Angel Blue

Angel Blue (1998)
Vanguard Films
Cast: Sam Bottoms, Lisa Eichhorn, Yennifer Behrens

’Angel Blue’, new to DVD from Vanguard Cinema, was actually a TV movie which was shown on LifeTime under the title, ’My Neighbor’s Daughter’. It can only be assumed that the film had originally been intended for a theatrical release, as ’Angel Blue’ contains some mild profanity and brief nudity. So, what’s this souped up ’Movie of the Week’ about?

Sam Bottoms stars as Dennis Cromwell, a happy and well-adjusted man, who has just celebrated the birth of his first child with his wife, Jill (Lisa Eichhorn). As Dennis and Jill still have social functions to attend, despite their new baby, they hire young Angela (Yennifer Behrens) to babysit. When Dennis drives Angela home, they begin to talk and it’s obvious that there is a mutual attraction. Against his better judgment, Dennis begins to see Angela more often and they soon begin a torrid love affair. As you may imagine, Jill and Angela’s parents aren’t very happy about this situation, and soon, the entire town knows about the forbidden romance.

’Angel Blue’ is one of those films that does a good job of telling its story, but doesn’t leave a lasting impression. The story is obviously influenced by other films such as ’Lolita’, and ’Angel Blue’ offers few surprises. (Although, I was a bit shocked by how Angela’s friends reacted to her affair.) The acting is adequate, with relative newcomer Behrens putting in a good performance. Watch for cameos by the one and only Karen Black and Bob Clark (director of such varied fare as ’Porky’s’ and ’A Christmas Story’). ’Angel Blue’ plays like your standard TV movie. We are presented with an uncomfortable situation and we get to watch the characters deal with it. The film offers plenty of melodrama and intrigue and in the end, it’s exactly what you think it would be. Still, if you’re in the mood for a little forbidden love, you can do much worse.

The DVD of ’Angel Blue’ from Vanguard Cinema offers the film in a full-frame format. (Assumably, the same format as the TV version. It’s unknown what the original aspect ratio of the film was.) The image is sharp and clear, showing only minor amounts of grain. There are some obvious defects from the source print, however these are miniscule and only rarely pop up. The color scheme of the picture is good, although the title sequence looks a bit washed out. The audio on the DVD is a digital mono. This offers us clear and audible dialogue, but no stereo effects at all. There is a slight noticeable hiss on the soundtrack. There are no extra features on the DVD.