7.3/10
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83 user 47 critic

Angel Face (1953)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 11 February 1953 (USA)
Ambulance driver Frank Jessup is ensnared in the schemes of the sensuous but dangerous Diane Tremayne.

Director:

Otto Preminger

Writers:

Frank S. Nugent (screenplay) (as Frank Nugent), Oscar Millard (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Robert Mitchum ... Frank Jessup
Jean Simmons ... Diane Tremayne Jessup
Mona Freeman ... Mary Wilton
Herbert Marshall ... Mr. Charles Tremayne
Leon Ames ... Fred Barrett
Barbara O'Neil ... Mrs. Catherine Tremayne
Kenneth Tobey ... Bill Crompton
Raymond Greenleaf ... Arthur Vance
Griff Barnett ... The Judge
Robert Gist ... Miller
Morgan Farley ... Juror
Jim Backus ... District Attorney Judson
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Charles Tannen ... TV Broadcaster (scenes deleted)
Ralph Volkie Ralph Volkie ... Good Humor Man (scenes deleted)
Peggy Walker Peggy Walker ... TV Girl (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She loved one man ... enough to KILL to get him! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Japanese

Release Date:

11 February 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Murder See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,039,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

(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 »

Quotes

Frank Jessup: [of Diane's 'evil' stepmother] ... If she's tryin' to kill you, why did she turn on the gas in her own room first?
Diane Tremayne: ...To make it look as though somebody else were guilty...
Frank Jessup: Is that what you did?
Diane Tremayne: Frank, are you accusing me?
Frank Jessup: 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.
Diane Tremayne: ...How can you say that to me?
Frank Jessup: Oh, you mean after all we've been to each other?... Diane, look. I don't pretend to know what goes on ...
See more »

Connections

Featured in TCM Guest Programmer: David Thomson (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Oh, Promise Me
(uncredited)
Music by Reginald De Koven
Lyrics by Clement W. Scott
Sung by the prison hospital inmates at the wedding
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Car trouble
5 July 2015 | by LejinkSee all my reviews

Apparently shot in 18 days to ensure Jean Simmons filmed her part while still under contract to producer Howard Hughes, this is a fine film noir with a particularly memorable ending.

I wasn't sure I could believe Robert Mitchum, the king of world-weary sardonic-ism, falling so readily for the youthful charms of evil step-daughter Simmons, especially with a smart, pretty and loving girl of his own, but once I surrendered this point, it was easy, rather like Mitchum's ambulance-driver, to be persuaded to follow the plot here through to the bitter end.

I actually considered both leads to be somewhat miscast in the film, Simmons effect dulled somewhat by a rather ugly helmet of a wig and the dialogue lacks the snap of a Hammett, Chandler or even a Spillane, but the narrative is intriguing and the ambivalent natures of both the main parts strangely compelling, plus, like I said there's a surprise, no make that shock ending, to finish things off with a knockout punch.

Director Preminger mixes up some staple noir elements of a femme fatale, her stooge of a male admirer, sex, murder and mystery, employing big-close-ups, atmospheric lighting and crisply shot monochromatic sets, perhaps only faltering over a slightly dull, over-technical courtroom scene, and the miscasting already mentioned.

Nevertheless, the story crackles along and I doubt many will anticipate the climax, which certainly caught me off-guard and yet in retrospect, delivers a finish true to the genre's often nihilistic traits.

Mitchum of course is naturally very good as the ensnared Frank, the piano-playing Simmons, dressed throughout in black and white outfits, perhaps stressing the duality of her nature, a little less so.


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