Now With More Than 3000 Reviews! Go Nuts - Read 'Em All!!

WELCOME! Use the search engines on this site (or your own off-site engine of choice) to gain easy access to the complete MAKSQUIBS Archive; over 2500 posts and counting. (New posts added every day or so.)

You can check on all our titles by typing the Title, Director, Actor or 'Keyword' of your choice in the Search Engine of your choice (include the phrase MAKSQUIBS) or just use the BLOGGER Search Box at the top left corner of the page.

Feel free to place comments directly on any of the film posts and to test your film knowledge with the CONTESTS scattered here & there. (Hey! No Googling allowed. They're pretty easy.)

Send E-mails to MAKSQUIBS@yahoo.com . (Let us know if the TRANSLATE WIDGET works!) Or use the Profile Page or Comments link for contact.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

ANGEL FACE (1952)

This Otto Preminger film noir has seen its rep rise over time, but it probably carries too many shopworn story & character elements for its own good. Preminger runs the narrative like an actor who needs to ‘indicate’ to get his points across; it works, but the labor shows. Jean Simmons is a spoiled heir, too close to her father, stifled novelist Herbert Marshall, and too distant from rich step-mom Barbara O’Neil. This already dangerous triangle gets thrown completely out of whack when Robert Mitchum’s ambulance driver shows up after an ‘accidental’ gas leak in O’Neil’s bedroom. He’s already in a relationship, but that doesn’t slow down Simmons . . . or Mitchum. In fact, all the couplings are more than a little ‘off’ here: cue big romantic piano theme from Dmitri Tiomkin and lensing from Harry Stradling that’s more darkly glamorous than stark noir. Under Preminger, the perfs & production are unusually smooth, with a couple of real jolts to the system, but he seems to lose interest in the third-act trial scenes. A pity since Leon Ames’ defense attorney might be an urban sketch for the sort of pragmatic attorney Preminger would be drawn to, with far more ambiguity, in ANATOMY OF A MURDER/’59.

DOUBLE-BILL: Just about any noir with a scary/murderous dame at its center and a juicy murder trial would pair up nicely (too nicely, it’s the film’s weakness). But instead of the usual suspects (DOUBLE INDEMNITY/’44; LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN/’45; POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE/'46), try the cheap, twisty illogic of IMPACT/’49.

No comments: