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The Blue Dahlia (1946)

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 4,068 users  
Reviews: 54 user | 27 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 ...
Eddie Harwood
...
Helen Morrison
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:

The Blue Dahlia  »

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

Shortly after this film released, a young woman named Elizabeth Short was murdered in Los Angeles. The local newspapers dubbed the case the "Black Dahlia" as a morbid twist on this film's title. Unlike the movie, the Short murder case is still unsolved. See more »

Goofs

After arriving home and being introduced to his wife's friends, Johnny punches his wife's beau in the mouth then storms into a bedroom where we hear a door slam but then see the actual door close softly. See more »

Quotes

Johnny Morrison: [after being picked up] You gotta have more sense than to take chances with strangers like this.
Joyce Harwood: It's funny but practically all the people were strangers when I met them. I'm going to Malibu. Is that any use to you?
Johnny Morrison: What's in Malibu?
Joyce Harwood: Houses, people. I have some friends there.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001) 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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Good Ladd, Superfluous Lake, Great Bendix
31 March 2005 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

The trailer for The Blue Dahlia advertised the film as Ladd, Lake, and Bendix. Not a mention about Raymond Chandler, maybe he wanted it that way.

The Blue Dahlia has mystery writer Raymond Chandler writing an original screenplay and Chandler delivers a good movie for the most part. Nice suspenseful noir film, but it could have been better.

The main weakness in the plot is Veronica Lake. Chandler couldn't stand her and called her Moronica Lake as a reflection of her acting ability. In fairness it's a poorly defined role and her meeting with Alan Ladd in this film is too too coincidental. I guess you had to give the star a love interest, but the idea that Ladd is hunting for the killer of his wife and just happens to come upon the wife of his number one suspect is way too unreal.

The number one suspect of the killing is Howard DaSilva. If I had to name the best performance in this film it would have to be DaSilva. He's the dapper, elegant owner of a Hollywood nightclub, but he exudes a menace that chills you. His best scene in the film is paying off blackmailer Will Wright. He pays him, THIS TIME. Wright gets the message he'd better not come back for more.

I believe it was Raymond Chandler who also said that Alan Ladd was a small boy's idea of a tough guy. That is unfair to Ladd who delivers a more than competent performance here as the returning war veteran who's on the hunt for his wife's killer while being suspected of the crime itself.

Check out Alan Ladd's scene at the farm with DaSilva's thugs. Very similar in the way they end up to how Bogart handled the baddies in The Big Sleep.

Bill Bendix gets in the top billing with stars Ladd and Lake because he's also a radio star because of the Life of Riley Show. Bendix and Hugh Beaumont are Ladd's wartime buddies and Bendix never was bad in any film he did. He shows signs of post traumatic stress at a time when that diagnosis had not been invented.

A bit too contrived, but a nice film noir.


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