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The Tarnished Angels (1957)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,682 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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Title: The Tarnished Angels (1957)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Burke Devlin
...
Roger Shumann
...
LaVerne Shumann
...
Jiggs
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

Rock Hudson insisted that Troy Donohue should be cast in the movie. See more »

Goofs

Despite the fact that the story is taking place in the early 1930s, all of Dorothy Malone's clothing, hairstyles and make-up are strictly 1957, the year the picture was filmed. 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

 
Pylon
16 August 2010 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Based on the William Faulkner novel Pylon, The Tarnished Angels reunites Rock Hudson, Robert Stack, and Dorothy Malone three of the four stars who were in Written On The Wind the year before. In many ways the three are continuing the roles they played in that classic.

The Tarnished Angels concerns a group of barnstorming air entertainers during the Depression years. Rock Hudson plays a newspaper reporter from the New Orleans Times Picayune who is at the carnival that they're appearing at and meets Robert Stack a former war ace from World War I who is now doing this kind of air racing and stunt flying for a living. Traveling with him are his son, Chris Olsen, wife Dorothy Malone, and mechanic Jack Carson.

William Faulkner placed himself in the middle of this story and Hudson functions as his character. He sees and observes the characters around him and what he sees is what we read in the book and see on film. Stack is a man obsessed with flying itself above everything, including his own family. Wife Dorothy Malone is a woman with a loose reputation which she doesn't do much to quell rumors about. Her reputation is so bad that the parentage of Chris Olsen is brought into question. Here it's a matter of speculation, in the original novel there is a parachute jumper who is definitely identified as the possible real father of Olsen's character.

Carson is Stack's fecklessly loyal mechanic and there's even some speculation about him being Olsen's father. In any event he's so totally loyal to Stack who occasionally uses him for a doormat that some critics have opined that the relationship between Carson and Stack's character might be gay.

Douglas Sirk who did lush romances for the most part managed the special effects part of the film very well. The air race sequences are well photographed and breathtaking.

I'm not sure how William Faulkner who was still alive when this film came out took to the changes in his novel. It probably was the best Universal could do and still be Code compliant. The Tarnished Angels is more a Douglas Sirk romance than a Faulkner novel, but that isn't necessarily bad.


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