With an ingenious script by Roy Chanslor, this modest, but imaginative film noir is notable for the strong performance by lead actor Dan Duryea Alcoholic musician Martin Blair (Duryea) becomes the prime suspect when his cheating wife is murdered, until it is determined that he was "sleeping one off" at the time of the killing. Another man (John Phillips), who was being blackmailed by the murdered woman, is sent to prison for the crime. The condemned man's wife (June Vincent) believes in her husband's innocence and sets about to prove it, enlisting the aid of Blair, who has flashes of memory about the night of the crime. Recalling that he saw a stranger leave his wife's apartment, Blair endeavors to track down this stranger. The real murderer is revealed in the film's last moments...to everyone's surprise, including the guilty party! Black Angel was based on a novel by Cornell Woolrich. Normally assigned to villainous roles, Dan Duryea gives a surprisingly impressive performance as an affectingly romantic character and is by far the most interesting and sympathetic character in the film. His performance makes the plot twist at the end, both startling and believable.
by Hal Erickson synopsis