An ex-bomber pilot is suspected of murdering his unfaithful wife.

Director:

George Marshall

Writer:

Raymond Chandler (original screenplay)
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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:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Some sources erroneously include Harold J. Stone in an undetermined, uncredited minor role; Stone does not appear in this film in any capacity. At the time it was filmed (in Hollywood), he was in New York City appearing on the stage in a prominent role in "A Bell for Adano" (1944-45). See more »

Goofs

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 »

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.
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Connections

Referenced in Electra Glide in Blue (1973) 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
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User Reviews

 
Engaging Early Noir
21 May 2005 | by gftbiloxiSee all my reviews

Although riddled with improbabilities, Raymond Chandler's tough story and script is well served with a glossy look and the hard-edged performances drawn by director George Marshall from a superior cast. THE BLUE DAHLIA concerns a recently discharged military man Johnny Morrison (Alan Ladd) who returns home to find his wife Helen (Doris Dowling) has been as unfaithful as the day is long--and is presently carrying on with club owner Eddie Harwood (Howard da Silva), over whom her hold is not entirely romantic. After stomping out into the rain, Morrison learns Helen has been murdered, and must race to prove his innocence before the coppers pick him up.

Ladd would give considerably more sophisticated performances in his later years, but he strikes all the right ultra-tough chords, and although Veronica Lake is a rather wooden actress she is remarkably beautiful and as a team the pair has considerable chemistry. The standouts in the cast, however, are Da Silva, who gives the role of the heavy a surprising interpretation, and William Bendix, who plays Ladd's war-wounded buddy to great effect.

THE BLUE DAHLIA lacks both the moodiness and grittiness of truly great film noir, so it is not in the first rank of the genre--but it is no less enjoyable for that. The film cracks along at a rapid pace with plenty of action and a surprise twist or two that will keep you guessing to the very end. Ladd and Lake fans will love it, and any one who likes the hardboiled style will be in for a real treat. Recommended.

Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 June 1946 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Blue Dahlia See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,700,000
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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