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Devil in a Blue Dress (1995)

6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 11,038 users   Metascore: 78/100
Reviews: 51 user | 46 critic | 21 from Metacritic.com

An Afro-American man is hired to find a woman and gets mixed up in a murderous political scandal.

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Title: Devil in a Blue Dress (1995)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
...
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Matthew Terell
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Todd Carter
Mel Winkler ...
Joppy
...
Degan Odell
...
Coretta James
...
Dupree Brouchard
...
Junior Fornay (as David Wolos-Fonteno)
John Roselius ...
Detective Mason
Beau Starr ...
Detective Jack Miller
Steven Randazzo ...
Benny Giacomo
...
Richard McGee
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Storyline

It is 1948 in LA and Ezikeal "Easy" Rawlins, an African-American World War II veteran, is looking for work. At his friend's bar, he is introduced to a white man, DeWitt Albright, who is looking for someone to help him find a missing white woman assumed to be hiding somewhere in LA's Black community. This woman, Daphane Monet, happens to be the fiancée of a wealthy "blue blood," Todd Carter, who is currently the favorite in the city's mayoralty race. Daphane Monet is known to frequent the Black jazz clubs in LA. Easy, innocently, accepts Albright's offer; however, he quickly finds himself amidst murder, crooked cops, ruthless politicians, and brutalizing hoodlums. This is a Chandler-esque "who-done-it" with an African-American theme. Written by Joel Schesser <joelsd@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In a world divided by black and white, Easy Rawlins is about to cross the line. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 September 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El demonio vestido de azul  »

Box Office

Budget:

$27,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$16,030,096 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (8 channels)|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on the book of the same name by Walter Mosley. Mosley wrote several Easy Rawlins books. All but two - "Gone Fishin'" and "Six Easy Pieces" - include a color in the title of the book. See more »

Goofs

The scene after Easy and Daphne are in McGee's house (where they find his body), Easy pulls into his driveway and gets out of the car. He looks left to see a gray convertible on the street. When he comes to his front door, the view changes and you see the same car with a (hard) top, over Easy's left shoulder. After the people in the house leave, the car is once again a convertible. Clearly they used two identical cars in this scene. One convertible, one not. See more »

Quotes

Easy Rawlins: A man once told me that you step out of your door in the morning, and you are already in trouble. The only question is are you on top of that trouble or not?
See more »

Connections

References The Betrayal (1948) See more »

Soundtracks

HY-AH SU
Written and Performed by Duke Ellington
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

Great detective story full of character, characters and plot
5 October 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

When Ezekiel `Easy' Rawlins loses his job he begins to worry how he'll make ends meet when DeWitt Albright offers him cash to help find Daphne Monet, the fiancée of politician Todd Carter. He takes the job as she is known to like Afro-Americans and will be easier for him to find. He gets information from a friend but is then framed for her murder. Stuck between the police and Albright's men, Easy has to uncover why Monet is so important to so many people and save himself from jail.

Franklin's greatest achievement here is the way he brings the period to life, albeit with a certain amount of nostalgic love for the idea. The film has a great jazz soundtrack and a real sense of place and atmosphere to it. This supports the plot well and makes the film feel stronger and richer for it. The plot is a solid mystery that sees Easy pulled into a wider plot with the inevitable twists and turns. It is layered well without being too complex or difficult to follow, but neither does it allow itself to become too simplistic or easy. The film doesn't really play on racism or the race of Easy but it does make race an equal influence (with money, power and influence) on the plot and the characters.

Washington plays Easy well, reacting well to things and being a good character. I don't know if it was ever planned that Easy would be a character than would allow for further adaptations, but I know I would like to have seen Washington take Easy further into his PI role. Sizemore is good in support, as are Kinney, Carson, Beals and Chaykin. The strongest support is given by Cheadle. His character may be extreme but he brings an energy to the film that it benefits from (although it didn't need it). The cast all ad to the rich feel of the plot and direction.

Overall this is a solidly enjoyable detective story with all the twists and turns that you could expect from that genre. However it also benefits from a great sense of place and time that is all though the film – not merely painted on with sets or soundtrack. A class act from Washington and others just adds to the feeling of quality.


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