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The Black Dahlia (2006)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery  |  15 September 2006 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 61,429 users   Metascore: 49/100
Reviews: 641 user | 239 critic | 35 from Metacritic.com

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



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



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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.

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?


The screen test that characters keep watching are not in the James Ellroy novel. They were a plot device created by screenwriter Josh Friedman. The real Elizabeth Short claimed to have screen tested at major studios but no such footage has ever been found. See more »


When carrying a box out of Bleichert's father's home, you can see a UPC barcode on the bottom of the box. Barcodes weren't commercially used until 1966. 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 »


Featured in The 79th Annual Academy Awards (2007) See more »


Love for Sale
Written by Cole Porter
Performed and Produced by k.d. lang
Published by WB Music Corp. (ASCAP)
See more »

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User Reviews

Beautiful, Messy, Campy, Noirish, Smartly Idiotic
9 October 2006 | by (New Zealand) – See all my reviews

Yes, all of it and more. The images are beautiful but what a mess. I don't need to understand what's going on if, at least, I'm entertained. Look at The Big Sleep for instance. There will never be another "Chinatown" I'm afraid, regardless of what Mr Ellroy thinks. The one element that sees you through this inconsequential mess is Josh Harnett's face. At times he looks as confused as I did and just as annoyed. Who can blame him? Hilary Swank, what was she doing? She looked like Vampyra's sister, the boring one. What a catastrophic piece of casting. And Fiona Shaw? If the film had been all like her performance the flick could have had a chance at the campiest "noire" ever put on film ever. But not such luck. All this said and done, it's a De Palma movie and that counts for something. Black Dahlia is certainly better than Snake Eyes but as a De Palma fan I felt terribly let down.

97 of 149 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Let's Start the 'Release 3-Hour Version of 'The Black Dahlia' Petition? IndianaBat
PLEASE HELP!! I understand NOTHING about this movie shmeevil
I guess I'm the only one... MarieGL
incomprehensible torture porn - DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME ON THIS FILM squirmy_monkey
how does this warrant a 5.5? jimmytango75
the most badass boxing match! aciago
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