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The Tarnished Angels(1957)
No synopsis for The Tarnished Angels.
For more about The Tarnished Angels and the The Tarnished Angels Blu-ray release, see the The Tarnished Angels Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on August 26, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Rock Hudson, Robert Stack, Dorothy Malone, Jack Carson, William Schallert, Troy Donahue
Director: Douglas Sirk
» See full cast & crew
The Tarnished Angels Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, August 26, 2013
Douglas Sirk's "The Tarnished Angels" (1957) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Eureka Entertainment. The supplemental features on the disc include an original trailer for the film; audio commentary by Australian film critic Adrian Martin; video interview with actor William Schallert; documentary film by Robert Fischer; collection of archival interviews with director Douglas Sirk, Rock Hudson, Robert Stack, Dorothy Malone, and producer Albert Zugsmith, and a recent interview with director Allison Anders; and more. The release also arrives with a 40-page illustrated booklet featuring the words of Douglas Sirk, vintage reportage from the film set, rare imagery, and more. In English, with optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature. Region-B "locked".
New Orleans, a few years after World War I. Former fighter pilot Roger Shumann (Robert Stack, Bullfighter and the Lady, The Last Voyage), his beautiful wife LaVerne (Dorothy Malone, Private Hell 36, Young at Heart), and their 9-year-old son Jack (Chris Olson) spend most of their time at rural air shows - Roger races while LaVerne performs parachute demonstrations for money. Also working with them is Jiggs (Jack Carson, A Star is Born, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof), an aging mechanic and closeted romantic, who fixes everything that gets broken.
Roger loves racing, but LaVerne and Jiggs are both disillusioned with their lives. LaVerne has learned not to show her frustration, but Jiggs would occasionally tell Roger that his wife should have had a better life.
Local newspaper man Burke Devlin (Rock Hudson, Seconds, Pillow Talk) approaches Jack and LaVerne after he learns that they have no place to stay. He offers them the key to his apartment in exchange for their stories – because a family living on the road surely has the type of stories a newspaper needs. But instead of exciting stories about wild adventures, LaVerne shares intimate stories which make Burke realize that she desperately needs to be loved. Meanwhile, Jack crashes his only plane and becomes seriously depressed.
The main protagonists in this notably beautiful film loosely based on William Faulkner's novel and directed by the great Douglas Sirk are people who gradually come to realize that they have built their lives around impossible dreams. These realizations occur at different times but have the same dramatic effects on their relationships.
LaVerne's story is the simplest one. She was a young and naive girl when she fell in love with a man who made her believe that life outside of rural Iowa could be beautiful. He looked like the right man – he was a handsome war hero whose words can be trusted. But the more time LaVerne spent with him, the more she began doubting herself. She never stopped loving him, but eventually realized that he wasn't the man she had seen in her dreams.
Halfway through the film a flashback shows how Roger married LaVerne. He desired her. He was attached to her. And he won her. But did he truly love her?
Jiggs did. And even after LaVerne married Roger he never stopped loving her. As the film progresses one gets the feeling that part of him also never stopped hoping that one day she might belong to him. But the cynic in him never allowed him to question LaVerne's decision to be with Roger.
Burke, the newspaper man, is the wild card in the film. At first he is only a curious listener, but when LaVerne opens up her heart something inside him snaps. Could he be falling in love with another man's woman?
The classic melodramatic overtones many of Sirk's best films are known for are definitely present in The Tarnished Angels, but the emotions are notably toned down here. Some breathtakingly beautiful sequences are also countered with cold and sterile imagery.
The film's terrific orchestral soundtrack was composed by the legendary Frank Skinner (Jules Dassin's The Naked City, Douglas Sirk's Written on the Wind, Henry Koster's Harvey).
The Tarnished Angels Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Douglas Sirk's The Tarnished Angels arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Eureka Entertainment.
The high-definition transfer is beautiful. Virtually all close-ups boast wonderful depth while the outdoor panoramic shots look crisp and vibrant (see screencaptures #1 and 19). Contrast levels remain stable throughout the entire film. The black and whites are wonderfully well balanced, while the wide range of grays always look healthy. With lighting having such a prominent role in the film, a lot of the indoor footage looks simply wonderful. There are no traces of problematic degraining corrections. Edge-enhancement is also not an issue of concern. Overall image stability is very good. When blown through a digital projector, the film remains pleasingly tight around the edges and fluidity never suffers. Compression is very good. Lastly, there are a few tiny flecks and light scratches that pop during the races, but there are no large damage marks, debris, cuts, warps, or stains. All in all, I am very pleased with the way this wonderful film looks in high-definition. (Note: This is a Region-B "locked" Blu-ray release. Therefore, you must have a native Region-B or Region-Free PS3 or SA in order to access its content).
The Tarnished Angels Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There is only one standard audio track on this Blu-ray release: English LPCM 1.0. Also included is a Music & Effects LPCM 1.0 track. For the record, Eureka Entertainment have provided optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature. When turned on, they appear inside the image frame.
Depth and clarity are very good. Dynamic intensity is also very pleasing (see the party scene and the races). However, some light background hiss is often present. It never becomes distracting, but it is certainly felt during different exchanges. For the record, there are no pops, audio dropouts, or distortions to report in this review.
The Tarnished Angels Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
The Tarnished Angels Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Eureka Entertainment's presentation of Douglas Sirk's The Tarnished Angels is quite beautiful. I also really enjoyed the supplemental features on the Blu-ray. The audio commentary by Australian film critic Adrian Martin and Robert Fischer's documentary film are wonderful. If you could play Region-B "locked" discs, I urge you to consider adding this release to your collection. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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The Tarnished Angels Blu-ray, News and Updates
• The Tarnished Angels Blu-ray - July 17, 2013
British distributors Eureka Entertainment have officially announced and detailed their upcoming Blu-ray release Douglas Sirk's The Tarnished Angels (1957), starring Rock Hudson, Robert Stack, Dorothy Malone, and Jack Carson. The release will arrive on the UK market ...
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