The following is a list of episodes from the Showtime anthology series Fallen Angels. A series of six episodes first aired in 1993, followed by a second series of nine which first aired in 1995. Each episode was approximately thirty minutes with no commercials.
First Season (1993)
|1||"Dead End for Delia"||Phil Joanou||Scott Frank||William Campbell Gault (1910–1995)|
(novelette of the same name published in Black Mask Magazine, November 1950)
|August 1, 1993|
Hard-boiled Detective Kelley (Gary Oldman) is called to investigate a murder and we discover his wife Delia (Gabrielle Anwar), a dance-hall hostess, has been murdered. We learn of Kelley's past involvement with Delia and what happened via a very convoluted point-of-view. The story ends in true noir fashion.|
• Awards: Two CableACE Awards — Gary Oldman, Outstanding Actor; Declan Quinn, Direction of Photography.
|2||"I'll Be Waiting"||Tom Hanks||C. Gaby Mitchell||Raymond Chandler (1888–1959)|
(short story of the same name and published in The Saturday Evening Post, October 14, 1939)
|August 15, 1993|
Eve Cressy (Marg Helgenberger) is a gangster's moll who awaits the return of her lover from prison. She meets Tony Reseck (Bruno Kirby), the hotel dick, whose attempt to protect her, end in violence.|
• Featured Song: Patti Page, "Why Don't You Love Me."
• The episode was filmed at the Ambassador Hotel (also known as The Windermere, in the episode) in Los Angeles, where in 1968 Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated the evening he won the California presidential Democratic Party primary.
|3||"The Quiet Room"||Steven Soderbergh||Howard A. Rodman||Jonathan Craig (pseudonym of Frank E. Smith [1919–1984])|
(short story of the same name and published in Manhunt Magazine, December 1953)
|August 29, 1993|
In the 1940s and 1950s a few members of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) had more interests than their slogan suggests: to protect and to serve. In this episode, sadistic Streeter (Joe Mantegna) and brutal Creighton (Bonnie Bedelia) are corrupt cops whose antics lead to a nasty and tragic end when a shakedown plan goes awry.|
• Awards: One Emmy nomination — Bonnie Bedalia, Outstanding Guest Actress/Drama.
|4||"The Frightening Frammis"||Tom Cruise||Jon Robin Baitz|
Howard A. Rodman
|Jim Thompson (1906–1977)|
(novelette of the same name and published in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, February 1957)
|September 5, 1993|
When we meet the anti-hero, grifter Mitch Allison (Peter Gallagher), he is disheveled and walking by the side of the road. He tells in a flash back narrative how he stole $25,000 from his con-artist wife Bette (Nancy Travis) and jumped on a train hoping to double the money in a gambling scam. Later, he meets sultry Babe (Isabella Rossellini) and gets involved in more than he bargained for. The twists and turns never stop in this fast paced fatalistic and humorous tale.|
• Awards: One CableACE Awards nomination — Isabella Rossellini, Outstanding Actress.
• Note: This episode marks the only time Tom Cruise went behind the camera to direct.
• Note: The opening scene, when we see character Mitch Allison walking by the side of the road, is a homage to the 1945 classic film noir Detour (1945), directed by Edgar G. Ulmer.
|5||"Murder Obliquely"||Alfonso Cuarón||Amanda Silver||Cornell Woolrich (1903–1968)|
(novelette Violence, published in 1958 from Woolrich's short story Death Escapes the Eye published in Shadow Magazine April–May 1947)
|September 19, 1993|
Annie (Laura Dern), in true noir fashion, fatalistically falls in love with a millionaire who the audience discovers is quite bewitched by another lover and is not afraid to show it. In a flashback narrative Annie explains how she met Dwight Billings (Alan Rickman) six weeks earlier and how she discovered Dwight's obsession with the "other woman." How far will Dwight go to win and keep the love of his adored Bernette vixen (Diane Lane)? What must Annie do to win Dwight's love?|
• Awards: One CableACE Award — Emmanuel Lubezki, Direction of Photography. One Emmy nomination, Laura Dern, Outstanding Guest Actress/Drama.
• Featured Song: Billie Holiday, "Yesterdays."
|6||"Since I Don't Have You"||Jonathan Robert Kaplan||Steven Katz||James Ellroy (1948– )|
(novelette of the same name published in the mystery and suspense anthology A Matter of Crime, edited by Bruccoli and Layman, and published in 1988; The story was later included in a noir anthology series Ellroy published named Hollywood Nocturne in 1994)
|September 26, 1993|
In this comic noir, based on a James Ellroy short-story, where Los Angeles historical characters are used. Fixer and bag-man Buzz Meeks (Gary Busey) is hired by two of his bosses: the multi-talented Howard Hughes (Tim Matheson) and the LA mafia gangster Mickey Cohen (James Woods). After investigating, Meeks discovers, oops, the woman whom they have both fallen crazy in love with. This humorous episode, narrated by "Buzz" in flashback, is peppered with many tales about the characters that made Los Angeles in the 1950s interesting.|
• Awards: Two CableACE Awards nominations — James Woods, Outstanding Actor; Gary Busey, Outstanding Actor.
• Notes: James Ellroy said of this episode,"I thought Gary Busey was a bad Buzz Meeks, James Woods an ineffectual Mickey Cohen and Tim Matheson was great as Howard Hughes."
Second Season (1995)
|7||"Love and Blood"||Kiefer Sutherland||Frank Pugliese||Evan Hunter||October 8, 1995|
A boxer's wife (Mädchen Amick) is unhappy with her marriage and leaves her husband Matt Cordell (Kiefer Sutherland) for another man. Later she wants to give the marriage another chance. Yet, fate touches Cordell when he is framed for a murder.|
• Awards: One CableACE Awards nomination, Frank Pugliese, Screenplay
|8||"The Professional Man"||Steven Soderbergh||Howard A. Rodman||David Goodis (1917–1967) |
(short story of the same name and published in Manhunt Magazine, October 1953)
|October 15, 1995|
Johnny Lamb (Brendan Fraser) has two jobs: he's an elevator operator by day and a hit man by night and he's very good at both jobs. His Boss (Peter Coyote) sends him on a job that makes Lamb confront his conscience; maybe for the first time. The episode has male relationship overtones seldom touched in hard-boiled novels nor found in film noir.|
• Awards: One CableACE Awards nomination — Steven Soderbergh, Directing a Drama Series.
|9||"A Dime a Dance"||Peter Bogdanovich||Allan Scott||Cornell Woolrich (1903–1968) |
(novelette The Dancing Detective and published in Black Mask Magazine, February 1938)
|October 22, 1995|
|A police detective (Eric Stoltz) investigates the untimely death of a nightclub dancer at a local hang-out but his investigation is called off by the police brass. The problem: the killer is still on the loose.|
|10||"Good Housekeeping"||Michael Lehmann||Scott McGehee||Bruno Fischer (1908–1992)|
(novella No Escape! and published in Detective Tales, January 1949)
|October 29, 1995|
|In the noir world you never know how certain people you come in contact with can change your life forever. In this episode a housewife (Dana Delany) is transformed when she falls for a wise guy (Benicio del Toro).|
|11||"Tomorrow I Die"||John Dahl||Steven Katz||Mickey Spillane (1918–2006) |
(short story I'll Die Tomorrow and published in Cavalier Magazine, March 1960)
|November 5, 1995|
In pure noir fashion, where fatalism plays its untimely hand, Hollywood actor Rich Thurber (Bill Pullman) gets off the bus and enters a bar to quench his thirst. The bar is abruptly taken over by tough bank thieves. The robbers mistake Rich for a local politician and take Thurber and Carol (Heather Graham), the daughter of Los Angeles' top cop, for a ride they won't soon forget. Look for a surprising and riveting end.|
• Notes: Director John Dahl was a former drama student of Bill Pullman at Montana State University. Later, Dahl directed Pullman in the neo-noir The Last Seduction.
|12||"The Black Bargain"||Keith Gordon||Don Macpherson||Cornell Woolrich (1903–1968) |
(story The Night of February 17, 1924, published in Justice Magazine, January 1956. In 1958 the story was included in a collection of stories written by Woolrich titled Hotel Room)
|November 19, 1995|
|It's in the nature of noir stories to never know who your friends are. In this tale, a mobster (Miguel Ferrer) is hiding out in a hotel room and one by one his thug friends, like Augie (Peter Berg), abandon him.|
|13||"Fly Paper"||Tim Hunter||Donald E. Westlake||Dashiell Hammett (1894–1961) |
(novelette of the same name and published in Black Mask Magazine, August 1929. Hammett wrote a series of The Continental Op stories)
|October 30, 1995|
A well known socialite (Kristin Minter), known to hang out at nightclubs and involved with gambler Babe McClure (Michael Rooker), is missing. The famed shamus, The Continental Op (Christopher Lloyd), is hired by the family to help find their daughter. In this story of lust, blackmail, murder, and double-crosses takes the Op to Los Angeles and takes place in 1929.|
• Notes: According to Benet's Readers Encycylopedia of American Literature, 1991, edited by George Perkins, et al, "Many critics today feel that the first full fledged example of the hard-boiled method was Dashiell Hammett's story 'Fly Paper' . . ."
|14||"Red Wind"||Agnieska Holland||Alan Trustman||Raymond Chandler (1888–1959) |
(novella of the same name and published in Dime Detective, January 1938)
|November 26, 1995|
In this episode, famed Los Angeles private dick Philip Marlowe (Danny Glover) investigates a series of murders in noir fashion.|
• Awards: One Emmy Nomination — Danny Glover, Outstanding Guest Actor.
• Notes: This was the only time that the Philip Marlowe character was played by an African-American.
|15||"Fearless"||Jim McBride||Richard C. Wesley||Walter Mosley (1952– ) |
(novelette of the same name and published in the mystery and suspense anthology Spooks, Spies, and Private Eyes, edited by Paula L. Woods, 1995)
|November 12, 1995|
In a tale that takes place in south-central Los Angeles, Fearless Jones (Bill Nunn) and Paris Minton (Giancarlo Esposito) become involved with a femme fatale nightclub jazz singer (Cynda Williams). They try to help out Deletha by planning to steal her singing contract from the nightclub manager. Not all go as the wily sleuths planned.|
• Notes: Walter Mosley would write three novels featuring Fearless Jones and Paris Minton: Fearless Jones (2001), Fear Itself (2003) and Fear of the Dark (2006).
Stories from the second season are reprinted in various volumes:
- "Flypaper" in The Big Knockover, and several Hammett collections.
- "Dancing Detective" in the Ibooks edition of Rear Window.
- "Professional Man" published in New Crimes, edited by Maxim Jakabowski.
- "No Escape!" published in As Tough as they Come, edited by Will Oursler.
- "Tomorrow I Die" in A Century of Noir.
- "Red Wind," in several Chandler collections.
- Fallen Angels
- Fallen Angels: Six Noir Tales Told for Television, anthology of first season, with preface by James Ellroy, 1993.