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The Blue Gardenia (1953)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 28 March 1953 (USA)
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:

The Blue Gardenia See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

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

Lux Radio Theatre aired an adaptation of the film on November 30, 1954, starring Dana Andrews and Ruth Roman in the roles of Norah Larkin and Casey Mayo. See more »

Goofs

At the end of Nora's first visit with Mayo at Bill's Cafe, when they are leaving, he is held up by some friends just coming in. She hustles out and gets into a cab of early '50s Chrysler Corporation manufacture (looks like a '52 Plymouth). When Mayo frees himself from his friends and rushes outside, he sees what is apparently meant to be her cab rounding a corner at the end of the block. This time it's archive footage showing a Chrysler product of the late '40s ('47 Desoto, one would guess). DeSotos were very popular as cabs in post-WWII days because they were as large as Chryslers, but at the next lower price range; in the early 1950s, smaller, lower priced Plymouths were more frequently used. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Casey Mayo: [friendly waking up Al in the backseat of his car] Hey,
[rustles his hair]
Casey Mayo: sleepy.
Al: [wakes up slightly startled] Where?
[sign reads: West Coast Telephone Co]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Django Unchained (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Prelude and Liebestod
(uncredited)
from "Tristan and Isolde"
Music by Richard Wagner
Played over the airport loudspeaker, and on the phonograph
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Jilted Woman, a Poker, and The Blue Gardenia
15 January 2007 | by BaronBl00dSee all my reviews

Slightly better than average yet engaging mystery/film noir about a telephone operator opening a Dear Jane letter then deciding to go out with a wolf(Raymond Burr of all people) only to return home not knowing what happened and hearing about the wolf's ugly homicide. Anne Baxter plays Nora the lead role as the Blue Gardenia - a name given to the murderess by a famous reporter from the local newspaper. In fact, the script, while maybe not overly imaginative in the conclusion of the film, has some snappy dialog and interesting points. The Blue Gardenia actually means at least four things in the movie: the murderess's newspaper's title, the name of the night club where Burr and Baxter go that fatal evening, a hit" song by Nat King Cole(who sings it in person at the club), and lastly as the flower of the night club sold by a blind woman. The film was directed by Fritz Lang and though effective in many ways - not up to what one might expect from that legendary director. Lang has some marvelous scenes. Two particularly jump out when Nora was at Burr's apartment and then when Baxter starts to feel pressure from all over - over her possible guilt. Lang manages to bring some real angst to these scenes, but more often than not - much of the film seems pedestrian by his standards. Nonetheless, The Blue Gardenia is entertaining. Baxter, Burr, Richard Conte as the newspaperman, George Reeves as a cop, and Ann Sothern all do good jobs acting and bringing their characters some depth. The ending is decidedly weak as some solution to the film's problems comes way too readily and unconvincingly ala deus ex machina.


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