The Tarnished Angels - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Tarnished Angels Reviews

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½ April 16, 2017
Terrific Douglas Sirk melodrama from the William Faulkner novel "Pylon." I have not read the Faulker book, but I'm guessing it was nowhere as soapy as the film, but as soapy melodrama's go, no one does them better than Douglas Sirk. Robert Stack plays a boozy disillusioned WWI flying ace who now spends his days as a barnstorming pilot at rural carnivals with his neglected parachutist wife, Dorothy Malone, who he only married as a result of a literal roll of the dice. Rock Hudson plays a reporter doing a story on this dysfunctional traveling family of flyers that also includes Jack Carson, Troy Donahue, and William Schallert. Sirk's perchance for over-the-top drama is probably not going to look great to modern viewers, but for fans of classic Hollywood and fans of Sirk in particular, this film is a must see!
½ January 16, 2017
Somber and tragic, but well made.
½ May 4, 2016
Hudson is mesmerising as newspaper reporter Burke Devlin who is besotted by fly-by-night characters, especially sultry daredevil parachutist LaVerne Schumann (Malone). His character is worth all of the others put together. In the acting stakes too he shines brightly, adding nuance to his performance. Unfortunately the script is tarnished, especially if we are to believe Hudson's infatuation for LaVerne who proves herself to be mostly unloveable. If you like Depression era dramas, that will help you enjoy this more. And if you like the early world of flying, that will help too. But mostly watch it for Rock Hudson's intelligent performance.
Based on a story by William Faulker.
June 20, 2014
one of melodrama master douglas sirk's best efforts
August 19, 2013
A gripping tale of disillusionment. Douglas Sirk considered this to have been the best film he had ever made. Indeed, it is certainly among his most solid works. This Depression era set melodrama is quite remarkable for its mature portrayal of heavy undertones and themes, some of which would have been considered taboo at the time. On top of that, the daredevil air racing sequences are quite spectacular and the performances are strong all round.
May 20, 2013
Se fazendo de melodrama, Sirk traça um pungente e melancólico filme sobre a ausência de limites na busca por uma paixão, o que geralmente não tem nada de romântico.
May 16, 2013
Always a carnival ringmaster, Sirk, once again, is in great control of the material. Nonetheless, this depends too much on languid dialogue to provide an explanation for the audiences. More could perhaps have been done to highlight the archetypes of the characters. However, I think that Sirk has his reasons. Maybe he simply wanted to look back at the 30s with a great sense of deference and formalness.
½ December 21, 2011
A fine film from Sirk. Reportedly this is his own personal favorite out of all the films he has made.
September 7, 2011
Pretty great. It has some of Sirk's most complex and baroque visuals. It's breezy at 90mins and as a piece of visual story-telling is brilliant.
August 6, 2011
Based on a minor Faulkner, this is a minor Sirk (featuring three key leads from the much better Written on the Wind). Rock Hudson stars as a journalist who becomes fascinated by the lives of airshow veterans who seemingly adjust themselves to danger by turning their feelings off (or do they?). Melodrama of course (this _is_ Sirk) but just not far enough over-the-top for me.
January 24, 2011
Douglas Sirk was the best with female melodramas, and although William Faulker was happy with this adaptation, it does fall short on the emotional side compared to the female-centered Sirk films. Obviously Robert Stack and Rock Hudson are an excellent pair as a flying ace and a newspaper reporter, but the female character of Dorothy Malone was just... there. I do have to say, the plane crash scene where the body comes flying towards the camera was a sudden shock!
½ January 7, 2011
Falls into the vast middleground of movies that don't have particular flaws, but just fail to grab or interest me. After "Written on the Wind", seeing Dorothy Malone act rational is a let down even if she's fine in the role, and although I see why black and white fits this story better it's kind of a shame to see Sirk without his colors.
October 24, 2010
One of Rock Hudson's best performances. Robert Stack is pretty awesome too. William Faulkner said this was the best adaptation of any of his novels. I can see why. The movie maintains a sharp focus on characters and events that are character driven. Of course the Sirk touch borders just slightly heavy towards melodrama, a very talented cast keeps the story from veering off into soap opera territory.
October 13, 2010
Just not that into Faulkner.
August 28, 2010
Some interesting scenes, but the melodrama doesn't work in this Sirk film, especially when it's necessary to have Rock Hudson explain the tragedy of the affair to his newspaper colleagues as the film comes to a close.
½ August 16, 2010
I seems that the movies we produce today are continuously getting longer. That could be good or bad. In the case of the movie The Tarnished Angels (1957), being a movie that only ran for an hour and a half was a blessing. The film starred Rock Hudson, Dorothy Malone, Robert Stack, and Jack Carson. Any movie with such a cast as this would inspire good hopes and encouragement from the audience. Now, I'm no lady from the 50's but if this movie was what Average Joes' would watch on their Friday Movie Nights then I would do a poor job of fitting into society. I was not interested at all with the plot. Don't get me wrong- the plot is original; I've never seen a plot quite like 'Angels' but the story of the course relationship between a modern gypsy couple was brought about so slowly, I lost interest in the first ten minutes. I stuck through to see this movie to the end; I was determined. I got to watch an hour and a half of Rock Hudson, I felt such a compassion for Jack Carson's misfortunes (Has anyone noticed that Jack never gets the girl?), and I found three brilliant monologues for me to perform later when I am given the opportunity.

My last word for you, reader, unless you are fanatical about flying noncommercial planes in dangerous races at a New Orleans fair, then this movie might not suit you. You take your pick on how you are to spend your time.
April 5, 2010
The subject matter of this movie is extremely edgy and ahead of its time - although some of the more daring subtext is only hinted at and underplayed. Hudson is his usual beautiful and awesome self and is given excellent support from Stack, Malone and Carson. The special effects are also brilliantly delivered - in particular the moment early on in the movie when a young air race pilot dies. It's a real pity that these effects left no budget for filming in colour - as the excellent use of colour photography is usually one of Douglas Sirk's strengths - but this is probably a movie that can get away with the black and white due to it's fairly dark storyline.
½ January 7, 2010
My least favourite of all the Douglas Sirk films I've seen. I know it was based on a novel by legendary American author William Faulkner, and it has a strong cast most of whom had success with Sirk in Written on the Wind, but I just found it odd and dull. It may be a more enjoyable viewing experience if you've read Pylon, otherwise I think there are too many blanks to fill in. Plus characters who warrant little empathy or interest are given too much screen time to moan about nothing much.
½ December 20, 2009
Grim but worthwhile.
October 19, 2009
Photographically, this is some of Sirk's best work, even in black and white... especially in the stunning aviation sequences, but also the moody lighting. And some of the dialogue sparkles (which is likely more Faulkner's doing than Sirk's) and Hudson delivers a speech worthy of Chayefsky. But otherwise it's not that hot. Sirk does melodrama better than anyone, and the movie is certainly watchable, but there just isn't much to it. Still worth seeing, though.
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