Fallen Angel (1945)

97-98 mins | Film noir | December 1945

Director:

Otto Preminger

Writer:

Harry Kleiner

Producer:

Otto Preminger

Cinematographer:

Joseph La Shelle

Editor:

Harry Reynolds

Production Designers:

Lyle Wheeler, Leland Fuller

Production Company:

Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

In the film, Alice Faye recites the following poem: "We were born to tread the Earth as angels--to seek out Heaven this side of the sky. But they who race alone shall stumble in the dark and fall from grace. Then love alone can make the Fallen Angel rise--for only two together can enter Paradise." According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department, located at the UCLA Arts--Special Collections Library, Marion Parsonnet worked on an early version of the screenplay. The extent of her contribution to the completed picture has not been determined, however. A 12 Sep 1944 LAEx news item reported that Joan Fontaine was being considered for one of the lead roles, while in Feb 1945, HR announced that Ida Lupino would play the role of "June Mills." In Mar 1945, HR noted that Anne Baxter would be co-starring with Linda Darnell. Although studio press releases and a HR news item include Paul Power, Stuart Holmes and Broderick O'Farrell in the cast, their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. The legal records list the following California locations at which scenes in the film were shot: the Ocean Park Bowling Center in Ocean Park; the California Bank at the corner of Vine St. and Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood; Sycamore Pier in Malibu; the city of Orange; and San Francisco. A Jun 1945 HR news item noted that filming had ended in Palos Verdes, CA. Several reviews compared the picture to Laura , a 1944 Twentieth Century-Fox production that was also ... More Less

In the film, Alice Faye recites the following poem: "We were born to tread the Earth as angels--to seek out Heaven this side of the sky. But they who race alone shall stumble in the dark and fall from grace. Then love alone can make the Fallen Angel rise--for only two together can enter Paradise." According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department, located at the UCLA Arts--Special Collections Library, Marion Parsonnet worked on an early version of the screenplay. The extent of her contribution to the completed picture has not been determined, however. A 12 Sep 1944 LAEx news item reported that Joan Fontaine was being considered for one of the lead roles, while in Feb 1945, HR announced that Ida Lupino would play the role of "June Mills." In Mar 1945, HR noted that Anne Baxter would be co-starring with Linda Darnell. Although studio press releases and a HR news item include Paul Power, Stuart Holmes and Broderick O'Farrell in the cast, their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. The legal records list the following California locations at which scenes in the film were shot: the Ocean Park Bowling Center in Ocean Park; the California Bank at the corner of Vine St. and Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood; Sycamore Pier in Malibu; the city of Orange; and San Francisco. A Jun 1945 HR news item noted that filming had ended in Palos Verdes, CA. Several reviews compared the picture to Laura , a 1944 Twentieth Century-Fox production that was also directed by Preminger, starred Dana Andrews, and featured music by David Raksin and photography by Joseph La Shelle.
       A 13 May 1945 NYT article reported that Alice Faye was cast in Fallen Angel after a contract dispute with Twentieth Century-Fox, in which she won the right to appear in only one picture per year, for which she would have full script approval. Faye fought to be cast in the picture because she wanted to appear in a drama rather than a musical, according to NYT . According to contemporary sources, Faye was to sing the song "Slowly." The number was instead recorded by singer Dick Haymes, whose voice is heard on the jukebox and radio in the film. According to modern sources, Faye was angered when studio production chief Darryl F. Zanuck ordered her rendition of the song, as well as several of her dramatic scenes, cut from the picture in order to emphasize Linda Darnell's role. Consequently, Faye left Twentieth Century-Fox without fulfilling the rest of her contract, which called for the making of two more films. Fallen Angel was Faye's first picture since the 1943 film The Gang's All Here , (although she did make a brief singing appearance in 1944's Four Jills and a Jeep ); it was her first and only purely dramatic role; and was her last film until the 1962 picture State Fair , for which she returned to Twentieth Century-Fox (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70 ; F6.4688). On 17 Jun 1946, Lux Radio Theatre presented a broadcast of Fallen Angel starring Darnell, Maureen O'Hara and Mark Stevens. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
27 Oct 1945.
---
Daily Variety
24 Oct 45
p. 3.
Film Daily
26 Oct 45
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Sep 44
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Feb 45
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Mar 45
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Mar 45
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
1 May 45
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
4 May 45
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
25 May 45
p. 16.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Jun 45
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jun 45
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jun 45
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jun 45
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Jun 45
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Oct 45
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Nov 45
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Feb 46
p. 5.
Los Angeles Examiner
12 Sep 1944.
---
Los Angeles Times
15 Dec 1945.
---
Motion Picture Daily
24 Oct 1945.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
19 May 45
p. 2454.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
27 Oct 45
p. 2693.
New York Times
13 May 1945.
---
New York Times
7 Feb 46
p. 29.
Variety
24 Oct 45
p. 12.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2d unit dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2d cam
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
Mus mixer
Mus mixer
Mus mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
Transparency projection shots
Transparency projection shots
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Research dir
Research asst
Scr supv
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Fallen Angel by Marty Holland (New York, 1945).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Slowly," music and lyrics by David Raksin and Kermit Goell, sung by Dick Haymes.
DETAILS
Release Date:
December 1945
Premiere Information:
World premiere in Dallas, TX: 7 November 1945
Los Angeles opening: week of 14 December 1945
Production Date:
1 May--28 June 1945
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
7 November 1945
Copyright Number:
LP96
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
97-98
Length(in feet):
8,767
Length(in reels):
11
Country:
United States
PCA No:
10940
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

One night, drifter Eric Stanton is forced to disembark a San Francisco-bound bus because he has not paid the full fare. Eric is let off in the small town of Walton, and when he goes to Pop's, a local diner, he finds Pop distraught over the disappearance of his beautiful waitress Stella. Retired police detective Mark Judd assures Pop that Stella will return, and soon she does appear, much to Pop's relief. Eric then leaves and, after seeing a poster for a show by "psychic" Professor Madley, convinces Madley's assistant, Joe Ellis, that he is friends with the professor. Ellis confides that ticket sales have been slow due to the influence of Clara Mills, the former mayor's daughter, who has been telling her friends not to attend. Seeing an opportunity to make money, Eric goes to the Mills house the next morning, and asks the cynical Clara to give the professor a chance. Clara dismisses Eric, saying that the professor is a charlatan, but her lovely younger sister June is intrigued by Eric, and tells Clara that Madley is merely trying to make a living. June convinces her sister to buy tickets to the show, and soon many of the townspeople follow suit. When Madley arrives in Walton, he reveals that he does not know Eric, but is nonetheless so pleased with his work that he pays him and offers him a job touring with the show. Eric accepts, then continues his pursuit of the sensuous Stella. At the show that night, Clara is horrified when Madley, pretending to speak in the voice of her late father, reveals how she was swindled by a smooth-talking ... +


One night, drifter Eric Stanton is forced to disembark a San Francisco-bound bus because he has not paid the full fare. Eric is let off in the small town of Walton, and when he goes to Pop's, a local diner, he finds Pop distraught over the disappearance of his beautiful waitress Stella. Retired police detective Mark Judd assures Pop that Stella will return, and soon she does appear, much to Pop's relief. Eric then leaves and, after seeing a poster for a show by "psychic" Professor Madley, convinces Madley's assistant, Joe Ellis, that he is friends with the professor. Ellis confides that ticket sales have been slow due to the influence of Clara Mills, the former mayor's daughter, who has been telling her friends not to attend. Seeing an opportunity to make money, Eric goes to the Mills house the next morning, and asks the cynical Clara to give the professor a chance. Clara dismisses Eric, saying that the professor is a charlatan, but her lovely younger sister June is intrigued by Eric, and tells Clara that Madley is merely trying to make a living. June convinces her sister to buy tickets to the show, and soon many of the townspeople follow suit. When Madley arrives in Walton, he reveals that he does not know Eric, but is nonetheless so pleased with his work that he pays him and offers him a job touring with the show. Eric accepts, then continues his pursuit of the sensuous Stella. At the show that night, Clara is horrified when Madley, pretending to speak in the voice of her late father, reveals how she was swindled by a smooth-talking man, even though she still has $25,000 of her inheritance left. After the show, Eric goes out with Stella, and although he pressures her to make love with him, she insists that she wants marriage and a home. Annoyed that Stella will not come to San Francisco with him when he joins the professor, Eric prepares to leave alone, but is so obsessed with Stella that he stays in Walton and promises her that he will find enough money to marry her. Eric then begins to court June, flattering her and goading her into dating him. June is captivated by Eric's charm, but he is infuriated when he sees Stella with jukebox vendor Dave Atkins. When Eric confronts Stella later, she shows him a new watch that she has received from a beau, although she does not specify which one. The next night, Eric goes out with June again and talks about her potential career as a musician and asks to take her to San Francisco for a concert. June falls asleep without answering, and the frustrated Eric begs Stella to run away with him, but she insists that he first obtain the money he promised. Eric goes to sleep but is awakened by a phone call from June, who asks him to accompany her and Clara to San Francisco in the morning. Clara, who is putting June's share of their inheritance in a safe deposit box, is suspicious of the glib Eric, but later that afternoon, when June and Eric reveal that they have been married, Clara reluctantly agrees to accept Eric for June's sake. When they return home, however, Eric sneaks out to see Stella, but is followed by Clara. Stella is angered by Eric's marriage, despite his assurances that he will have it annulled as soon as he gets June's money. Stella storms off, and the next morning, June confronts Eric with Clara's revelation about his meeting with Stella. Eric tries to defend himself, but June further reveals that Judd is there to question him, as Stella was murdered late the previous night. Clara tells Judd, who has been placed in charge of the investigation, that Eric was at the Mills home all night, after which Eric watches as Judd brutally beats Atkins while questioning him. Atkins admits that Stella had agreed to marry him but denies giving her the watch that was dropped by the killer as he fled the scene. Atkins' alibi holds, and Judd then turns his suspicions on Eric, who, afraid that he will be framed, flees to San Francisco. June, who loves her husband despite the evidence against him, accompanies him, and while they are talking in their hotel room, Eric finally begins to appreciate June's gentle, loving nature. Judd has June arrested when she tries to withdraw her money from the safe deposit box, but June maintains her belief in Eric's innocence. Eric grows suspicious of Judd and makes his own inquiries, after which he returns to Walton, where he confronts Judd in Pop's diner. Eric presses Judd into confessing that he gave Stella the watch and later killed her after she agreed to marry Atkins because she was tired of waiting for Judd to obtain a divorce. Wild with grief, Pop attempts to shoot Judd, but Eric stops him and the policeman is arrested. Eric tells Pop that he, too, will get over Stella, then joins June, who is waiting outside. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.