Fallen Angel - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Fallen Angel Reviews

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½ January 26, 2017
Good film noir that took awhile to get good. I guess the motivations were what bothered me.
½ January 22, 2017
good dark drama but I don't think it's film noir
April 20, 2016
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.
½ September 20, 2015
a fair to good film noir by an excellent director of film noir movies.
½ November 20, 2013
Dana Andrews is a con man on the make, or maybe he's fallen in love with Linda Darnell (who is clearly shopping around). At any rate, he's wound up in the small Californian town of Walton without any money. After helping a phony spiritualist, he settles on a plan to bilk a rich young spinster of her money to use it to marry Darnell. But it isn't clear that he really knows what he wants and, in fact, Alice Faye (the spinster) might be good for him. But then there's murder. This complicates the typical romantic melodrama plot and turns it more noirish. Preminger handles things well but this is no match for his earlier Laura (or the surprising Angel Face).
August 14, 2013
The star player is Alice Faye. She gives a superb, if slightly overstated, performance. My favourite performance of hers is playing Belle Fawcett in Fox's In Old Chicago (1937) alongside Tyrone Power and Don Ameche. Also I've seen her in a few musicals especially with Carmen Miranda in both Weekend in Havana (1941) and That Night in Rio (1941) again with Ameche, where her talents weren't strong enough to save a predictable poor storyline in both films. Here in Fallen Angel she is vulnerable but strong and exceptionally appealing.

The rest of the cast is good to excellent also. Charles Bickford is superb in a somewhat formulaic role. Dana Andrews gives a performance he gave often but that is good. Ann Revere is properly menacing as Faye's older sister who doesn't approve of what she's doing.

Linda Darnell is good but something isn't right about her. Maybe I prefer seeing her in a more favorable light especially The Mark of Zorro (1940). Typical to cast two leading ladies who've worked with Fox's leading man Tyrone Power. She was such a charming, beautiful actress, it's hard to think of her as a bad girl. And, essentially, that's what she plays here. Who wants to think of her as calculating and cold-blooded? The real star of "Fallen Angel" is its atmosphere. We have the usual drifter, a somewhat incongruous big-city cop, and the usual smalltime denizens in the small town where it takes place. A mood of doom hangs over this town and we sense that from the very beginning.

The cinematography is first-rate. The script is a little predictable but very literate.

It's not "Laura" and, though the public at the time may have expected it to be, I don't. But it falls short of the top rung of noir. And yet -- It will haunt anyone who sees it. It's not easy to shake off.
April 12, 2013
Great performances from a talented cast and an interesting storyline well scripted and directed by Otto Preminger add up to a superior noir.
½ April 2, 2013
2.5: If this weren't a noir it might have been hard to tell where it was heading at times, but the tonality indicated it was to a relatively dark place. I'd call this a middling work for Preminger. A solid noir, but nothing to write home about in my book.
½ October 19, 2012
A melodrama of the most noir-ish kind. Fallen Angel astounds with its accurate black-and-white cinematography and tense atmosphere, as the audience experiences the adventures of a lonely, sleazy con man who comes to a seemingly quiet town and gets more than he bargained for. Through a pathological threesome with two beautiful ladies (one to love, one to get money from) he plunges deeper and deeper into the abyss of murder and treason. Through its pleasurable plot twists, Fallen Angel arouses the curiosity of the viewer and judges the deceitful antagonists of the film with a most villainous care.
May 13, 2012
A Tangle Of Intrigue and Murder!!
½ April 3, 2012
Somewhat sluggish effort this, despite decent performances and dialogue, especially from the sultry Darnell and the smart talking con artist Dana Andrews. Preminger failed to capture the tightness and delicious amorality of Laura, though with great lighting and surprising twists this is a decent noir.
January 29, 2012
Greatest Femmes Fatales in Classic Film Noir
½ October 14, 2011
Thursday, October 13, 2011

(1945) Fallen Angel
DRAMA/ THRILLER/ MYSTERY

Oddball of a movie from director Otto Preminger, which starts out as a drama when unknown person, Eric Stanton (Dana Andrews) enters into a coffee joint and becomes infatuated to a floozy(a girl who enjoys men spending money on her) who also steals cash from the joint she works in. Stanton then finds a wealthy heiress June Mills (Alice Faye) he's not really in love with, and marries her just so he could provide this other hussy all the things he's promised her and that includes a nice house. The hussy then gets murdered with fingers pointing to him, putting him into a complicated situation with his intolerant wife standing by his side.

Second film director Preminger did with Dana Andrews after the critical and financial success of "Laura" in 1944, both films have similar rings with each other by use of 'obsession' but unidentical tones, at least the last hour of Fallen Angel is similar. The tone of the film appears to be a drama at first, when at the beginning, showcases the protagonist as a not so very nice fella whose self assured, self-centered and unlikably controlling, then the film switched to a whodunnit, leaving no clues whatsoever turning the feel from thriller to a mystery. In "Laura", the protagonist becomes obsessed, after staring at a picture of the lady whose supposed to be dead on a wall, until suddenly appears acting like nothing ever happened. One thing to point out is that "Fallen Angel" never loses focus even when the film radically switches to different stages from drama to thriller/ mystery, and that some viewers may have already know whose the killer is even before the film is over!

3 out of 4
August 18, 2011
Good film noir. Eric (Andrews) is a drifter that lands by accident is a small town. When there, he meets sexy waitress Stella (Darnell) and ends up falling for her. Stella isn't interested unless Eric has money, so to get some cash he marries spinster June (Faye). But when Stella turns up murdered, he's the prime suspect. It's hard to tell what'll happen, but as it turns out, he really falls for June. "Fallen Angel" was the great Otto Preminger's follow-up to the massive success of "Laura". Though this is not as good, it still stands on its own two feet. This is a great example of noir, filled with lies, greed, infidelity, romance, and murder, which brings a lot of great aspects. This was technically Alice Faye's last movie, if you don't count 1962's "State Fair" (which was pretty bad anyway). Luckily, it was an excellent way to say goodbye. She plagued the movie theatres with musicals for at least a decade, and here she finally gets far from it. I consider this to be her best performance. Unlike most musical stars like Betty Grable or Carmen Miranda, she really has acting chops, and here she shows what years of practice can lead up to. Linda Darnell also does a great job as the doomed Stella. Tough- talking femme fatales are a big part of the film noir genre, and she makes hers one of the more memorable ones. Dana Andrews and Otto Preminger are a great team, and people knew it: they made many other movies together and this is really one of the best ones. "Fallen Angel" may not be a classic, but it's totally worth watching.
March 5, 2011
All The Elements Are There But It Doesn't Really Work
½ January 30, 2011
In lesser hands, this would have been an average to below average film noir, but when you have director Otto Preminger, star Linda Darnell, and composer David Raskin, you get something better than the rather ordinary noir tale deserved. Well worth watching if you're a fan of the genre!
January 20, 2011
Nothing anyone does makes sense and there's no one to root for, but Preminger makes it all look SO good
November 20, 2010
Fallen Angel is one of the most underrated films of the 1940s. Good performances and excellent studio and exterior film work by director Otto Preminger, make this film memorable.

As the down-on-his-luck grifter, Dana Andrews is perfectly cast. He has the right mixture of toughness and vulnerability that makes his character believable and sympathetic. Linda Darnell as the quintessential film noir femme fatale, has one of the best entrances in film history. Her Stella is a slut's slut, who has dreams of marriage and a home with a white picket fence. Alice Faye as June, the rich small-town spinster that Andrews's character tricks into marriage turns in a decent and sensitive performance in a rare dramatic role. Why she thought this film was reason to walk out on her studio contract is one for the ages.

A well crafted, well acted film that deserves a better reputation than it currently has.
October 27, 2010
Another solid film noir from Otto Preminger, with typical shady noir characters and femme fatale. Some fine police work demonstrated, whose investigation tactics relies on simply beating a (hopeful) confession out of suspects.
Super Reviewer
½ October 18, 2010
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.
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