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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Raymond Chandler, who wrote the screenplay, claimed that producer John Houseman was in "the doghouse" and director George Marshall "was a stale old hack who had been directing for thirty years without once having achieved any real distinction", so Chandler went on to the Paramount set to direct some of the scenes himself. See more »
After arriving home and being introduced to his wife's friends, Johnny punches his wife's beau in the mouth, then storms into a bedroom where we hear a door slam, but then see the actual door close softly. See more »
This is a superb film noir which although not as famous as some of Bogart's is just as good.
It's the story of a ex-pilot who comes back from the war to find his wife has become a party girl and their son died because of her drunkenness. The same night that he leaves her, she is killed and he becomes the prime suspect.
The plot is quite good with plenty of twists and turns. All the characters are quite believable and the supporting cast does an excellent job - in particular William Bendix. There is also a lot of subtle humor.
This is one of seven outings for Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake. I had seen him in Shane before and he's quite good here. Veronica Lake, who I had heard a lot about, has a small role and she does not play a femme fatale. I'd like to see some more of the Ladd-Lake outings given my impression from this one.
By the way, anyone who says this is a murder-mystery and not a noir doesn't know what they're talking about! The camera-work and lighting are excellent. You have the seedy hotel rooms, most of the filming is night-time and indoors L.A. and Ladd plays the lead who finds himself set-up for the fall. One note of criticism: the confession scene where the killer is confronted didn't really ring true and was overacted.
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