7.0/10
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55 user 17 critic

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

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

Casey Mayo: All right, now tell me just how you murdered Harry Prebble.
Woman on telephone: You know how I killed him! Do you want to know why? Because I loved him. With a passion that was bigger than both of us!
Casey Mayo: The size of the passion's important, lady. But tell me first, what size shoe do you wear?
Woman on telephone: Shoe? 8 1/2 C. I could wear 8, it's just that 8 1/2 is more comfortable.
Casey Mayo: Sorry, lady. But your feet's too big.
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

 
Another masterpiece by Fritz Lang
21 January 2005 | by Gavin567See all my reviews

Really excellent film, elegant, well constructed and atmospheric. Beautifully written script, directing, photography, art direction, soundtrack editing, performances, etc. A real masterpiece. I am surprised that so many people who review it here seem not to grasp it. They complain about lack of suspense because it doesn't use hackneyed noir film devices, but the film is not about that. It's about Anne Baxter, the world through her point of view. Her life is a beautiful dream of hopes of love and happiness for the future, which turns into a horrible nightmare that spirals downward with sickening realism and pathos. Snappy characters throughout, but they are not "wasted", miscast or otherwise ill-used. They are perfectly balanced in a skilled script that is not about actors chewing the scenery, but is a real film, an art film, by the master Fritz Lang, whose every decision in creating this film up to the smallest detail seems to me to be highly intentional. Highly recommended.


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