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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The richest guy in America presents the coolest guy in America"
The title of this review is a paraphrase of an observation offered by the man on the commentary track. This is an RKO picture, a Howard Hughes production--there are details about that statement that make the commentary track well worth hearing. The film stars Robert Mitchum. I had never quite formulated that particular thought, but having heard it, I immediately realized...
Published on 2 Sep 2010 by L. E. Cantrell

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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow moving
Diane (Jean Simmons) blames her stepmother Catherine (Barbara O'Neil) for her father Charles's (Herbert Marshall) lack of financial success. When ambulance-man Frank (Robert Mitchum) is called to the house as a result of Catherine's suspected suicide attempt, he meets and falls in love with Diane. Frank is soon in the employment of Catherine as a chauffeur and this allows...
Published on 25 Jan 2010 by Alex da Silva


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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The richest guy in America presents the coolest guy in America", 2 Sep 2010
By 
L. E. Cantrell (Vancouver, British Columbia Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Angel Face [DVD] (DVD)
The title of this review is a paraphrase of an observation offered by the man on the commentary track. This is an RKO picture, a Howard Hughes production--there are details about that statement that make the commentary track well worth hearing. The film stars Robert Mitchum. I had never quite formulated that particular thought, but having heard it, I immediately realized it was perfectly true: Robert Mitchum WAS the coolest guy in America.

He was so cool that on screen he could act like a perfect chump from first frame to last and still seem cool. He was so cool that in an America where Lucy and Ricky could not share a bed, he could get busted for possession of marijuana, take all the heat and all the publicity without whimper or complaint, then go right on being as big a movie star as ever, and still the coolest guy in sight.

Previous Amazon reviews have been impressively sound in describing this picture. I have nothing to add beyond endorsing their high ratings. This is an unpretentious little noirish film. It boasts a fine cast from Jean Simmons in an uncharacteristic role, to Herbert Marshall in a characteristic one, to Kenneth Tobey and Mona Freeman in fine supporting performances. Otto Preminger was a wonderfully skilled (if wholly obnoxious) director. This movie works, satisfying in ways that some more famous films do not.

This DVD of "Angel Face" offers a good film, a good print and not much in the way of bells and whistles beyond a useful (for once) commentary. You won't go wrong with it.

Five appropriately cool stars.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never be the innocent bystander, that's the guy that always gets hurt., 7 Nov 2011
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Angel Face [DVD] (DVD)
Angel Face is directed by Otto Preminger and adapted to screenplay by Ben Hecht, Oscar Millard and Frank S. Nugent from a story written by Chester Erskine. It stars Robert Mitchum, Jean Simmons, Mona Freeman and Herbert Marshall. Music is scored by Dimitri Tiomkin and cinematography is by Harry Stradling

The Tremayne residence, home to beguiling beauty Diane Tremayne (Simmons). When ambulance driver Frank Jessup (Mitchum) meets her for the first time, little did he know that he would soon be engulfed in a world of sexual desires and possible murder.

Well if it aint the dead body jockey.

In film noir circles it's certainly well known enough, and it can count a number of big names in the movie world as its supporters, yet Angel Face still appears to be something of a forgotten treasure. It's a wickedly dark Freudian picture that pulses with impending doom, luring the viewer into its web that's been threaded together by deceit, seduction, greed and madness. The viewer is never quite sure what will out as the Diane/Frank relationship starts to form, we have a good idea that Frank is in it up to his neck, and you sense he knows it as well, but the twists and turns in the narrative keep things suspenseful; right up to the bold and black hearted finale.

The themes at work in the story are beautifully aided by two compelling central performances from Mitchum (Out of the Past) and Simmons (Elmer Gantry), the former is very restrained, muscular and on iconic cigarette smoking form, the latter is suspiciously sexy, angelic yet dangerous and exuding a poker face charm. In support Mona Freeman (The Heiress) makes good out of a too small a role as the polar opposite "other" girl. Herself gorgeous, Freeman has "safe and homely" down pat, but is that enough for our rugged Frankie Jessup? Preminger (Laura/Whirlpool) directs with professional assuredness whilst getting in tight to the actors with his camera.

Stradling's (Suspicion/A Streetcar Named Desire) black and white photography is effective in capturing the Beverly Hills locale, however, it's rarely in sync with the murky themes unfolding in the plot. Too often it's too bright, too expansive, the minimal amount of shadow play is sorely felt, particularly when the action switches to the foreboding setting of the Tremayne cliff top house. It's an itch that is inflamed still further by Tiomkin's in tune score, full of melodramatic swirls and supernatural down beats, it's a score very at one with the characters. Still, that's me being greedy and wanting chiaroscuro in full effect, Stradling was a fine photographer and surely acted on Preminger's requests for this particular movie.

Angel Face, a moody gem of a story that's punctured by moments of violence, and featuring a cast and director on song. 8/10
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Certainly an Angel Face, 1 Mar 2010
By 
J JARVIS "Nostalgia Fan" (HOLT, NORFOLK United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Angel Face [DVD] (DVD)
I remember seeing this movie at a very young age at our local cinema. I believe it was the first Robert Mitchum movie I had seen certainly the first Jean Simmons. About the same time I remember A Place In The Sun with Montgomery Clift, Shirley Winters & Elizabeth Taylor. Both movies left such an impact on a young mind that almost 60 years later they have never left me. If you are not familiar with the plot Jean Simmons in her first Hollywood movie as the beautiful Diane Tremayne and her obsession for Ambulance driver Frank Jessup (Robert Mitchum).They both made bigger impacts in later movies but in this one they were perfect together. Browsing Amazon as I do I found it and at a budget price and was glad I did. I had seen it on TV a long while ago but now I own it. Jean certainly had a Angel Face and in this movie was never more beautiful. Sadly the stars are no longer with us and the old movie theatre where I spent many happy hours is also gone..Until I grow to old to dream I will never forget them.....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Angel Face (1952) ... Otto Preminger (Director) ... RKO Radio (2007)", 12 Jan 2011
By 
J. Lovins "Mr. Jim" (Missouri-USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Angel Face [DVD] [1952] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
RKO Radio Pictures presents "ANGEL FACE" (1952) (91 min/B&W) (Fully Restored/Dolby Digitally Remastered) -- 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.

A Howard Hughes production, Angel Face has one of the most sensational conclusions in film - one has to see it to believe it

Special footnote trivia -- When Robert Mitchum got fed up with repeated re-takes in which the director Otto Preminger ordered him to slap Jean Simmons across the face, he turned around and slapped Preminger, asking whether it was this way he wanted it. Preminger immediately demanded from Howard Hughes for Mitchum to be replaced. Hughes refused.

Under the production staff of:
Otto Preminger [Director/Producer]
Frank S. Nugent [Screenplay]
Oscar Millard [Screenplay]
Chester Erskine [Story]
Dimitri Tiomkin [Original Film Music]
Harry Stradling Sr. [Cinematographer]
Frederic Knudtson [Film Editor]

BIOS:
1. Otto Ludwig Preminger [Director]
Date of Birth: 5 December 1905 - Wiznitz, Bukovina, Austria-Hungary (now Wyschnyzja, Ukraine))
Date of Death: 23 April 1986 - New York City, New York

2. Robert Mitchum [aka: Robert Charles Durman Mitchum]
Date of Birth: 6 August 1917 - Bridgeport, Connecticut
Date of Death: 1 July 1997 - Santa Barbara, California

3. Jean Simmons
Date of Birth: 31 January 1929 - Crouch Hill, London, England, UK
Date of Death: 22 January 2010 - Santa Monica, California

the cast includes:
Robert Mitchum = Frank Jessup
Jean Simmons - Diane Tremayne Jessup
Mona Freeman - Mary Wilton
Herbert Marshall - Mr. Charles Tremayne
Leon Ames - Fred Barrett
Barbara O'Neil - Mrs. Catherine Tremayne
Kenneth Tobey - Bill Crompton
Raymond Greenleaf - Arthur Vance
Griff Barnett - The Judge
Robert Gist - Miller
Morgan Farley - Juror
Jim Backus - Dist. Atty. Judson

Mr. Jim's Ratings:
Quality of Picture & Sound: 4 Stars
Performance: 4 Stars
Story & Screenplay: 4 Stars
Overall: 4 Stars [Original Music, Cinematography & Film Editing]

Total Time: 91 min on DVD ~ RKO Radio Pictures ~ (01/23/2007)
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fine, little known noir with excellent performances by Jean Simmons and Robert Mitchum,, 7 Jun 2007
By 
C. O. DeRiemer (San Antonio, Texas, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Angel Face [DVD] [1952] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Diane Tremayne (Jean Simmons) should be everything Frank Jessup (Robert Mitchum) could ever want. She's young, beautiful and rich. The trouble is, she arranges "accidents." She worships her father and hates her stepmother. She's the kind of young woman who can make herself believe, for as long as she needs, what she must believe. We know there is going to be an inevitable, deadly conclusion to Diane's and Frank's story as soon as we hear the music over the opening credits and, a few minutes later, see Diane's beautiful, expressionless face crumple into tears when she learns her stepmother survived a leaking gas jet.

Angel Face is a taut, well-told noir with a superb performance by Jean Simmons and an equally good one by Mitchum. Who knows what triggered Mitchum to get involved enough in a movie of his to put forth the effort for a complex performance. Whatever it was, he delivers the goods as Frank Jessup. Frank is an ambulance driver, ambitious enough to be saving his money to start his own garage. He has a girl friend he more than just likes. But when he arrives at the Tremayne mansion on an emergency call one night he finds himself caught up in a number of temptations. He may be a reasonably honorable guy, but deep behind his eyes he can see the possibilities when Diane Tremayne begins to pursue him. It's not long before he has agreed to become the chauffeur for the Tremaynes, to place on hold his relationship with his girl, to allow himself to relax with Diane's attentions, to let himself think of that garage he wants financed by Tremayne money. And he begins to recognize Diane's obsessiveness...her hatred of her step-mother...the likelihood she had something to do with that gas leak...her way of innocently manipulating things. "You hate that woman," he tells Diane, "and someday you'll hate her enough to kill her." Frank is no fool. "Diane, look. I don't pretend to know what goes on behind that pretty little face of yours and I don't want to. But I learned one thing early. Never be the innocent by-stander...that's the guy who always gets hurt." Too late, Frank.

What Frank has to deal with is Diane Tremayne, and that means Jean Simmons. She was a marvelous British actress who became a Hollywood star. This was one of her first movies after she came to America. Her innocent, vulnerable beauty too often disguised an immense range as an actress. At 17 she played young Estella in Great Expectations. Her imperious ways of making young Pip's life difficult is fascinating. At 18 as Kanchi, the native girl in Black Narcissus, she was sexy, spoiled and believably knowing. At 19 she proved she could hold her own against Olivier when she played Ophelia in Hamlet. At 22 she was almost unbelievably fragile and vulnerable as Sophie Malraux in The Clouded Yellow. In Hollywood, she became a star, but all too often the films she was in were big fat productions which are scarcely thought of now. With Angel Face, Simmons gives a portrait of obsession that keeps us off balance. She looks at us and we want to believe the best...but we know better than to do so. There's always that slight edge of unnatural wheel-turning that, thanks to Simmons' skill, we only catch at the corner of our eyes. The story of Angel Face may be strictly linear, but Simmon's Diane Tremayne gives the movie a lot of uneasy depth. Combine that with Mitchum's first-rate performance and we're looking at a very good movie. The ending, while perfectly set up, is memorable and startling.

Along the way we can enjoy the subtle, charming job Herbert Marshall does as Diane's father...an aging author who has given in to the luxuries and security of a very rich wife, and the smooth performance of Leon Ames as Fred Barrett, the lawyer who defends Diane and Frank against murder charges. Barrett is not sleazy, simply an excellent and realistic legal strategist. Angel Face is a fine movie; anyone who likes noirs, or just good drama, should welcome this to his or her collection.

The DVD transfer looks just fine. The only extra is a commentary track by Eddie Muller, identified as a film noir historian. I listened to parts of it. Muller was knowledgeable and pleasantly gossipy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Old Ones Are Still the Best, 17 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Angel Face [DVD] (DVD)
The price was very reasonable and the quality of this DVD was excellent. The sound was very clear. I hadn't seen this movie for quite some time. It was well worth watching.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great film to this day., 26 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Angel Face [DVD] (DVD)
the film nevers dies. still great to this day. great acting, great for the whole family to watch.
buy it now.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Underappreciated, 3 Dec 2012
By 
Ms. Nicola J. Booth "Nicola" (Guildford, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Angel Face [DVD] (DVD)
This is an under appreciated film. what a nasty character Jean Simmons plays? Why on earth didn't some spank the character Diane at an early age? Definitely worth seeing this film. Good acting, good story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars angel face, 13 Sep 2012
By 
Rodney Mitchell (suffolk uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Angel Face [DVD] (DVD)
a good film well acted especially from jean simmons who sweet as she is always played
the part of a femme fatale very well. Mitcham is as ever mitcham and gives a good performance. sound and vision are fine really good value.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Angel Face dvd bought from Amazon, 2 July 2012
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I love this film as I am an avid Robert Mitchum fan..sad end tho, recorded it many years ago on VHS but wanted the DVD also !
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