7.2/10
6,910
79 user 39 critic

The Blue Dahlia (1946)

Not Rated | | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery | 1 June 1946 (UK)
An ex-bomber pilot is suspected of murdering his unfaithful wife.

Director:

George Marshall
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Alan Ladd ... Johnny Morrison
Veronica Lake ... Joyce Harwood
William Bendix ... Buzz Wanchek
Howard Da Silva ... Eddie Harwood
Doris Dowling ... Helen Morrison
Tom Powers ... Capt. Hendrickson
Hugh Beaumont ... George Copeland
Howard Freeman ... Corelli
Don Costello ... Leo
Will Wright ... 'Dad' Newell
Frank Faylen ... Man Recommending a Motel
Walter Sande ... Heath
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Storyline

When Johnny comes home from the navy he finds his wife Helen kissing her substitute boyfriend Eddie, the owner of the Blue Dahlia nightclub. Helen admits her drunkenness caused their son's death. He pulls a gun on her but decides she's not worth it. Later, Helen is found dead and Johnny is the prime suspect. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Tamed by a brunette - framed by a blonde - blamed by the cops! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 June 1946 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Die blaue Dahlie See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,700,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many of the cars in the film have a "B" sticker on the windshields. This is a reflection of the wartime rationing of gasoline. Gas was rationed primarily to save rubber, because Japan had occupied Indochina, Malaysia and Indonesia (there was a shortage of gas on the East Coast until a pipeline from Texas was constructed to replace the transport of crude oil by sea). The B sticker was the second lowest category, entitling the holder to only eight gallons of gas a week. See more »

Goofs

After arriving home, Morrison is asked what he flew, and he says a Liberator. Whilst the Navy did fly two variations of the B-24 Liberator, they were used mainly for anti-sub/anti-ship and reconnaissance work. The later PB4Y-2 version, such as he would have flown towards the end of the war, was called a Privateer, not a Liberator. It also had a crew of eleven, whereas Morrison's crew was only three. The Grumman Avenger was a widely-used Navy bomber that had a crew of three, so it was likely that is what his character had flown. See more »

Quotes

'Dad' Newell: Let me see. I seem to have misplaced your name for he moment.
Buzz Wanchek: Where were you keepin' it?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Alan Ladd: The True Quiet Man (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

It's Easy to Remember
(1935) (uncredited)
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
Sung in part by an uncredited actress at the Blue Dahlia
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A partial classic I'm partial to
2 July 2006 | by SpondonmanSee all my reviews

My recording off UK Channel 4 13th Feb 1987 is nearing its end cycle, hopefully the next time I want to trot this episodic classic out it'll be on DVD. Because it was Chandler I always regarded it maybe too highly, but it certainly has some powerful noir-ish moments whilst remaining essentially a normal Paramount studio-bound potboiler.

War vet Alan Ladd comes home to find his wife playing around, gets accused of murdering her while being picked up by Veronica Lake. They indulged in some snappy laconic Chandler-banter but that's as far as their relationship seemed to progress. Murder and mayhem follow Ladd while monkey-music followed his buddy William Bendix. I always wondered: how on Earth did Buzz settle down afterwards, especially when rock & roll came? Everyone has angles or axes to grind, is edgy, dislikeable, seedy or all three, the house-peeper particularly coming in for a lot of stick. Some savage and clunky fight scenes might surprise especially at the Old Cabin when juxtaposed with the romantic nightclub scene. The atmosphere throughout is perfect as was only possible on nitrate film stock. The only thing I never liked was at the climax after Hendrickson asks "You didn't think you were going to walk out that door did you?" - a heavily contrived and swift ending follows.

It was a stranger to me a long time ago, but has been a firm friend of mine for decades now. Did the horticulturists ever succeed in creating a real blue dahlia?


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