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Angel Face (1953)


Kid Dabb
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What hooked me on this film was the ending. I love this ending. Took me completely by surprise and left me screaming "Hey! You can't do that! More! There needs to be 5 minutes more!".

 

Showing right here on TCM this evening -  1:30 AM EST

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What hooked me on this film was the ending. I love this ending. Took me completely by surprise and left me screaming "Hey! You can't do that! More! There needs to be 5 minutes more!".

 

Showing right here on TCM this evening -  1:30 AM EST

 

Well in some ways the ending was the reverse of Out of the Past.         

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I  read TCM`s article on ANGEL FACE to verify if I remembered the story correctly. Jean Simmons was under contract to Howard Hughes (RKO) after the Rank Organization sold her contract to him. Jean was not happy working under Hughes and being directed by Otto Preminger. She had less than three weeks left under her contract, and Hughes wanted ANGEL FACE to be completed before Jean was free. In a fit of anger, she cut her brunette short knowing that Hughes liked his actresses in long hair. Jean was required to play Diane Tremayne, and what a great job she did. Jean had to wear a bobbed brunette wig, which looked better than Barbara Stanwyck`s in DOUBLE INDEMITY.

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What hooked me on this film was the ending. I love this ending. Took me completely by surprise and left me screaming "Hey! You can't do that! More! There needs to be 5 minutes more!".

 

Showing right here on TCM this evening -  1:30 AM EST

 

In spite of having seen this before, I had forgotten that ending! I guess I was too caught up in watching it play out til then.

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I do remember the car crash ending, though I had forgotten Mitch

was just about to pour the champagne. I must have misheard the

intro, because I thought he said Hughes made her cut her hair.

Wonder if the story about Mitchum slapping Preminger is true.

It's one of those stories you wish was true, even if it wasn't.

 

I noticed that in one of the intros, maybe to The Locket, Muller

pronounced the last name of Salvador Dali as DahLEE instead

of the way I've always heard it, Dolly. Maybe there is more than

one pronunciation. Whatever.

 

You heard correctly - in the intro, he did say that Hughes had her hair cut for the movie, in order to anger her husband, Stewart Granger.  The article accompanying the movie on this website states that she cut her hair to anger Hughes.  The following is from the article -

 

"But he didn't count on a dose of Howard Hughes-style persistence. The next morning, at 3 a.m., Hughes phoned Preminger and told him to get out of bed and be ready to leave the house 30 minutes later. Hughes promptly showed up in his noisy old Chevy, and the two men tooled around the empty streets of Los Angeles for several hours, discussing the project. Hughes explained that Simmons was only under contract to RKO for 18 more shooting days, and he desperately wanted to get another film out of her before she left. He and the actress recently had a violent argument, and she took a pair of scissors and cut her hair to the quick, knowing that her boss hated short hair on women. "I'm going to get even with that little ****," Hughes told Preminger, "and you're going to help me." Hughes told Preminger he could have carte blanche on the film; he'd even let him have complete control of the script, so long as he didn't hire any "Commies" to do the re-writes! All Hughes asked was that Simmons would be forced to wear a long black wig throughout the picture. Preminger accepted on those terms."

 

Jean Simmons had beautiful dark hair - not that much different from the wig color.  It's hard to believe either story - wonder which one, if any, is true?

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  • 4 weeks later...

I think this is a film with uncredited help from Ben Hecht. I tend to think he might be responsible for some of the darker and most intriguing elements but maybe I'm crediting him with too much. His acerbic nature and intellect did always seem to add to films though.

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