7.2/10
7,183
80 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
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

Photos

Edit

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
Learn more

More Like This 

The Glass Key (1942)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A crooked politician finds himself being accused of murder by a gangster from whom he refused help during a re-election campaign.

Director: Stuart Heisler
Stars: Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, Brian Donlevy
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

When assassin Philip Raven shoots a blackmailer and his beautiful female companion dead, he is paid off in marked bills by his treasonous employer who is working with foreign spies.

Director: Frank Tuttle
Stars: Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, Robert Preston
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After being hired to find an ex-con's former girlfriend, Philip Marlowe is drawn into a deeply complex web of mystery and deceit.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, Anne Shirley
Phantom Lady (1944)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A devoted secretary risks her life to try to find the elusive woman who may prove her boss didn't murder his selfish wife.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Franchot Tone, Ella Raines, Alan Curtis
Criss Cross (1949)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An armored truck driver and his lovely ex-wife conspire with a gang to have his own truck robbed on the route.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Yvonne De Carlo, Dan Duryea
The Big Clock (1948)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

After murdering someone, a magazine tycoon tries to frame an unknown, innocent man for the murder instead, while the innocent man tries to solve the murder himself.

Director: John Farrow
Stars: Ray Milland, Maureen O'Sullivan, Charles Laughton
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A man is found murdered, with witnesses convinced about the woman they saw leaving his apartment. However, it becomes apparent that the woman has a twin, and finding out which one is the killer seems impossible.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Lew Ayres, Thomas Mitchell
Crossfire (1947)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A man is murdered, apparently by one of a group of demobilized soldiers he met in a bar. But which one? And why?

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Robert Young, Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan
The Killers (1946)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Hit men kill an unresisting victim, and investigator Reardon uncovers his past involvement with beautiful, deadly Kitty Collins.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien
The Big Combo (1955)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A police lt. is ordered to stop investigating deadly crime boss Mr. Brown, because he hasn't been able to get any hard evidence against him. He then goes after Brown's girlfriend who despises him, for information instead.

Director: Joseph H. Lewis
Stars: Cornel Wilde, Richard Conte, Jean Wallace
Born to Kill (1947)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A calculating divorcée risks her chances at wealth and security with a man she doesn't love by getting involved with the hotheaded murderer romancing her foster sister.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Claire Trevor, Lawrence Tierney, Walter Slezak
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A secretary tries to help her boss, who is framed for a murder.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Lucille Ball, Clifton Webb, William Bendix
Edit

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:

Three famous finds from "The Lost Weekend" to thrill you again! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The pressure of having to finish the screenplay combined with the curve ball of having to write an entirely new ending was too much for Raymond Chandler. He quickly came down with a severe case of writer's block. According to a near-legendary story, screenwriter Raymond Chandler offered to finish the screenplay by working drunk: in exchange for sacrificing his health to produce the requisite pages on time, Chandler was permitted to work at home (a privilege rarely granted to screenwriters) and was provided two chauffeured cars, one to convey the completed pages to the studio and the other for his wife. Chandler turned the script in on time. Many now believe the "drunkenness" was simply a ruse by Chandler to wrangle extraordinary privileges from the desperate studio. See more »

Goofs

Joyce tells Johnny that the tide is out. Clearly the tide it all the way in, completely covering the beach. See more »

Quotes

Johnny Morrison: [after being picked up] You gotta have more sense than to take chances with strangers like this.
Joyce Harwood: It's funny but practically all the people were strangers when I met them. I'm going to Malibu. Is that any use to you?
Johnny Morrison: What's in Malibu?
Joyce Harwood: Houses, people. I have some friends there.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

That Ain't Right
(uncredited)
Music by Bernie Wayne
Used instrumentally
See more »

User Reviews

The black Dahlia
3 July 2004 | by cyril1974See all my reviews

Johnny Morrison (Alan Ladd) and his two friends (including a good and funny William Bendix) are coming back in town after serving in the navy during WWII. While his two friends find a place for themselves, Johnny returns to his home to see his wife and his son he hasn't seen for years. There, his wife is having a party with a dozen of friends in which her lover, Eddie Harwood, is also invited. After an argument, during which Johnny threatens his wife with his gun (after learning that she is unfaithful, alcoholic and that their son is dead by her fault), he leaves the place and his gun, judging that she is not worth a killing, to find a hotel for the night. That same rainy night, she is killed with Johnny's gun. For the Police, he becomes the first suspect of this crime.

I've heard a lot about this movie (a classic of film noir with the legendary couple Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake) without being able to see it for years. I just saw this movie tonight at the Oak Street Cinema in Minneapolis. Overall the movie is good thanks to a good plot (the scenario is signed Raymond Chandler, not quiet a coincidence). At first, I found the acting very poor and dated. Especially during the argument between Alan Ladd and his wife (played Doris Dowling). This was quiet a surprise for me because I met this actress in Othello (in which she has a small part) directed by Orson Welles, a director who generally hires only good actors. But as soon as you get into the story, the acting and the dialogues get better and you really want to know the name of the murderer (really I could not guess it!). After the plot, the scenes between Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake are what make the movie worth to remember. Frustrating enough for the most romantic of us, you won't see them kiss each other during this movie, even at the end (this was probably not allowed on screen at the time when the movie was made). It is also hard to tell if the Dahlias in the movie were actually blue since it was filmed in black and white. Finally, yes, Veronica Lake is very beautiful.

This is good entertainment, I recommend it with a 7/10.


23 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 80 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 June 1946 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Blue Dahlia See more »

Edit

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 »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed