IMDb > The Tarnished Angels (1957)
The Tarnished Angels
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The Tarnished Angels (1957) More at IMDbPro »

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Up 19% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
William Faulkner (novel)
George Zuckerman (screenplay)
View company contact information for The Tarnished Angels on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
11 January 1958 (USA) See more »
Story of a friendship between an eccentric journalist and a daredevil barnstorming pilot. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
(10 articles)
User Reviews:
The Forgotten Sirk Film...Still Watchable for His Familiar Touch See more (26 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Rock Hudson ... Burke Devlin

Robert Stack ... Roger Shumann

Dorothy Malone ... LaVerne Shumann

Jack Carson ... Jiggs
Robert Middleton ... Matt Ord

Alan Reed ... Colonel Fineman
Alexander Lockwood ... Sam Hagood
Christopher Olsen ... Jack Shumann (as Chris Olsen)

Robert J. Wilke ... Hank

Troy Donahue ... Frank Burnham

William Schallert ... Ted Baker
Betty Utey ... Dancing Girl
Phil Harvey ... Telegraph Editor
Steve Drexel ... Young Man
Eugene Borden ... Claude Mollet
Steve Ellis ... Mechanic (as Stephen Ellis)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bill Baldwin ... Pylon Air Race Announcer (voice) (uncredited)
Jack Chefe ... Chef at Roger's Memorial Dinner (uncredited)
Bess Flowers ... Newspaper Office Clerk (uncredited)

Directed by
Douglas Sirk 
Writing credits
William Faulkner (novel "Pylon")

George Zuckerman (screenplay)

Produced by
Albert Zugsmith .... producer
Original Music by
Frank Skinner 
Cinematography by
Irving Glassberg (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Russell F. Schoengarth 
Art Direction by
Alexander Golitzen 
Alfred Sweeney 
Set Decoration by
Oliver Emert 
Russell A. Gausman 
Costume Design by
Bill Thomas 
Makeup Department
Bud Westmore .... makeup artist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Wilbur Mosier .... second assistant director
David Silver .... assistant director
Sound Department
Leslie I. Carey .... sound
Corson Jowett .... sound
Edward L. Sandlin .... sound editor (uncredited)
Joe Sikorsky .... sound editor (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Clifford Stine .... special photography
Music Department
Joseph Gershenson .... music supervisor
Henry Mancini .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Herman Stein .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
91 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Did You Know?

Rock Hudson insisted that Troy Donahue should be cast in the movie.See more »
Revealing mistakes: 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 »
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 »
Old Folks at HomeSee more »


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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
The Forgotten Sirk Film...Still Watchable for His Familiar Touch, 19 October 2006
Author: Ed Uyeshima from San Francisco, CA, USA

This is the forgotten Douglas Sirk film from his golden period in the 1950's when he made such classic Baroque-style women's pictures as "Magnificent Obsession", "All That Heaven Allows", "Written on the Wind" and "Imitation of Life". The black-and-white 1958 film doesn't have the saturated color palette of Sirk's frequent cinematographer, Russell Metty (who did lens those other films), nor does the story, based on William Faulkner's novel "Pylon", have as strong an orientation toward a female protagonist as the others. Yet, the film has many of the filmmaker's trademark melodramatic flourishes and some superb shot compositions, this time photographed by Irving Glassberg. The result is quite worthwhile and sadly not available yet on DVD.

Set in 1932 New Orleans (though you can hardly tell from the anachronistic 1950's-era wardrobe and sets), the plot focuses on Roger Shumann, a former WWI flying ace who has been relegated to racing around pylons in air shows for prize money. He's married to LaVerne, so in love with Roger that she became a parachute jumper to please him, while raising their son Jack, who worships the ground on which Roger walks. Speaking of hero worship, there is also the dim-witted Jiggs, Roger's loyal mechanic, who holds a torch for LaVerne. Into this dysfunctional band comes local newspaperman Burke Devlin, who smells a good story in reporting on this transient family living hand to mouth to fulfill Roger's intractable need to fly. A lot of emotional gut-punches are thrown among these characters, especially between Roger and LaVerne, until a late moment of clarity seems to arrive too late. The last fifteen minutes contain come far-fetched plot convolutions, but they are in the spirit of the piece.

Sirk reunited three of his stars from 1956's "Written on the Wind" - Rock Hudson, Robert Stack and Dorothy Malone - to play the three principals, so they know how to maintain conviction with more than a touch of Sirk's often maddening soap opera excess. Hudson, in particular, really shines in this sort of material as Devlin, even in a hilariously conceived drunken speech at the end. Stack is his typical jaw-clenching self though with a morbid sense of self-loathing only Sirk could serve up, and Malone is surprisingly sensual as LaVerne, whether fighting off her impulses about Devlin or hanging on to a trapeze bar as she floats off her parachute with her skirt billowing up (a classic shot). Jack Carson plays Jiggs as the pathetically smitten man he is, while Christopher Olsen has a heartbreaking scene where he is stuck on an amusement park ride watching fate deal its hand (trivia - Olsen is Cindy Brady's real-life brother). This isn't an out-and-out great film but still a very watchable entry in the Sirk canon.

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