Black Angel

Black Angel

DVD - 2004
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A woman tries to clear the name of her husband, accused of murdering his lover.


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Nov 04, 2014

Of course, we're all familiar with the saying "The suspense is killing me!" - Right?... Well, with Black Angel, it isn't the suspense that'll kill you. No. It's the sheer boredom of it all that's gonna do you in, for sure.

Black Angel was a very dry and uninspired "Whodunit" where it seemed to me that all of the actors were playing their parts in a state of half-stupefied sleep. I ain't kidding!

It was the miscast actor, Dan Duryea, in particular, whose stunned character (the popular songwriter, Martin Blair) that seemed to be forever moping around in a muddled state of alcoholic amnesia. (I guess Blair was supposed to be the "black angel" who this film's title is referring to)

Initially this amateurish Detective/Thriller started off with plenty of promising dramatic-clout. But once that snarling, queen-bitch, Mavis Marlowe got bumped off, its story took an immediate nose-dive as it continually turned over just about every melodramatic cliché in the book.

And, speaking about actor Peter Lorre - It really killed me in a number of scenes where this 5' 3" pipsqueak was ordering everyone around, trying to be such a big, tough menace.

Time & again, Lorre stood at least a full-head shorter in height than all the rest of the actors, including the women. Believe me, this munchkin posing as a tough guy was just too funny for words.

*Trivia Note* - Black Angel was director Roy William Neill's last film. The following year, at the age of 59, he died of a heart attack.

Jun 18, 2011

Memento + Lost Weekend = good times. If that sounds fine to you, have a good, depressing wallow in the dashed hopes of Black Angel. The production and direction are choppy, but the cast and story carry it. I can see it being remade, but only if they can find an actor like Duryea, which I'm afraid they don't make anymore. Lorre provides some comic relief, which this film surely needs.

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