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The Tarnished Angels (1957)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,784 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 24 critic

Story of a friendship between an eccentric journalist and a daredevil barnstorming pilot.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Burke Devlin
...
Roger Shumann
...
LaVerne Shumann
...
Robert Middleton ...
Matt Ord
...
Colonel Fineman
Alexander Lockwood ...
Sam Hagood
Christopher Olsen ...
Jack Shumann (as Chris Olsen)
...
Hank
...
Frank Burnham
...
Ted Baker
Betty Utey ...
Dancing Girl
Phil Harvey ...
Telegraph Editor
Steve Drexel ...
Young Man
Eugene Borden ...
Claude Mollet
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Storyline

In the 1930's, a First World War flying ace named Roger Schumann is reduced to making appearances on the crash-and-burn circuit of stunt aerobatics. His family are forced to live like dogs while Shumann pursues his only true love, the airplane. When Burke Devlin, a reporter, shows up on the scene to do a "whatever happened to" story on Shumann, he is repulsed by the war hero's diminished circumstances and, conversely, drawn to his stunning wife, LaVerne. Written by Alfred Jingle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 January 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pylon  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Douglas Sirk reportedly stated in an interview this was the best film he directed. See more »

Goofs

When Laverne does her parachute jump, she is seen in close shots hanging by her arms from a trapeze-style bar. However in the longer shots, she is seen to be in a normal parachute harness as she lands. See more »

Quotes

Ted Baker: On the level, what'd you do last night?
Burke Devlin: Nothing much:just sat up half the night discussing literature and life with a beautiful, half naked blonde.
Ted Baker: You better change bootleggers.
See more »

Connections

References Final Accord (1936) See more »

Soundtracks

Old Folks at Home
(uncredited)
Written by Stephen Foster
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Tarnished melodrama with unbelievable characters...
14 October 2006 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

ROBERT STACK is a barnstorming stunt pilot in the '30s who'd been a hero aviator during the first World War. He's abusive to his loyal wife (DOROTHY MALONE) and his expert mechanic (JACK Carson) and anybody he comes into contact with. For some strange reason, newspaperman ROCK HUDSON is interested enough in this threesome to want to do a news story on them as they prepare to enter various air contests. After briefly encountering them, he even puts them up at his place when they're out of lodgings and soon becomes enmeshed in their lives.

But Hudson does deliver a solid monologue at the end when he storms into the newspaper office to give his boss the lowdown on what kind of story he uncovered. It's one of his best moments and he carries it off like a real pro.

Stack plays his sullen heel with his usual brash, solemn demeanor. A flabby looking Jack Carson plays the mechanic who's secretly still in love with Stack's wife, Malone. Malone is quietly effective as the wife who suffers and suffers while Stack's mistreatment goes unchecked, except by Hudson. Surprisingly, this is all taken from a William Faulkner novel which must have had stronger characters and situations than are depicted here.

It's a stormy emotional drama that makes little sense, directed with a certain amount of style by Douglas Sirk even though it does not use his usual trademark--Technicolor. All the emotional strife makes it a pretty heavy-handed, florid melodrama. Hudson's noble turn at the end makes a new woman of Malone, who decides to accept his offer to return to her roots in Iowa with her little son. None of it seems to ring true, at least to me.

Best feature: the flying air scenes are well staged and photographed for maximum effect--but it's hard to care about any of the characters.

Trivia note: TROY DONAHUE has a small role as an ill-fated pilot competing against Stack.

On the debit side, DOROTHY MALONE's costuming and hair style doesn't suggest the 1930s at all, but the 1950s.


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