646 user 238 critic

The Black Dahlia (2006)

2:24 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

Two policemen see their personal and professional lives fall apart in the wake of the "Black Dahlia" murder investigation.



(screenplay), (novel)
2,277 ( 286)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Femme Fatale (2002)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A woman tries to straighten out her life, even as her past as a con-woman comes back to haunt her.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Rebecca Romijn, Antonio Banderas, Peter Coyote
Redacted (2007)
Crime | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The devastating reconstruction of the rape and murder of a 15-year-old Iraqi girl by American soldiers in Samarra in 2006.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Patrick Carroll, Rob Devaney, Izzy Diaz
Passion (2012)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

The rivalry between the manipulative boss of an advertising agency and her talented protégée escalates from stealing credit to public humiliation to murder.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Rachel McAdams, Noomi Rapace, Karoline Herfurth
Snake Eyes (1998)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A shady police detective finds himself in the middle of a murder conspiracy at an important boxing match in an Atlantic City casino.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Gary Sinise, John Heard
Raising Cain (1992)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The oncologist wife of a prominent child psychologist suspects her husband has an unhealthy scientific obsession with their child, unaware of what - or who - is really going on inside his head.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: John Lithgow, Lolita Davidovich, Steven Bauer
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A mysterious blonde woman kills one of a psychiatrist's patients, and then goes after the high-class call girl who witnessed the murder.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Michael Caine, Angie Dickinson, Nancy Allen
Body Double (1984)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young actor's obsession with spying on a beautiful woman who lives nearby leads to a baffling series of events with drastic consequences.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Craig Wasson, Melanie Griffith, Gregg Henry
Adventure | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

When the first manned mission to Mars meets with a catastrophic and mysterious disaster after reporting a unidentified structure, a rescue mission is launched to investigate the tragedy and bring back any survivors.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Tim Robbins, Gary Sinise, Don Cheadle
The Fury (1978)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A government agent is determined to come to his son's rescue when a sinister official kidnaps him to harbor his extremely powerful psychic abilities.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Kirk Douglas, John Cassavetes, Carrie Snodgress
Blow Out (1981)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A movie sound recordist accidentally records the evidence that proves that a car accident was actually murder and consequently finds himself in danger.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: John Travolta, Nancy Allen, John Lithgow
Crime | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

During the Vietnam War, a soldier finds himself the outsider of his own squad when they unnecessarily kidnap a female villager.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Michael J. Fox, Sean Penn, Don Harvey
Sisters (1972)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A journalist witnesses a brutal murder in a neighboring apartment, but the police do not believe that the crime took place. With the help of a private detective, she seeks out the truth.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Margot Kidder, Jennifer Salt, Charles Durning


Cast overview, first billed only:
Det. Russ Millard
Dolph Bleichert
Emmett Linscott
Chief Ted Green
Morrie Friedman
Tomas Dos Santos
Capt. John Tierney (as Angus MacInnis)


In 1946, the former boxers Dwight "Bucky" Bleichert and Lee Blanchard are policemen in Los Angeles. Lee has a good relationship with his chief and uses a box fight between them to promote the department and get a raise to the police force. They succeed and are promoted to homicide detectives, working together. Bucky becomes a close friend of Lee and his girlfriend Kay Lake, forming a triangle of love. When the corpse of the aspirant actress 'Elizabeth Short (I)' is found mutilated, Lee becomes obsessed to solve the case called by the press Black Dahlia. Meanwhile, Bucky's investigation leads him to a Madeleine Linscott, the daughter of a powerful and wealthy constructor that resembles the Black Dahlia. In an environment of corruption and lies, Bucky discloses hidden truths. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Inspired by the most notorious unsolved murder in California history. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, some grisly images, sexual content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |



Release Date:

15 September 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La dalia negra  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£566,874 (UK) (15 September 2006)


$22,518,325 (USA) (20 October 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Brian De Palma met Rose McGowan a year before the filming of this movie, and offered her the role of Sherryl Saddon. See more »


When Bucky corners Lorna Mertz, in the first in the upper left corner (past the ice cream truck) is a 1980s white pickup truck, which is masked out in later shots. See more »


[first lines]
Ofcr. Dwight "Bucky" Bleichert: [voiceover] Mr. Fire versus Mr. Ice. For everything people were making it out to be, you'd think it was our first fight. It wasn't. And it wouldn't be our last.
See more »


Referenced in Knock Knock 2 (2011) See more »


In the Mood
Written by Joe Garland (as Joseph C. Garland)
Used by Permission of Shapiro Bernstein & Co. Inc. (ASCAP)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Black Comedy?
13 September 2006 | by (Los Angeles, California) – See all my reviews

De Palma's staged, theatrical style has always felt like an in-joke: an expressive homage (or sometimes a slap in the face) to the conventions of cinema. And in the case of his high- energy thrillers, the joke is funny and damned entertaining. But in the case of his dramas, De Palma constantly walks a thin line between evocative melodrama and camp (The wonderful "Carlito's Way," in my opinion, is the exception). And "The Black Dahlia" often steps over that line.

With a steady build-up of noir conventions, the film hearkens to the expressionistic film and acting styles of the 40's -- a style which can induce giggles in audiences raised on irony. And I can count a few musical swells, flamboyant acting choices and dramatic fade-outs which caused unwanted comic relief. Or did it? If there's one thing De Palma loves more than entertaining his audience, it's confounding them. How else do you explain the two-hour joke that was "Raising Cain"? (Although I, for one, found that particular joke damned funny).

You watch "Dahlia" with the distinct impression that De Palma is enjoying every minute of it. He's copying Wilder, Welles and, you guessed it, Hitchcock -- and he's having a blast doing it. So when Josh Hartnett's character pulls a full dinner setting (including the turkey) off a table and throws Scarlett Johansson down lustfully upon it, should we also smile and remember "Double Indemnity"? I guess it would help if you've seen "Double Indemnity."

That said, the film's biggest flaw is that it smiles at itself for so long that it leaves little time to wrap up the plot. The onslaught of last-reel revelations seems to exist only to give the actors more opportunity to relish in the delicious mood De Palma has created. We never really cared about the plot in the first place because De Palma didn't care about it either. He's more interested in the shadows, the thrills, the drama, the lurking killers, swelling music, lusty confrontations and blood splatters. And the plot points get lost somewhere in the mix. So who can blame us for glazing over when Hartnett finally starts to care about the mysteries rather than just being mystified by them? De Palma has painted such an odd, exciting picture (even when it turns to camp) that the audience would rather keep watching the elaborate set-ups than sit through the convoluted solutions.

But then again, what good is a joke without a satisfying punch line?

98 of 174 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
PLEASE HELP!! I understand NOTHING about this movie shmeevil
incomprehensible torture porn - DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME ON THIS FILM squirmy_monkey
I guess I'm the only one... MarieGL
how does this warrant a 5.5? jimmytango75
the most badass boxing match! aciago
Hilary Swank was actually hot in this ramcamcole
Discuss The Black Dahlia (2006) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: