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The Blue Gardenia (1953)

A telephone operator ends up drunk and at the mercy of a cad in his apartment. The next morning she wakes up with a hangover and the terrible fear she may be a murderess.

Director:

Fritz Lang

Writers:

Charles Hoffman (screenplay), Vera Caspary (story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Anne Baxter ... Norah Larkin
Richard Conte ... Casey Mayo
Ann Sothern ... Crystal Carpenter
Raymond Burr ... Harry Prebble
Jeff Donnell ... Sally Ellis
Richard Erdman ... Al
George Reeves ... Police Capt. Sam Haynes
Ruth Storey Ruth Storey ... Rose Miller
Ray Walker ... Homer
Nat 'King' Cole ... Nat 'King' Cole
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Storyline

In Los Angeles, on the day of her birthday, the telephone operator Norah Larkin decides to celebrate dining alone at home, with the picture of her beloved fiancé, a soldier overseas, and reading his last letter to her. In the letter he tells her that he met an Army nurse stationed in Japan and plans to marry her. Norah, completely upset, accepts to blind date the Don Juan and photographer of calendar girls Harry Prebble. They go to the Blue Gardenia Club, and Norah drinks six strong cocktails Polynesian Pearl Divers and gets completely drunk. Harry takes her to his apartment and tries to force Norah to have sex, and she uses a poker to hit Harry on the head. On the next morning, she wakes-up in her apartment with her two roommates, but she can not remember what happened. When she reads the newspaper, she finds that Harry is dead and the police has her handkerchief, her high heels and her blue gardenia and is chasing the woman that killed the famous wolf Harry. When she reads in the ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There was nothing lily-white about her !


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 March 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gardenia - Eine Frau will vergessen See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Alex Gottlieb Productions 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

The film was completed in just twenty days. See more »

Goofs

It is stated that the record on the turntable was still playing when the body was discovered. This would not have happened because the turntable is a 'record changer' that automatically shuts off when the control arm is engaged and there are no more records in the stack. In the flashback sequence, Harry Prebble is shown activating the control arm. If it had been left disengaged (up and to the side) it would have played the record continuously as mentioned. See more »

Quotes

Casey Mayo: [on the phone] If you want your picture on the paper, you'll have to go out and kill somebody first.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Django Unchained (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Theme from 'Now, Voyager'
(uncredited)
Music by Max Steiner
occurs periodically in the underscore
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Fritz Lang directed this solid mystery thriller that has our complete attention from beginning to end
20 September 2009 | by J. SpurlinSee all my reviews

Norah Larkin (Anne Baxter) is a telephone operator who plans to spend her birthday evening alone with her boyfriend - or rather, with his photograph and a letter she just received from him. The real guy is 6000 miles away in Korea. While her two roommates - Crystal (Ann Sothern), a wisecracking divorcée and Sally (Jeff Donnell), a sweet girl with a taste for bloodthirsty mystery novels - are gone, Norah, wearing a black taffeta dress and sipping champagne, reads the letter and blanches. Her sweetheart has dumped her. She ends up spending the rest of her evening with Harry Prebble (Raymond Burr), a wolf who draws girls for a living and ruins them as a hobby. He takes her to the Blue Gardenia and they listen to Nat King Cole as he gets her very drunk on Polynesian pearl divers. The next morning she wakes up with a terrible hangover, but that's the best part. At work she learns of a murderess soon to be called the Blue Gardenia Girl. The label is invented by a newspaper columnist named Casey Mayo (Richard Conte), who hopes to find the femme fatale before the police. What worries Norah is that he and the police may both be looking for her.

Fritz Lang directed this solid mystery thriller that has our complete attention from beginning to end. A good script and good performances are accentuated by Fritz Lang's camera and his usual sharp eye for detail and way of creating mounting dread.


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