The Tarnished Angels (1957)

Douglas Sirk directs Dorothy Malone, Rock Hudson and Robert Stack in this drama about a makeshift family of stunt fliers whose sexual tension and death wishes mar a New Orleans air show.

Sirk, at the end of his career, stated that “perhaps, after all, Tarnished Angels is my best film”. I’d been inclined to agree. The stark black and white photography is wondrous, capturing both the seedy festivities of The Big Easy and the daredevil thrills of the airshow. Dorothy Malone erupts on the screen as the woman every man desires but only the most uncaring character can have. Hudson plays a strange protagonist, someone who sees an absolute toxic spill of a love triangle and decides he wants to pretend to be a white knight and complicate things even further. I assume a few of his chunkier monologues come from the original William Faulkner novel Pylon. These heavy handed wobbles are the only faults I could see. This has a hot hot heat to it, histrionic yet hypnotic.


Perfect Double Bill: Hell’s Angels (1930)

Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here

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