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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
At first Otto Preminger refused to direct this movie, because he hated the script. The normally reclusive Howard Hughes personally picked up Preminger in his car and persuaded him to make the movie. "I'm going to get even with that little bitch," Hughes told Preminger, referring to Jean Simmons, "and you're going to help me." He gave Preminger permission to rewrite the script, and promised him a bonus if he could finish the picture in 18 days. By that time Simmons' contract with Hughes would have expired. 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 »
Jean Simmons meets the man of her dreams just as he walks into a nightmare in "Angel Face," an Otto Preminger film released in 1952. Simmons is excellent as a beautiful young woman who hates her wealthy stepmother, adores her father, and is obsessed with an ambulance driver, played by Robert Mitchum, who comes to the family home when it appears Diane's stepmother tried to kill herself. Although the victim claims that someone tried to kill her...
Mitchum brings a perfect touch of ne'er do well and untrustworthiness to the role. He has ambition, he has a job, but he's a jerk to his girlfriend (Mona Freeman) and seems more than happy to take up with Diane when she pursues him.
Simmons, though not as striking as Vivien Leigh, has a similar look - she's petite, with a beautiful figure and facial structure, and gorgeous eyes. Her performance as Diane is right on - even the cynical Mitchum character can't quite figure her out, even when he thinks he has. She keeps her stepmother off-balance, too. There are some wonderful touches - when she walks into her father's house toward the end of the film, without any dialogue, one knows she can no longer live there.
The ending is breathtaking. This Preminger film has the pace lacking in "Fallen Angel," which is another character study of a sort.
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