Review #39 The Tarnished Angels

tarnished angels

Director: Douglas Sirk

Starring: Rock Hudson, Dorothy Malone, Robert Stack, Chris Olsen

Certificate: U

Running Time: 91 Minutes

THE TARNISHED ANGELS follows journalist Burke Devlin (Rock Hudson) who seeks out a story on World War I flying hero Roger Schumann (Robert Stack). Schumann has been reduced to racing airplanes and forcing his family, including his wife LaVerne (Dorothy Malone) and son Jack (Chris Olsen), to live in one room whilst he attempts to make a name for himself. However, upon arrival Devlin starts to fall for Schumann’s wife and gets drawn into the family’s problems.

Made in 1957 the film is in black and white, which whilst slightly baffling, does not in any way distract. If anything nowadays it’s a nice break to watch a film in monochrome.

THE TARNISHED ANGELS doesn’t have a plot as such as when Devlin comes to find a story for his newspaper there isn’t one that would be worthy of selling newspapers – perhaps symbolic of Depression-era America. The relationship between Devlin and LaVerne sparks interest during the middle of the film, more so than a potential relationship in contemporary movies. The way Hudson and Malone deliver their words is a pleasure to watch and listen to, which is a unique aspect missing from much modern cinema.

The film starts to develop a plot in the last twenty minutes which makes TARNISHED ANGELS well worth your time. Indeed it’s refreshing to watch an older film that isn’t necessarily enthralling but one to enjoy for the performances of Hudson and Malone.

Three stars.

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