The three latest Fox Film Noir releases -- We review ''Fallen Angel,'' ''No Way Out,'' and ''House on Telegraph Hill''
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Fallen Angel

The three latest Fox Film Noir releases

The three latest titles in the Fox Film Noir series stretch the boundaries of the genre. Certainly, Otto Preminger’s asphalt-gritty Fallen Angel (Unrated, 97 mins., 1945), with grifter Dana Andrews meeting his match in a hubba-hubba Linda Darnell, is prime stuff — literally and figuratively dark, hard-boiled cynical with lots of twists. But No Way Out (Unrated, 106 mins., 1950), a hospital drama with Sidney Poitier in his first starring role as a young doctor and Richard Widmark as his racist, criminal patient, is more of a social tract, with brutally frank language for the period; director Joseph L. Mankiewicz even stages a race riot that’s a tumultuous set piece. Film historian Eddie Muller, whose informative and often droll commentaries brighten all three films here, jauntily concludes No Way by saying, ”Noir or not — who knows? But a terrific picture.” Similarly, Muller notes that Robert Wise’s House on Telegraph Hill (Unrated, 93 mins., 1951) owes ”more to ‘woman-in-jeopardy’ drama than to noir conventions.” This tale of a concentration-camp survivor (Valentina Cortesa) who comes to live in a San Francisco mansion filled with mysterious family secrets is a convoluted, turgid melodrama. Angel: A- No Way: B Telegraph Hill: C

Fallen Angel
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