Movie Reviews

DVD Review: “Band of Angels”

(Warner Home Video, 1957/2007. Widescreen. 127 minutes. Not Rated. Directed by Raoul Walsh.) Clark Gable, Yvonne De Carlo, Sidney Poitier, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. Music by Max Steiner.

Long one of my guilty pleasures. I was glad to get this movie on DVD after suffering through old, faded TV prints, and particularly glad that the talents of star Yvonne De Carlo, who just passed away on January 8th at age 84, get a proper showcase again. It’s too bad that she’s best known for her Lily Munster TV role, as the Canadian beauty had had a solid film career in the 1940s and 50s. Based on a book by Robert Penn Warren, whose novel All The King’s Men was just remade, Band of Angels stars Clark Gable as a sort-of 20-years-later Rhett Butler. He’s a Confederate-era plantation owner with a secret past of slave-trading; De Carlo’s a fiery belle who goes on the auction block when her part-African heritage is revealed and ends up being sold to Gable. It’s no Gone With The Wind, but fun ’50s melodrama in the Warners tradition; interesting to observe Gable in his declining years (the “King” of Hollywood didn’t age well, alas), and Poitier, as a rebellious slave, in his early ascent. No extras except for a trailer.

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