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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:

Private detective Easy Rawlins has been caught on the wrong side of the most dangerous secret in town. 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 gets paid by Albright the first time, the twenty dollar bills are not "Silver Certificate" twenties but "Federal Reserve Notes," which didn't come in until the '60s. 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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Soundtracks

PEACE BE STILL
Written by James Cleveland
Performed by James Cleveland & The Angelic Choir
Courtesy of Savoy Records
See more »

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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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