The Genius Son-of-a-Bitch
Angel Face is an underrated Masterpiece of sensuos
A Brilliant, beautiful, pensive and unique
film noir drama from the by then (1952) film Genius Otto Preminger,
with a fantastic Jean Simmons and a very good (as always) Robert Mitchum.
A piece of glorious Feel Bad.
When i saw this artmovie noir for the first time, some years ago now
but i will re-watch it soon, i was blown
away by the masterful and stringent direction and the actor performances.
Also, there's a very, VERY good commentary track on
this DVD, made by the King of Film Noir commentaries
Eddie Muller (.... i love that man) and it's full to the brim of interesting
information and anecdotes, as the tidbit
about Mitchum slapping Otto and that french artmovie director Jean-Luc
Godard having this film on his Top Ten
favourite list All Time. This Feel Bad masterpiece was filmed in only
18 days according to Muller and could be a
harrowing movie experience if you're of the emotional kind. Some strong
stuff from Otto.
Frank and Diane
Frank Jessup (Robert Mitchum) works as an ambulance
driver but dreams about opening his own garage and
work as a mechanic. One day he's called to the Tremayne Residence in
Beverly Hills, the place where the rich
animals habitate, and where the filthy rich middle-age Catherine Tremayne
nearly has died of gas exposure.
He meets the victims gorgeous stepdaughter Diane (Jean Simmons) and
she immediately falls for him. Enigmatic
Diane wants him no matter that he already has got a girlfriend, Mary
(Mona Freeman) and this rich girl will stop
at nothing to get what she wants. She's manipulative and sexually alluring
and she snares Frank with her beauty,
her lush clothing, her british accent and her money. And, with her sexy
sports car as Frank is an ex-racing driver
and maybe, just maybe, Frank hopes that rich Diane can finance his Garage
When Frank hesitates to ruin his life she just puts in the overdrive,
this evil sexy lady accepts no defeat
Otto, You Genius You
This film starts out like a traditional film noir drama
with a beautiful but manipulating femme fatale and with a
virile but weak looser male, but just when you think you know how this
thing ticks, the film takes off up on a
more emotional and subtile level and with a Genius ending.
Otto, You Genius You .... says Eddie Muller in the commentary track
and you just have to consent with that
neat expression about Otto's Art.
The Haunting Jean Simmons
Jean Simmons, the great British theatre- and film actress, gives a for
the genre very complex performance and
she's unforgettable as a disturbed lonely young woman - in the film
she's supposed to be 20 years old, and she
was 23 in real life. She's both controlled and stubborn as the spoiled
rich girl, but also desperately alone and
fragile. The scene at the end of the movie when she, almost regressing
to a little girl, tiptoes through the empty
mansion - that's harrowing and heartbreaking viewing and genius Feel
Bad filmmaking from Otto The Great.
Another fine but totally forgotten film with Jean is the 1950 British
crime mystery So Long at the Fair directed
by Terence Fisher. Angel Face is a late Film Noir and it seems that
she brings some method acting to it
Robert Mitchum is great too as the virile but doomed looser, what a
great actor he was, wow, let's just think
about his performances in some other film masterpieces as The Night
of the Hunter and Out of the Past.
ratio 4:3 fullscreen, english audio mono with english subtitles, black
Extra: A Über Great Commentary track by the Genre Master Eddie