Devil in a Blue Dress (1995)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery  |  29 September 1995 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 12,547 users   Metascore: 78/100
Reviews: 53 user | 52 critic | 21 from

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



(book), (screenplay)
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3 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Matthew Terell
Todd Carter
Mel Winkler ...
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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Private detective Easy Rawlins has been caught on the wrong side of the most dangerous secret in town. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

29 September 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El demonio vestido de azul  »

Box Office


$27,000,000 (estimated)


$16,030,096 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| (8 channels)|



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


A movie theatre marquee that Easy passes is advertising "The Betrayal by Oscar Micheaux." Oscar Micheaux was the first African-American to produce a feature-length film. See more »


When the police are questioning Easy at the police station, one of the cops slaps Easy's head but the slap clearly misses. See more »


[first lines]
Easy Rawlins: It was summer 1948, and I needed money. After goin' door-to-door all day long, I was back again at Joppy's bar trying to figure out where I was gonna go looking for work the next day. The newspapers was goin' on and on about the city elections - like they was really gonna change somebody's life. But my life had already changed when I lost my job three weeks before.
See more »


Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #26.83 (2010) See more »


Written by Jean Lenoir
Performed by Lucienne Boyer
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Under license from CEMA Special Markets
See more »

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User Reviews

Deserves more attention.
2 June 2006 | by (Wolves, England) – See all my reviews

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.

19 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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