Fallen Angel

Laura set the stage; Fallen Angel smashed the assembled scenery. In this drizzly darko, Eric Stanton (Dana Andrews), a down-and-out hustler, disembarks from a bus in Walton, near penniless and far from his intended destination. In the local spoon, he meets Stella (Linda Darnell), a curvaceous oasis in a dried-up town, who pushes hash and java to her desperate admirers. Hoping to score with Stella by scoring a bundle, Stanton turns his attention to June Mills (Alice Faye in a rare dramatic role), wooing this wealthy but unwise spinster. Preminger abandons the aristocratic trappings of Laura for the lower depths of faithless mugs, seamy hotels, and broken promises. This wicked web is woven with sinuous, seamless camerawork in which the glaring sun and the murky shadow are as one. As it must, murder descends upon Walton like a thick fog, and along with it comes Charles Bickford, a tough cop assigned to the investigation. Who has fallen and who shall rise is a mystery like the mist.

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