has never been better than as the hard-headed newsman with a romantic soft spot for a team of gypsy fliers--especially the sexy parachute-jumping Dorothy Malone--in Douglas Sirk's adaptation of William Faulkner's Pylon
. It's the Depression, and the volatile little family--disillusioned World War I ace Robert Stack; his doting wife Malone; his sad, lovesick mechanic Jack Carson; and Stack's hero-worshipping son--has landed in New Orleans for a Mardi Gras air show. Stack's mania for flying ("I need to fly, just like an alcoholic needs his drink!") keeps him at arm's length from his loving family, and he even sacrifices his wife's virtue for a shot at piloting his archrival's spare plane, but his brittle emotional armor cracks in a stunning moment of redemption.
Douglas Sirk trades his vivid Technicolor palette for shadowy black-and-white CinemaScope (the gorgeous widescreen compositions are tragically lost on pan-and-scan video) to create a dark, desperate vision of the Depression, where deadened souls wait for the next spectacular crash as fliers recklessly race around pylons. Sirk heightens the alienation with the most stylized shooting of his career: cameras peer through transom windows, shadows slash through scenes, and grotesque Mardi Gras costumes wander through almost every scene. This production is considered by many, including Faulkner himself, to be the best adaptation of the author's work, and it remains Sirk's most bleakly beautiful film. --Sean Axmaker
United Kingdom released, Blu-Ray/Region B DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), English ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN (2.35:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Black & White, Booklet, Cast/Crew Interview(s), Commentary, Interactive Menu, Scene Access, Special Edition, Trailer(s), SYNOPSIS: One of legendary director Douglas Sirk's most cherished passion projects, this spectacular adaptation of William Faulkner's Pylon has risen in stature to become one of his most acclaimed films. Reuniting with his core creative team from oil tycoon saga Written on the Wind, Sirk this time examined the marginal lives and lost souls living one rung from the bottom with surpassing delicacy and artistry. Rock Hudson stars as journalist Burke Devlin, fascinated by the sordid lives of a trio eking out a living in carnival circuit daredevil airshows - Roger Shumann (Robert Stack), former WWI fighter pilot, forced into races and parachute routines with the help of his wife LaVerne (Dorothy Malone), and faithful mechanic Jiggs (Jack Carson). Evoking Depression-era New Orleans with glorious black-and-white CinemaScope photography, Sirk's spellbinding chronicle of personal obsession, romantic longing and irreconcilable desires now appears as one of the most extraordinary films to come out of 1950s Hollywood. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present The Tarnished Angels on Blu-ray for the first time. ...The Tarnished Angels (1958) ( Pylon ) (Blu-Ray)