The Tarnished Angels (6-Jan-1958)|
Director: Douglas Sirk
Writer: George Zuckerman
From novel: Pylon by William Faulkner
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Review by ben murphy (posted on 4-Jun-2007)
I waited a long time to see this movie I`m a big fan of Douglas Sirk, and Dorothy Malone`s is always wonderful.
Terrible disappointment-its in black and white- I love Sirk`s usual virbant and lurid 50s technicolour. Then the realisation it wasn`t going to be a suburban melodrama! No Lana Turner adjusting her cardigan to express emotion, but an adventure story of barnstorming pilots between the wars. Then with poor old Jack Carson hamfistedly attempting to be dramatic and the slightly clunky script sraining at significance it looked like we were going to hit a pylon but...
It takes off because Rock Hudson is actually quite good as the alcoholic reporter,and nobody pulls off neurotic tawdry glamour like Dorothy Malone (this is where Sue-Ellen in Dallas got her moves),and Robert Stack ludicrous seriousness as the possessed pilot, convinces you to surrender to Sirk`s cinema.
His films are always enjoyable as is this movie. A feast of overwrought melodrama done with such conviction and style that one blithely ignores the clunking symbolism and the lamentable acting, in fact it`s usually half the fun.
My main criticism is it wasn`t brainless enough. I wanted something like the mysticism in All That Heaven Allows when every time Otto Kruger gets cosmic the angels start to sing and his pipe looks more serious. What we have here are drunken racous people in masks to show us its all gone horribly wrong...
It`s based on "Pylon" by William Faulkner so maybe they felt they owed him something so they attempted to be tasteful. A shame because when Sirk is going full throttle he is unstoppable.I thought this film lagged slightly compared to his classics-still worth seeing though, it is Douglas Sirk after all-and you are garanteed some memorable scenes and barnstorming emtertainment.
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