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Black Angel Blu-ray Review


“Black Angel” is a solid film noir.

Based on a novel by Cornell Woolrich, “Black Angel” is a 1946 L.A. set film noir that revolves around the murder of a singer (Mavis Marlowe). A man named Kirk (who was cheating on his wife Catherine with Mavis) is pinned for the murder, but we (the audience) know he is innocent. Hoping to prove Kirk’s innocence, Catherine enlists the help of Mavis’s ex-husband (an alcoholic musician named Martin) to find the truth.

While not cited among the great film noirs of the 1940’s, director Roy William Neill’s “Black Angel” is a stylish and respectable entry in the genre. The film wastes no time in getting down to business during the brisk 81 minute runtime that includes a rather unique killer diagnosis that sets it apart from the usual noir fare (I’m being vague here on purpose).

On the downside, the ending is not all that surprising in terms of the culprit of this murder mystery. The story also includes a rather overly elaborate plot involving Catherine and Martin trying to scope out a potential suspect.

In terms of the cast, there are two stand-out performances here. First of all, Peter Lorre steals the show as the chainsmoking, wealthy, and secretive nightclub owner Marko. Dan Duryea takes full advantage of the role of Martin as the character certainly has a great deal of depth.


Presentation: 1.37:1 1080p. How does it look? While the movie has been remastered, the print isn’t pristine as there are scratches, lines, and dirt specs. With all of that said, it’s still a nice upgrade that is largely impressive.

Audio Track: Uncompressed 1.0 PCM. How does it sound? It does the job.

* “Black Angel” trailer
* Image gallery
* “A Fitting End”- Film historian Neil Sinyard talks about film noir and his admiration of the overlooked “Black Angel.”
* An informative commentary by film scholar Alan K. Rode
* A booklet with credits, an essay by critic and film historian Philip Kemp, photos and original reviews.

January 3, 2020 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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