7.2/10
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79 user 39 critic

The Blue Dahlia (1946)

Not Rated | | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery | 1 June 1946 (UK)
An ex-bomber pilot is suspected of murdering his unfaithful wife.

Director:

George Marshall
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Alan Ladd ... Johnny Morrison
Veronica Lake ... Joyce Harwood
William Bendix ... Buzz Wanchek
Howard Da Silva ... Eddie Harwood
Doris Dowling ... Helen Morrison
Tom Powers ... Capt. Hendrickson
Hugh Beaumont ... George Copeland
Howard Freeman ... Corelli
Don Costello ... Leo
Will Wright ... 'Dad' Newell
Frank Faylen ... Man Recommending a Motel
Walter Sande ... Heath
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Storyline

When Johnny comes home from the navy he finds his wife Helen kissing her substitute boyfriend Eddie, the owner of the Blue Dahlia nightclub. Helen admits her drunkenness caused their son's death. He pulls a gun on her but decides she's not worth it. Later, Helen is found dead and Johnny is the prime suspect. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Double dame trouble! Double-barrelled action! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 June 1946 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Die blaue Dahlie See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,700,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The pressure of having to finish the screenplay combined with the curve ball of having to write an entirely new ending was too much for Raymond Chandler. He quickly came down with a severe case of writer's block. According to a near-legendary story, screenwriter Raymond Chandler offered to finish the screenplay by working drunk: in exchange for sacrificing his health to produce the requisite pages on time, Chandler was permitted to work at home (a privilege rarely granted to screenwriters) and was provided two chauffeured cars, one to convey the completed pages to the studio and the other for his wife. Chandler turned the script in on time. Many now believe the "drunkenness" was simply a ruse by Chandler to wrangle extraordinary privileges from the desperate studio. See more »

Goofs

After arriving home, Morrison is asked what he flew, and he says a Liberator. Whilst the Navy did fly two variations of the B-24 Liberator, they were used mainly for anti-sub/anti-ship and reconnaissance work. The later PB4Y-2 version, such as he would have flown towards the end of the war, was called a Privateer, not a Liberator. It also had a crew of eleven, whereas Morrison's crew was only three. The Grumman Avenger was a widely-used Navy bomber that had a crew of three, so it was likely that is what his character had flown. See more »

Quotes

Joyce Harwood: [sitting with Johnny in a convertible in the hills overlooking Los Angeles] It takes a lot of lights to make a city, doesn't it?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Watching the Detectives (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive
(1944) (uncredited)
Music by Harold Arlen
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Sung by party guests
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lovely noir from original Chandler script
4 June 2006 | by faraaj-1See all my reviews

This is a superb film noir which although not as famous as some of Bogart's is just as good.

It's the story of a ex-pilot who comes back from the war to find his wife has become a party girl and their son died because of her drunkenness. The same night that he leaves her, she is killed and he becomes the prime suspect.

The plot is quite good with plenty of twists and turns. All the characters are quite believable and the supporting cast does an excellent job - in particular William Bendix. There is also a lot of subtle humor.

This is one of seven outings for Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake. I had seen him in Shane before and he's quite good here. Veronica Lake, who I had heard a lot about, has a small role and she does not play a femme fatale. I'd like to see some more of the Ladd-Lake outings given my impression from this one.

By the way, anyone who says this is a murder-mystery and not a noir doesn't know what they're talking about! The camera-work and lighting are excellent. You have the seedy hotel rooms, most of the filming is night-time and indoors L.A. and Ladd plays the lead who finds himself set-up for the fall. One note of criticism: the confession scene where the killer is confronted didn't really ring true and was overacted.


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