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
This is not the first time Ian McNeice has played a coroner with a gruesome victim in the table. He also played the coroner in From Hell (2001) based on the Jack the Ripper murders. See more »
During the scene in the theater screening The Man Who Laughs, we see the beam from the projection room. It is shining out of a single window. In the '40s, theaters used two projectors and changed reels (alternating projectors) every 20 minutes or so, unlike modern theaters that use only one projector per screen. The back wall should have shown two projector ports, two viewing ports for the projectionist and a large port for the spotlight. See more »
Ofcr. Dwight "Bucky" Bleichert:
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.
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Being a James Ellroy-disciple the knowledge of an adaption of the terrific novel filled me with a combination of fear and expectation: Fear... can it ever be as great as the book? Expectation... Curtis Hanson did an excellent job with L.A. Confidential, so why not? - And now I've seen the result of DePalma's work. First of all, don't even compare it with the L.A. Confidential movie. Black Dahlia is told in a radical different way, being much more synthetic, expressive and theatrical. This is not a very common way of telling stories in modern movies, however this method made me recall the typical 'over-acting' as seen in the 40's noir movies (like Double Indemnity). Was this intentionally? - Probably, yes. It feel a bit weird to begin with, but at the end of the show I had to admit: It works. The movie clearly tries to describe all the details from the book, which sometimes makes it loose its own breath. The original story had so many details, and took place over a very long period of time. This is one of the points where the movie sometimes stumble. It's simply trying too hard. One thing that is hard to criticize is the stunning visuals. The movie is absolutely beautiful, making every scene a work of art. The other highly successful point I would have to mention is Hilary Swank. She IS a femme fatale, by definition. Fans of the classic film-noir genre will most likely be more than satisfied. Keep a look-out for this one, and be ready to be thrilled.
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