A woman secretly suffering from kleptomania is hypnotized in an effort to cure her condition. Soon afterwards, she is found at the scene of a murder with no memory of how she got there and seemingly no way to prove her innocence.
Nick Cochran, an American in exile in Macao, has a chance to restore his name by helping capture an international crime lord. Undercover, can he mislead the bad guys and still woo the handsome singer/petty crook, Julie Benson?
Josef von Sternberg,
When Mrs. Tremayne is mysteriously poisoned with gas, ambulance driver Frank Jessup meets her refined but sensuous stepdaughter Diane, who quickly pursues and infatuates him. Under Diane's seductive influence, Frank is soon the Tremayne chauffeur; but he begins to suspect danger under her surface sweetness. When he shows signs of pulling away, Diane schemes to get him in so deep he'll never get out. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
When Robert Mitchum got fed up with repeated re-takes in which director Otto Preminger ordered him to slap Jean Simmons across the face, he turned around and slapped Preminger, asking whether it was this way he wanted it. Preminger immediately demanded of producer Howard Hughes that Mitchum be replaced. Hughes refused. See more »
(00:02:56) The shadow of the microphone at the top of the headboard is visible, right after Mrs. Tremayne says "Someone tried to murder me." Then the microphone (shadow) turns to the left towards another actor. See more »
[of Diane's 'evil' stepmother]
... If she's tryin' to kill you, why did she turn on the gas in her own room first?
...To make it look as though somebody else were guilty...
Is that what you did?
Frank, are you accusing me?
I'm not accusing anybody. But if I were a cop, and not a very bright cop at that, I'd say that your story was as phony as a three dollar bill.
...How can you say that to me?
Oh, you mean after all we've been to each other?... Diane, look. I don't pretend to know what goes on ...
See more »
What a subtle and yet outrageous movie, great plot and direction and acting
Angel Face (1952)
An extraordinary film in many ways, including simply avoiding clichés.
It starts with a slap, and ends with a real shock. Between it beguiles,
it plays with your sympathies, it seems to toy with an obvious turn of
events then subverts it.
Robert Mitchum is the obvious centerpiece for most viewers, and if you
know him you know he's consistent in all his roles, including in this
one where he plays a mechanic doing odd jobs. More impressive, for me,
is the femme fatale, the leading woman, Jean Simmons, who not only has
an angel face, but an expressive one, moving from lively and
untarnished to devious, pained, or stubborn. The two of them do not
have the on screen chemistry of some of the great romances in
film--blame Mitchum, maybe, for his coolness, attractive as it is to
the viewer, or blame the director, Otto Preminger.
Preminger, for all his genius and willingness to flaunt the censors, is
a director's director, a little like Welles without the burden of
virtuosity. His best films ("Man with the Golden Arm" and "Laura" and
possibly "Anatomy of a Murder") present a romantic situation as if it
is a given. It doesn't really develop into something steamy or
passionate or emotionally necessary. That is, he's no Nicholas Ray in
this sense. And so in "Angel Face" there is a romantic involvement that
is believable but never quite compelling.
And usually this is perfect, because Mitchum and Simmons in their parts
are wary of each other, or are not quite involved for the sake of love.
Or for love alone. That's partly why the movie works, as a movie, in a
slightly different way than we expect from this kind of romance. And
it's not just a romance, of course, with the hint of murder in the
fringes. And then a real murder, with a huge and awful twist.
There's no question this is a beautiful movie, and a compact one,
moving through several phases of the plot with fluidity. The secondary
actors are good, mainly the inimitable Herbert Marshall as the father.
And the writing is particularly good, I think. This is a special movie
the way Jacques Tourneur's "Out of the Past," which also stars Mitchum.
It's has film noir strains, but it is something else completely, too.
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