Monday, April 10, 2017

Imagine Alice Faye And Anne Revere, As Two Small Town Spinster Sisters!!!!!! And Linda Darnell, Eating A Hamburger!!!!!!!

                                   "Fallen Angel, " released by Twentieth Century-Fox, in 1945, was obviously Otto Preminger's attempt to follow up on the almost accidental success he had with "Laura."  He assembled an A-list cast--Dana Andrews (from "Laura"), Anne Revere, Charles Bickford, and Linda Darnell (from "The Song Of Bernadette"); plus, Percy Kilbride   (the future "Pa Kettle), Bruce Cabot ("King Kong"), and John Carradine ("The Grapes Of Wrath").

                                   What he lacked was a cohesive script.  It is said to be based on some long forgotten novel, but who knows where the two differ?  Look how "Mildred Pierce" was changed for the screen--only it turned out for the better.  With "Fallen Angel," not quite, though the noir atmosphere is superb.  As is the acting, though everyone looks as though they are in their own movie.  Just not this one!

                                    Let's start with Alice Faye and Anne Revere as the two spinster Mills sisters! Oh, my God!  Who can believe this combo?  Who thought it up?  Anne comes off better, though, at times, I had to wonder if she was wandering back to her stage portrayal of Martha Dobie, in the original 1934 Broadway production of Lillian Hellman's "The Children's Hour."  You know how much we all love THAT one, dolls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    As for Alice--oh, really??????????  Someone at Twentieth must have seen outtakes or rushes of Lana Turner as Cora in "The Postman Always Rings Twice."  Then some dimwit--and I don't believe Otto Preminger was it; at least, not this time--got the bright idea that, with Alice's blonde hair and sultry voice, she could pull off a Lana re-do!!!!!!!!!!!!  Come on! No one is Lana, but Lana, and Alice makes it clear here that she was not much of an actress when taken out of her comfort zone of musicals!  In fact, she was so unhappy with the results here, even she quit working for awhile. Who could blame her, because she comes off about as spinster-ish as a prostitute on Saturday night!  And you have just GOT to see the scene where she eats a hot dog, on the beach, with Dana Andrews!  Imagine--Alice Faye, eating a hot dog!!!!!!!!!!!  Alice Faye!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  What we do for love, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    Thank God for Linda Darnell, who, while she is on screen, livens things up.  You have to hand it, to Linda; like Alice, not the world's greatest actress, but she had some range.  From the Blessed Virgin Mary in 'Bernadette,' to this!    She plays Stella, a real Miss Roundheels, if there ever was one!  Except, as the movie demonstrates, this town is so small, so lacking in  men, how can a town tramp like this go tramping?????  Thank God Dana Andrews turns up; finally someone worth tramping for!  Even if this con man get burned by this hick burg!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                      Like Alice, with the hot dog, you have GOT to see the scene where Linda eats the hamburger platter, with her lacquered make-up and hair, glam outfit too fancy for this town,  and those high roundheels--and she doesn't spill a drop of ketchup or grease onto the outfit!  That is pure Hollywood, for you, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                        These small pleasures make the film bearable.  But, be warned, it is no masterpiece, and once Linda is out of the picture, things go down the tubes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                         But the lessons this film teaches! Girls, who thought we could ever look gorgeous, eating a hot dog or a hamburger?????????????????

                                           I have to test this out, right away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No comments: