't been there more than a few weeks. The plot concept is OK. It's the awkward screenplay structure implementation that all but ruins what could have been a good noir murder whodunnit. That's what reduces it to two stars.

John Lind
John Lind

I loved this movie! Andrews and Faye and Darnell were so fantastic in the movie, and the story is exciting, suspenseful, and romantic. I highly recommend it.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer


Good performances but the storyline only works if you buy into the assumption that all men are powerless under the spell of Linda Darnell. Discount that and 90% of the plot becomes illogical and disjointed.

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

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