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 <email@example.com>
In the scene where Frank Green comes to pay Easy a visit at his home, they began to fight in the doorway and Easy punches Frank in the back of the head several times knocking his hat and Frank onto the floor. But when the scene changes and Frank hops back up with his knife the hat is back on his head like it never fell off. See more »
I am glad I caught this film on TV; it was great entertainment and executed well.
I don't want to ramble on too much, so here goes. The acting is great - Washington giving another good performance. His narration was suitably dry too. Cheadle just chewed on the scenery. He was hardly in the film, but when he was, his impact as Mouse was powerful. Elsewhere, Beals was good as the titular devil in the blue dress. Sizemore was good as the sleaze ball who hires Washington - yet he seems to good at playing these types in all his films.
The aesthetic of the film was enticing. The smooth camera-work was mesmerising. The first shot that tracks through the busy streets and then cranes up through the window to Easy is so Hitchcock - or any director of film noir for that matter. The colours are beautiful too, from the orange skies in the day, to the hazy blues at night.
The story is gripping, if a tad predictable. If you like your Sam Spade and your Marlowes this film will be fine for you. The ending where Washington closes in on a house in the hills is very 'Big Sleep'.
Devil In A Blue Dress is unique in terms of perspective. The story is told from a black males view point and this makes the film very interesting to watch. No more all-white worlds of the 40's generation. This film shows both sides of the coin, and doesn't end up with a chip on both shoulders.
The film may be a tad predictable, but this should not deter you. This film is underrated and deserves your attention. Very entertaining.
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