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

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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