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Kyle Kersten was a true friend of TCM. One of the first and most active participants of the Message Boards, “Kyle in Hollywood” (aka, hlywdkjk) demonstrated a depth of knowledge and largesse of spirit that made him one of the most popular and respected voices in these forums. This thread is a living memorial to his life and love of movies, which remain with us still.

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"Fallen Angel"


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#1 cinemaspeak59

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 01:07 PM

I was not discounting Olivia's skill and even agreed she deserved her Oscar...but I think her persona works against her in this kind of story. We know that she represents a more refined type of gal. In THE SNAKE PIT, her character's mental illness is what's keeping her down, but she's not a roughly hewn common woman. In THE HEIRESS, her cultured sophistication is very pronounced. So even if temporarily swayed she must come to her senses and jettison the cad.

 

With Alice Faye, the character comes across more hard up. This is because of Faye's persona. She plays sweet women who need sex, even bad sex. She's the fallen angel of the story.

I'm with TopBilled on this.  Olivia's refinement and elegance were assets, certainly, but not for Fallen Angel.  Now, her sister Joan Fontaine, was refined, sure, but Joan had no problem going into the sordid and tawdry world of noir. 


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#2 rayban

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Posted 26 January 2017 - 07:09 PM

Yes, June needed that sexual relationship with Eric.

 

She might also have been eager to get away from her sister's possessiveness.


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"I was born the day she kissed me.  I died the day she left me.  I lived a few weeks while she loved me." - Humphrey Bogart in "In A Lonely Place".


#3 TopBilled

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Posted 26 January 2017 - 02:24 PM

Olivia is a very versatile actress so I believe she could have pulled off the role Faye played in Fallen Angel.   E.g. The flashback scenes in The Snake Pit when she goes out on a date with her somewhat aggressive boyfriend or her role as the 'good sister' in The Dark Minor. 

 

I'm not saying Olivia would have been better than Faye only that she could have pulled it off.   But of course I'm a sucker for Olivia so I could be all wet here.

 

I was not discounting Olivia's skill and even agreed she deserved her Oscar...but I think her persona works against her in this kind of story. We know that she represents a more refined type of gal. In THE SNAKE PIT, her character's mental illness is what's keeping her down, but she's not a roughly hewn common woman. In THE HEIRESS, her cultured sophistication is very pronounced. So even if temporarily swayed she must come to her senses and jettison the cad.

 

With Alice Faye, the character comes across more hard up. This is because of Faye's persona. She plays sweet women who need sex, even bad sex. She's the fallen angel of the story.


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"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#4 jamesjazzguitar

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Posted 26 January 2017 - 01:21 PM

Yes, that's why I think she's better in this kind of story than Olivia de Havilland. Don't get me wrong, I very much like Olivia's performance in THE HEIRESS and feel she deserved her Oscar because of her great technical skill. But when you have Olivia in this set-up, the outcome is rather pre-determined. We know in the end, she's too regal to continue compromising herself or her principles. With Faye, we get a less predictable and actually a grittier let's roll with the punches sort of gal. I think that's because Faye in real life came straight out of Hell's Kitchen, so her personality has a toughness and survivor's quality that comes through the material. She doesn't need to run back to be with her sister and hide from the world. She'll take the cad, try and reform him and see where it leads her.

 

Olivia is a very versatile actress so I believe she could have pulled off the role Faye played in Fallen Angel.   E.g. The flashback scenes in The Snake Pit when she goes out on a date with her somewhat aggressive boyfriend or her role as the 'good sister' in The Dark Minor. 

 

I'm not saying Olivia would have been better than Faye only that she could have pulled it off.   But of course I'm a sucker for Olivia so I could be all wet here.


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#5 jamesjazzguitar

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Posted 25 January 2017 - 08:10 PM

Alice Faye was quite good.  There was a world-weariness to her, like it might not work out, but it beats being alone.

 

Sounds more like desperation to me  (which Faye portrayed in the film very well).


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#6 TopBilled

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Posted 25 January 2017 - 04:31 PM

Alice Faye was quite good.  There was a world-weariness to her, like it might not work out, but it beats being alone.

 

Yes, that's why I think she's better in this kind of story than Olivia de Havilland. Don't get me wrong, I very much like Olivia's performance in THE HEIRESS and feel she deserved her Oscar because of her great technical skill. But when you have Olivia in this set-up, the outcome is rather pre-determined. We know in the end, she's too regal to continue compromising herself or her principles. With Faye, we get a less predictable and actually a grittier let's roll with the punches sort of gal. I think that's because Faye in real life came straight out of Hell's Kitchen, so her personality has a toughness and survivor's quality that comes through the material. She doesn't need to run back to be with her sister and hide from the world. She'll take the cad, try and reform him and see where it leads her.


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"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#7 cinemaspeak59

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Posted 25 January 2017 - 02:45 PM

It's a shame, because Alice Faye was very effective in her role as June.

 

Yes, she and Anne Revere did work well together.

 

I particularly liked the relationship between Dana Andrews and Linda Darnell - he was so "gung-ho" and she was so "Back off, buddy!"

Alice Faye was quite good.  There was a world-weariness to her, like it might not work out, but it beats being alone.


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#8 jamesjazzguitar

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 08:19 PM

I agree, I just don't think that the film has much of a "happy ending".

 

I also agree that while the film implies there is a happy ending the odds of there being so are low.    Since this is a noir I would have preferred a dark ending.    E.g. the gal wises up and gets an annulment and the last scene is a fad out of the drifter all alone getting on a bus out of town.  (i.e. back to where he started;  with nothing and with no prospects).      


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#9 rayban

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 06:52 PM

The main reason Eric wanted Stella was sex.   He just had to have her sexually.    But this type of attraction often quickly wears off after the conquest.    I.e. those very real feelings diminish.  

 

Eric needs to be reformed in at least two ways;  one is to stop being a scammer and get an actual job.   June might be able to assist him in this area,   but his sexual desires for the next Stella he runs into?     Yea,  June would have to have something I didn't see in the film.

I agree, I just don't think that the film has much of a "happy ending".


"I was born the day she kissed me.  I died the day she left me.  I lived a few weeks while she loved me." - Humphrey Bogart in "In A Lonely Place".


#10 jamesjazzguitar

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Posted 23 January 2017 - 05:51 PM

June, as played by Alice Faye, may be able to "reform" Eric, as played by Dana Andrews.

 

But I truly doubt it.

 

He prefers the Stellas of this world.

 

And June could never be a Stella.

 

His feelings for Stella were very "real".

 

The main reason Eric wanted Stella was sex.   He just had to have her sexually.    But this type of attraction often quickly wears off after the conquest.    I.e. those very real feelings diminish.  

 

Eric needs to be reformed in at least two ways;  one is to stop being a scammer and get an actual job.   June might be able to assist him in this area,   but his sexual desires for the next Stella he runs into?     Yea,  June would have to have something I didn't see in the film.


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#11 cigarjoe

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Posted 23 January 2017 - 05:40 PM

You guys really ought to get the DVD of this and listen to the cometary it's very enlightening especially concerning, The subject of rayban's commentary  :)



#12 rayban

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Posted 22 January 2017 - 06:47 PM

I would say the treatment of this story differs a bit from THE HEIRESS, though you are right to compare their thematic similarities.

 

In the Olivia de Havilland picture, she is duped and recoils (rejecting him at the end). But in FALLEN ANGEL, even after she realizes she was played like a violin, she doesn't want to crawl back into a hole and die-- she considers it her duty to help him reform and turn him into the man she believes he can be. That's why we get different endings in these films-- one says 'you hurt me now go away' and the other one says 'yeah you hurt me but I think you have the power to really love me and do right by me.'

June, as played by Alice Faye, may be able to "reform" Eric, as played by Dana Andrews.

 

But I truly doubt it.

 

He prefers the Stellas of this world.

 

And June could never be a Stella.

 

His feelings for Stella were very "real".


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"I was born the day she kissed me.  I died the day she left me.  I lived a few weeks while she loved me." - Humphrey Bogart in "In A Lonely Place".


#13 TopBilled

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Posted 22 January 2017 - 06:19 PM

This is being discussed in another thread as well.   I stated that I found Faye's characters falling so hard for the cad as coming off as  false,  especially after she finds out he married her just to get half of her money.    While The Heiress is similar in this area,  at least in that film the women's longing for love is explained to us prior to her falling for the cad.

 

I would say the treatment of this story differs a bit from THE HEIRESS, though you are right to compare their thematic similarities.

 

In the Olivia de Havilland picture, she is duped and recoils (rejecting him at the end). But in FALLEN ANGEL, even after she realizes she was played like a violin, she doesn't want to crawl back into a hole and die-- she considers it her duty to help him reform and turn him into the man she believes he can be. That's why we get different endings in these films-- one says 'you hurt me now go away' and the other one says 'yeah you hurt me but I think you have the power to really love me and do right by me.'


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"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#14 jamesjazzguitar

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Posted 22 January 2017 - 05:56 PM

What I like about the relationship between Revere and Faye in this film is they are polar opposites as sisters. Revere seems content with being a spinster, but Faye's character is not that way. She's starved for love and physical intimacy, so voila-- when Andrews the cad arrives in town, she is putty in his hands.

 

 

 

Darnell did several other films with Preminger, including the Technicolor musical CENTENNIAL SUMMER.

 

This is being discussed in another thread as well.   I stated that I found Faye's characters falling so hard for the cad as coming off as  false,  especially after she finds out he married her just to get half of her money.    While The Heiress is similar in this area,  at least in that film the women's longing for love is explained to us prior to her falling for the cad.


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#15 TopBilled

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Posted 22 January 2017 - 05:43 PM

It's a shame, because Alice Faye was very effective in her role as June.

 

Yes, she and Anne Revere did work well together.

 

I particularly liked the relationship between Dana Andrews and Linda Darnell - he was so "gung-ho" and she was so "Back off, buddy!"

 

What I like about the relationship between Revere and Faye in this film is they are polar opposites as sisters. Revere seems content with being a spinster, but Faye's character is not that way. She's starved for love and physical intimacy, so voila-- when Andrews the cad arrives in town, she is putty in his hands.

 

screen-shot-2017-01-21-at-6-56-06-am.png

 

Darnell did several other films with Preminger, including the Technicolor musical CENTENNIAL SUMMER.


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"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#16 rayban

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Posted 22 January 2017 - 01:45 PM

Yes-- it's surely a classic noir. I think it gets overlooked. It's interesting to note that Alice Faye fought for this role, to prove she could do serious dramatic stuff (getting her away from musicals for a few minutes). But when a song she did to help sell the movie was cut, she was so furious she drove off the lot and never returned. It wouldn't be until 1962, when she appeared in Fox's remake of STATE FAIR, that she was able to honor the rest of her contract and give them another film. 

 

I particularly like the relationship between the two sisters in the story. Anne Revere was a wonderful character actress.

It's a shame, because Alice Faye was very effective in her role as June.

 

Yes, she and Anne Revere did work well together.

 

I particularly liked the relationship between Dana Andrews and Linda Darnell - he was so "gung-ho" and she was so "Back off, buddy!"


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"I was born the day she kissed me.  I died the day she left me.  I lived a few weeks while she loved me." - Humphrey Bogart in "In A Lonely Place".


#17 TopBilled

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Posted 22 January 2017 - 12:30 PM

Yes-- it's surely a classic noir. I think it gets overlooked. It's interesting to note that Alice Faye fought for this role, to prove she could do serious dramatic stuff (getting her away from musicals for a few minutes). But when a song she did to help sell the movie was cut, she was so furious she drove off the lot and never returned. It wouldn't be until 1962, when she appeared in Fox's remake of STATE FAIR, that she was able to honor the rest of her contract and give them another film. 

 

I particularly like the relationship between the two sisters in the story. Anne Revere was a wonderful character actress.


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"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#18 rayban

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Posted 22 January 2017 - 12:12 PM

This film can - and probably will - be classified as a "film noir", but, interestingly, it takes place in a very small town.

 

And, essentially, it is a one-sided romance which focuses on Dana Andrews (Eric) who is obsessing over Linda Darnell (Stella), whom he can probably never have.

 

To keep Stella in his sights, he decides to woo and marry a rich spinster, June (Alice Faye).

 

He will use June's money to keep Stella happy.

 

However, June falls in love with Eric and doesn't want to "wise up".

 

Interestingly, the film takes a decided "left turn" - Stella is mysteriously murdered and June isn't letting go of Eric.

 

Through Otto Preminger's astute, perceptive direction, this one turns out to be the bleakest kind of romance - a man falls in love with one woman, essentially a ****, and ends up with another, essentially a worshipper of the ground that he walks on.

 

Will he stay?  Can he stay?

 

This film is right up there with "Laura" in terms of the blackness of its' vision. 


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"I was born the day she kissed me.  I died the day she left me.  I lived a few weeks while she loved me." - Humphrey Bogart in "In A Lonely Place".





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