A police lt. is ordered to stop investigating deadly crime boss Mr. Brown, because he hasn't been able to get any hard evidence against him. He then goes after Brown's girlfriend who despises him, for information instead.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Raymond Chandler was unhappy with Veronica Lake's performance as Joyce Harwood. He referred to the actress as "Miss Moronica Lake" and complained in a letter: "The only times she's good is when she keeps her mouth shut and looks mysterious. The moment she tries to behave as if she had a brain she falls flat on her face. The scenes we had to cut out because she loused them up! And there are three godawful close shots of her looking perturbed that make me want to throw my lunch over the fence." See more »
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 »
My recording off UK Channel 4 13th Feb 1987 is nearing its end cycle, hopefully the next time I want to trot this episodic classic out it'll be on DVD. Because it was Chandler I always regarded it maybe too highly, but it certainly has some powerful noir-ish moments whilst remaining essentially a normal Paramount studio-bound potboiler.
War vet Alan Ladd comes home to find his wife playing around, gets accused of murdering her while being picked up by Veronica Lake. They indulged in some snappy laconic Chandler-banter but that's as far as their relationship seemed to progress. Murder and mayhem follow Ladd while monkey-music followed his buddy William Bendix. I always wondered: how on Earth did Buzz settle down afterwards, especially when rock & roll came? Everyone has angles or axes to grind, is edgy, dislikeable, seedy or all three, the house-peeper particularly coming in for a lot of stick. Some savage and clunky fight scenes might surprise especially at the Old Cabin when juxtaposed with the romantic nightclub scene. The atmosphere throughout is perfect as was only possible on nitrate film stock. The only thing I never liked was at the climax after Hendrickson asks "You didn't think you were going to walk out that door did you?" - a heavily contrived and swift ending follows.
It was a stranger to me a long time ago, but has been a firm friend of mine for decades now. Did the horticulturists ever succeed in creating a real blue dahlia?
19 of 21 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?