6.7/10
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Devil in a Blue Dress (1995)

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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 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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 September 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El demonio vestido de azul See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$27,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$16,030,096
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR | SDDS (8 channels)| Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

David Alan Grier auditioned for the role of Mouse Alexander. See more »

Goofs

When Easy and Daphne enter Richard McGee's house, at around 4:00am, we hear the sound of a sitcom from the TV in the background. At the time a night back then, all stations were off the air. 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.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in This Is Us: Number Three (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Deserves more attention.
2 June 2006 | by OllieZSee all my reviews

I am glad I caught this film on TV; it was great entertainment and executed well.

I don't want to ramble on too much, so here goes. The acting is great - Washington giving another good performance. His narration was suitably dry too. Cheadle just chewed on the scenery. He was hardly in the film, but when he was, his impact as Mouse was powerful. Elsewhere, Beals was good as the titular devil in the blue dress. Sizemore was good as the sleaze ball who hires Washington - yet he seems to good at playing these types in all his films.

The aesthetic of the film was enticing. The smooth camera-work was mesmerising. The first shot that tracks through the busy streets and then cranes up through the window to Easy is so Hitchcock - or any director of film noir for that matter. The colours are beautiful too, from the orange skies in the day, to the hazy blues at night.

The story is gripping, if a tad predictable. If you like your Sam Spade and your Marlowes this film will be fine for you. The ending where Washington closes in on a house in the hills is very 'Big Sleep'.

Devil In A Blue Dress is unique in terms of perspective. The story is told from a black males view point and this makes the film very interesting to watch. No more all-white worlds of the 40's generation. This film shows both sides of the coin, and doesn't end up with a chip on both shoulders.

The film may be a tad predictable, but this should not deter you. This film is underrated and deserves your attention. Very entertaining.


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