With a name like this, it has to be noir:
I’m guessing it’s based on a book, too. Our hero appears to have had one side of his face assembled from loose parts laying around the shop:
The great Dan Duryea, one of the sleaziest characters to inhabit a flick. In real life he was a fine fellow, an upstanding member of the community, married to the same gal, and all that square-john jazz. In the movies he was the king of the low-lifes, ready with a sneer or a backhand for a mouthy dame. According to Eddie Mueller’s “Dark City,” his specialty was slapping women around, and you begin “Dark Angel” expecting his usual loser. Not this time.
The Nice Girl:
It’s like this, see: Dan’s wife gets dead, and the Nice Girl’s husband takes the fall. Dan helps the Nice Girl clear the hubby, and pin the beef on this guy:
Lorre smokes in every scene. If they’d filmed him in the shower he would have been smoking. You expect him to eat a bowl of cigarettes for breakfast.
It takes place in LA, natch:
Here’s the scene today.
It’s Wilshire Boulevard. How do we know? Well, through the magic of cinematic language. The opening shot shows us our protagonist, looking up at his evil heartless scheming black-angel mean catty bitch-wife's apartment:
Where does milady live?
That’s right: the Charles Foster Kane Arms.
The movie is surely worth watching - if you like Duryea, it's a rare sympathetic role, albeit with creepy-grease ladled over many scenes. The mystery is sufficient, Lore's great, and so on. It also serves as a warning towards over-romanticizing the Forties, because - well, I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, their interior decorating style was all over the road:
I like the idea of a foil-covered door, but then there’s that hideous plaster bust. There’s stuff like that all over the place - sleek moderne tigers, then ruffled lampshades and clown pictures. But don’t let the frou-frou confuse you; this is noir. How do we know? Stairs:
Dramatically-lit men with serious haberdasher power:
White-sidewall tire hats that made every woman look like Speedy Alka-Seltzer:
Anachronistically attired grifters who seem to have drifted in from the horehound-phosphate counter:
And the dreaded cheek of sexual rejection.
No, she doesn’t want him. Partly because she wants her husband back from jail and partly because she's probably seen his other pics, and he can get mean with the mitts. Spurned, he does the only thing a man can do in these movies: he heads straight for a montage sequence and gets stinking, filthy drunk.