Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Be fair to Alice Faye!, 23 Mar 2011
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This review is from: Fallen Angel [1945] [DVD] (DVD)
Having read some other reviews of Fallen Angel, more than one critiscizes Alice Faye's performance as shallow and not equal to that of Linda Darnell.
However in Alice's defence it must be pointed out that her performance as seen in the finished print was far short of what she had originally created. It is a well documented fact that she filmed several other scenes with Dana Andrews which according to Alice added dimension and motivation to her character. In one of these she sang the song Slowly as it played on the car radio (in the film it is heard on the juke box several times sung by Dick Haymes) in a dramatic scene ending in a row with Dana Andrews at the end of which he slapped her.

Alice had believed that Fallen Angel would initiate a new period in her screen career, with more serious roles. She had very high hopes of it, working with the star and director of 1944's Laura. However, in the editing, the emphasis of the story was shifted to bad girl Stella at the expense of June. Whether this happened at Preminger's or Zanuck's instruction is not known, but it caused a huge rift between Alice and Darryl F Zanuck. Alice, aware that her performance was no longer as effective as she wanted, is alleged to have left a preview screening of Fallen Angel at the studio in tears, never to return until 1962. In the late 1940's Fox sent many scripts to her in the hope of wooing her back - eg A Letter to three wives - but all to no avail.

So, I do ask modern viewers to bear all that in mind. Alice's characterization shows June to be a warm, romantic individual who is literally swept off her feet and it is her trusting belief in Eric which prevails in the end. She understands Eric's shortcomings but believes her love can transcend them, which it does.

It is all too easy to dismiss stars like Alice as "non" actresses but given a good director she was capable of some very good performances, as Henry King discovered (In Old Chicago and Alexander's Ragtime Band), among others.
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