It’s time we cue up some Otto Preminger for #BNoirDetour, don’t you think?
While perhaps best known for Laura (1944), Preminger went on to direct several more engaging pictures in the noir style, including Whirlpool (1949), Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950), and Angel Face (1952). But after Laura and before the others, there was Fallen Angel (1945).
Like Laura, the film features Dana Andrews in pursuit of an alluring, dark-haired siren, but Fallen Angel takes us out of the world of luxury and into small town America. Our femme fatale is Stella, a gorgeous gold-digging waitress played with luscious aplomb by Linda Darnell. Conman Eric Stanton (Andrews) falls hard for what she’s selling, but she won’t give in unless he’s got the cash to back up his amorous intent. Working with fellow conmen (including John Carradine in a fabulous cameo as the psychic Professor Madley), won’t bring in enough. Enter the film’s wholesome blonde, with an inheritance ripe for the plucking: top-billed Alice Faye as June Mills.
Can Eric convince June to open up her heart — and pocketbook — to him? And what will befall her if she does?
Tune in Sunday at 9pm to the #BNoirDetour live tweet of Fallen Angel and find out!
A bit of trivia:
Faye rejected multiple scripts before accepting the role in Fallen Angel, hoping it would be another Laura. But she alleges in her biography that Preminger cut her “best scenes” (including a song), and she immediately ended her long-term association with Fox.
(Sadly, the horrors endured by Jean Simmons on the set of Preminger’s Angel Face are even worse.)