Angel Face (1952) - Rotten Tomatoes

Angel Face1952

Angel Face (1952)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Angel Face Photos

Movie Info

Jean Simmons' fascinating interpretation of an uncharacteristic role is the main drawing card of Otto Preminger's Angel Face. The daughter of Charles Treymayne (Herbert Marshall), who remarried a wealthy woman (Barbara O'Neil), Diane Treymayne's (Simmons) angelic countenance masks an unbridled psychotic who'll let nothing stand in the way of her happiness. Diane arranges for Catherine's death, making it look like an auto accident. Coveting family chauffeur Frank Jessup (Robert Mitchum), Diane steals Frank away from his sweetheart Mary (Mona Freeman) and forces him to become her spiritual accomplice in her stepmother's murder. And when Diane finally realizes that she'll never, ever, be able to hold Frank, she... well, enough said. If Angel Face doesn't look like a typical early-1950s RKO Radio film, it may be because its director was borrowed from 20th Century-Fox, and its cinematographer (Harry Stradling) was a loan-out from Sam Goldwyn.


Jean Simmons
as Diane Tremayne Jessup
Robert Mitchum
as Frank Jessup
Mona Freeman
as Mary Wilton
Herbert Marshall
as Mr. Charles Tremayne
Leon Ames
as Fred Barrett
Barbara O'Neil
as Mrs. Catherine Tremayne
Kenneth Tobey
as Bill Crompton
Raymond Greenleaf
as Arthur Vance
Griff Barnett
as The judge
Jim Backus
as DA Judson
Bess Flowers
as Barrett's Secretary
Alex Gerry
as Lewis, Frank's Attorney
Lewis Martin
as Police Sergeant
Michael Lally
as Reporter
Young Buck
as Assistant District Attorney
Bob Peoples
as Reporter
Jeffrey Sayre
as Court Clerk
James Brick Sullivan
as Deputy Sheriff
Grandon Rhodes
as Prison Chaplain
Cora Shannon
as Patient
Theresa Harris
as Nurse Theresa
John Ellis
as Jury Foreman
Pete Kellett
as Detective
Ralph Volkie
as Good Humor Man
Charles Tannen
as TV Broadcaster
View All

Critic Reviews for Angel Face

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (3)

A capable cast, headed by Jean Simmons and Robert Mitchum, and a nice, taut story idea have been set adrift in a pretentious Freudian mist that wafts through the handsomely mounted proceedings with disastrous results.

August 8, 2006 | Rating: 1.5/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Superb Freudian crime thriller, noir-inflected in theme but shot by and large in crisp, bright drawing-rooms.

February 9, 2006 | Full Review…

The sets, characters, and actions are extremely stylized, yet Preminger's moving camera gives them a frightening unity and fluidity, tracing a straight, clean line to a cliff top for one of the most audacious endings in film history.

March 31, 2003 | Full Review…

Angel Face is a congested thriller that kills off all its actors with modern sports cars.

November 23, 2020 | Full Review…

The dark themes quietly wrap themselves around us, pulling us into this story of love, anger, and madness.

August 11, 2020 | Full Review…

Preminger transforms a second rate James M. Cain murder plot, re-orchestrating this textbook tale of passion and murder into a haunting and haunted refrain

March 16, 2009 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Angel Face

An ordinary man gets mixed up with a dangerous girl. Not anything new, but it's a good movie with good actors.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

Robert Mitchum plays Frank, an ambulance driver with dreams of opening a sports car repair shop. He has a very pretty girlfriend (Mona Freeman) that he treats very casually, especially when he meets other hot dames. One night, on a call at a ritzy mansion, he discovers what is obviously a plot by a wealthy socialite to kill her stepmother. However, he's a little bit intrigued by the socialite (Jean Simmons), and she seems more than a little interested in her, so he takes her out. Soon, Frank's life is filled with promises of money and it seems as though his dreams will all come true, if only he can turn the other way for a little while. Director Otto Preminger uses the Hays code to his advantage as the twists and turns of this crime drama unfold. While Mitchum isn't exactly oozing charisma (and Simmons' socialite perhaps oozes too much), the end result is something entirely fascinating to watch. Is Mona Freeman's no-nonsense character a proto-feminist? She sees Simmons' little plots and ploys very early on, and has the nerve to call her out on them. I also think the courtroom scenes deserve a lot credit. I enjoyed the interplay between the two lawyers, and Leon Ames breaks ground he'd later revisit in The Postman Always Rings Twice (as an exceedingly clever lawyer). A great example of the genre from the 1950s.

Devon Bott
Devon Bott

Super Reviewer

Oh, I dug this. Preminger delivers solid Beverly Hills noir with a dollop of Freudian melodrama. Mitchum is great as a super cynical "I'm wise to you" pragmatist who still winds up taking the fall for the nutty dame. Nutty dames...

Bob Stinson
Bob Stinson

Super Reviewer

Angel Face Quotes

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