Until last week, Fallen Angel (1945) had been on my endless to-watch list for like a million years. My friend Gillian recommended it to me on one of our movie groups on Facebook, and I finally got the chance to see it. And I loved it. I knew I would.
Fallen Angel is often considered to be a noir, when actually I think it’s more of a romantic melodrama with shadows and a femme fatale. It’s like if Douglas Sirk had directed a noir. He didn’t though, Otto Preminger of Laura (1944) and Anatomy of a Murder (1959) fame directed this one. He teamed up with Dana Andrews again, and the result was great: Andrews plays Eric Stanton, a con-man who, after arriving in a small town, falls in love with Stella, the waitress of the local cafe, played TO PERFECTION by Linda Darnell. Through a series of mishaps, twists and turns, he ends up marrying goody two-shoes June (Alice Faye), for her money. All’s well until Linda Darnell turns up dead. Uh-oh.
I won’t spoil the ending for you, because your jaw will hit the floor at least 3 times, but, basically, all I can say is you have to watch this movie. If you like your melodramatic noirs and Linda Darnell’s seductive eyes, this will be a treat.