Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Angel Face (1953)


Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Angel Face (1953)

In Otto Preminger's dark noir of murder, a love/hate relationship and betrayal, with the intriguing taglines: "She loved one man ... enough to KILL to get him!" and "The men she loved she destroyed" - similar in plot to The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946):

  • the main protagonist: the gorgeous and sensual, but insane 20 year-old Diane Tremayne (Jean Simmons) - a diabolical, scheming, psychotic 'angel of death' femme fatale; the disturbed and spoiled heiress became infatuated with working class Beverly Hills ambulance driver Frank Jessup (Robert Mitchum) after she met him during a call to treat the suspicious gas inhalation-poisoning of her own American stepmother Catherine (Barbara O'Neil) at the Tremayne estate
  • her sabotage of Frank's relationship with his steady blonde girlfriend, hospital receptionist Mary Wilton (Mona Freeman), and hiring him as their family's chauffeur, and entering into a love affair with Frank
Frank and The Two Females in His Life
Frank Jessup
Diane Tremayne
Mary Wilton
  • Diane's scheme: to murder her wealthy and controlling step-mother Catherine, in order to acquire the inheritance - and to have her well-respected, henpecked British novelist father Charles (Herbert Marshall) all to herself
  • the scene of the tampered Tremayne car - rigged to crash and kill Catherine by accelerating in reverse, but the car crash sent both Tremaynes over a nearby cliff and killed them - the crash scene dissolved to a view of the mastermind sitting impassively and playing at a grand piano, about to suffer a nervous breakdown
  • Frank's famous quote about Diane: "I don't pretend to know what goes on behind that pretty little face of yours; I don't want to" - he also rightly cautioned himself: "Never be the innocent bystander - that's the guy that always gets hurt"
  • after being acquitted with assistance by defense lawyer Fred Barrett (Leon Ames), Diane's continuing manipulation of the naive Frank to marry her
  • the four minute sequence of Diane's sole wanderings through the empty rooms and hallways of the mansion, and awakening the next morning wrapped in Frank's coat and cuddled in a chair
Femme Fatale ("Angel of Death") Diane
  • the ironic, surprise bleak ending: as Frank was packing to permanently leave for Mexico, she offered to drive him to the bus station; Diane accelerated their car in reverse over an embankment and killed them both

Car Crash Scene

Diane's Stone-Faced Reaction at Grand Piano

Diane's Court Case and Acquittal

The Shocking Finale: A Second Car 'Accident'


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