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The Blue Dahlia (1946)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  19 April 1946 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 4,984 users  
Reviews: 59 user | 29 critic

An ex-bomber pilot is suspected of murdering his unfaithful wife.

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Title: The Blue Dahlia (1946)

The Blue Dahlia (1946) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Howard Da Silva ...
...
Tom Powers ...
Capt. Hendrickson
...
George Copeland
...
Corelli
Don Costello ...
Leo
...
'Dad' Newell
...
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:

Tamed by a brunette - framed by a blonde - blamed by the cops! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 April 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La dalia azul  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Alan Ladd was called up for military service, production on the movie (then still in the screenplay stage) had to be rapidly stepped up. 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. While 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

Man recommending a motel: [walking into the cheap motel] Clean sheets every day they tell me.
Johnny Morrison: How often do they change the fleas?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Black Dahlia (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

That Ain't Right
(uncredited)
Music by Bernie Wayne
Used instrumentally
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Third Ladd/Lake pairing not all it's cracked up to be
7 January 2002 | by (Western New York) – See all my reviews

The Blue Dahlia is among the dozen or so titles that movie buffs would identify instantly as film noir. Certainly, it boasts all the proper credentials: Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake reunited for their third outing together (after This Gun For Hire and The Glass Key); a sinister supporting cast including William Bendix, Howard Da Silva and Hugh Beaumont; and an original screenplay by none other than Raymond Chandler.

It almost lives up to its reputation. Returning Navy hero Ladd finds that the wife he left behind has turned into (or always was) a faithless party girl, who killed their young son in a drunken accident. He walks out on her, later to learn she's been murdered. Hunted by the police, he's befriended by Lake, who turns out to be rather intimately involved in much of what happened....

Many noirs suffered from studio-imposed "happy" endings but generally kept their integrity until the closing few frames. The changes wrought on The Blue Dahlia, however, severely compromise it. Chandler's original killer was to be Ladd's war-buddy Bendix, the loose cannon with a steel plate in his head, erupting in pounding headaches and blackout rages whenever he hears "jungle music" -- the sexually liberating beat of postwar prosperity. Rejecting this ending as an insult to the gallant men who had won the war, Paramount, pressured by the Navy, forced Chandler to resort to a lame "the-butler-did-it" conclusion. Unfortunately, that compromise splashes back through the length of the movie, making little sense of Bendix' performance -- even of his presence, except as the rankest of red herrings -- and turning what might have been a topical and disturbing film noir into just another glossy '40s murder mystery.


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