An African-American man is hired to find a woman, and gets mixed up in a murderous political scandal.

Director:

Carl Franklin

Writers:

Walter Mosley (book), Carl Franklin (screenplay)
3 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Denzel Washington ... Easy Rawlins
Tom Sizemore ... Dewitt Albright
Jennifer Beals ... Daphne Monet
Don Cheadle ... Mouse Alexander
Maury Chaykin ... Matthew Terell
Terry Kinney ... Todd Carter
Mel Winkler Mel Winkler ... Joppy
Albert Hall ... Odell
Lisa Nicole Carson ... Coretta James
Jernard Burks ... Dupree Brouchard
David Fonteno ... Junior Fornay (as David Wolos-Fonteno)
John Roselius ... Mason
Beau Starr ... Miller
Steven Randazzo Steven Randazzo ... Benny Giacomo
Scott Lincoln ... Richard McGee
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Storyline

It is 1948 in LA and Ezikeal "Easy" Rawlins, an African-American World War II veteran, is looking for work. At his friend's bar, he is introduced to a white man, DeWitt Albright, who is looking for someone to help him find a missing white woman assumed to be hiding somewhere in LA's Black community. This woman, Daphne Monet, happens to be the fiancée of a wealthy "blue blood," Todd Carter, who is currently the favorite in the city's mayoralty race. Daphne Monet is known to frequent the Black jazz clubs in LA. Easy, innocently, accepts Albright's offer; however, he quickly finds himself amidst murder, crooked cops, ruthless politicians, and brutalizing hoodlums. This is a Chandler-esque "who-done-it" with an African-American theme. Written by Joel Schesser <joelsd@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In a world divided by black and white, Easy Rawlins is about to cross the line. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Poppy Montgomery's film debut. See more »

Goofs

The scene after Easy and Daphne are in McGee's house (where they find his body), Easy pulls into his driveway and gets out of the car. He looks left to see a gray convertible on the street. When he comes to his front door, the view changes and you see the same car with a (hard) top, over Easy's left shoulder. After the people in the house leave, the car is once again a convertible. Clearly they used two identical cars in this scene. One convertible, one not. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Easy Rawlins: It was summer 1948, and I needed money. After goin' door-to-door all day long, I was back again at Joppy's bar trying to figure out where I was gonna go looking for work the next day. The newspapers was goin' on and on about the city elections - like they was really gonna change somebody's life. But my life had already changed when I lost my job three weeks before.
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Connections

Referenced in Grosse Pointe: Devil in a Blue Dress (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

HY-AH SU
Written and Performed by Duke Ellington
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
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User Reviews

 
Dazzling atmosphere, Washington make this a winner
20 February 2000 | by dfranzen70See all my reviews

Denzel Washington plays Easy Rawlins, a down-on-his-luck sometime machinist, sometime detective in late-1940's L.A. Seems someone wants him to find a mysterious white lady in a blue dress (Jennifer Beals)who's thought to have been seen in a blacks-only club. Enter Easy, who with his connections can get into the club and find the girl. But, of course, there's more to this plot than just that, or else it'd be a mighty short film.

The atmosphere is a major asset here; director Carl Franklin has done a magnificent job not only of recreating the Los Angeles of the late forties but also of showing the story from the black perspective, a rarity in film. All the sights and sounds are there, and if you concentrate real hard you can even detect the smells, too. Washington's aces, of course, as usual; makes you wonder if he'll do any more adaptations of Walter Mosley books starring Easy Rawlins. He's aided by a very good supporting cast, including Beals and Tom Sizemore (playing a heavy, surprise surprise!). Fans of Washington should watch this, but really anyone who likes film noir will approve.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 September 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Devil in a Blue Dress See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$27,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,422,385, 1 October 1995

Gross USA:

$16,140,822

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$16,140,822
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR | SDDS (8 channels)| Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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