Sunday, July 26, 2015

Angel Face: When Jean Simmons and Stewart Granger Almost Murdered Howard Hughes

By David in TN

I just watched my DVR recording of Angel Face. In his introduction, Eddie Muller tells us that the film came about because RKO boss Howard Hughes wanted to torture Jean Simmons. Hughes had wanted Simmons for other reasons than her acting ability, and she and husband Stewart Granger hated Hughes so much they thought of killing him to put an end to "Hughes' unwanted advances."

Jean Simmons was obligated to Howard Hughes for one last film, before she could escape his clutches. Hughes decided to put her through the ringer.

Hughes took a rejected script, hired Otto Preminger from Fox and ordered him to "make life hell" for leading lady Simmons. She was afraid she might not survive making Angel Face.

Hughes and Preminger forced Simmons to have her hair chopped off and wear a wig, "a stunt done just to aggravate Stewart Granger."

Muller said "Angel Face has an especially dreadful and despairing tone, even for a film noir." He considers it one of his favorite film noirs.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the film noir information. I will now check out the movies listed on the Film Noir Foundation. After reading on this site about the upcoming movies on Turner Classics, I watched the film The Locket.What a great movie.We need to escape sometimes from the current environment.

David In TN said...

Yes, a bonus of those films is they often shot them on location in Los Angeles to save money, which makes them a time capsule of sorts. Ironically these films are supposed to be "dark" but the city looks pretty civilized compared to today.