Two policemen see their personal and professional lives fall apart in the wake of the "Black Dahlia" Elizabeth Short murder investigation.


Brian De Palma


Josh Friedman (screenplay), James Ellroy (novel)
3,792 ( 149)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Josh Hartnett ... Dwight 'Bucky' Bleichert
Scarlett Johansson ... Kay Lake
Aaron Eckhart ... Lee Blanchard
Hilary Swank ... Madeleine Linscott
Mia Kirshner ... Elizabeth Short
Mike Starr ... Det. Russ Millard
Fiona Shaw ... Ramona Linscott
Patrick Fischler ... Deputy DA Ellis Loew
James Otis ... Dolph Bleichert
John Kavanagh ... Emmett Linscott
Troy Evans ... Chief Ted Green
Anthony Russell ... Morrie Friedman
Pepe Serna ... Tomas Dos Santos
Angus MacInnes ... Capt. John Tierney (as Angus MacInnis)
Rachel Miner ... Martha Linscott


In 1946, the former boxers Dwight "Bucky" Bleichert and Lee Blanchard are policemen in Los Angeles. Lee has a good relationship with his chief and uses a box fight between them to promote the department and get a raise to the police force. They succeed and are promoted to homicide detectives, working together. Bucky becomes a close friend of Lee and his girlfriend Kay Lake, forming a triangle of love. When the corpse of the aspirant actress Elizabeth Short is found mutilated, Lee becomes obsessed to solve the case called by the press Black Dahlia. Meanwhile, Bucky's investigation leads him to a Madeleine Linscott, the daughter of a powerful and wealthy constructor that resembles the Black Dahlia. In an environment of corruption and lies, Bucky discloses hidden truths. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Inspired by the most notorious unsolved murder in California history. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, some grisly images, sexual content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Average Shot Length = ~7.3 seconds. See more »


When Bucky Bleichert enters Sheryl Saddon's bedroom to get the suitcase, there is a postcard-sized picture of Bettie Page on the wall. Bettie Page did not start modeling until 1950. See more »


[first lines]
Ofcr. Dwight "Bucky" Bleichert: [voiceover] Mr. Fire versus Mr. Ice. For everything people were making it out to be, you'd think it was our first fight. It wasn't. And it wouldn't be our last.
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Referenced in Knock Knock 2 (2011) See more »


Love for Sale
Written by Cole Porter
Performed and Produced by k.d. lang
Published by WB Music Corp. (ASCAP)
See more »

User Reviews

16 September 2006 | by mlatapie-1See all my reviews

I was disappointed in this film mainly because I love James Elroy's books and found that this film did not do it justice. The characters in the film became stereotypes or cardboard 40's characters. Scarlett Johannsen looked like a young Lana Turner on tranquilizers.........very little emotion, so much mumbling.............poor Hilary Swank was just too distracting in her black wig trying to be a 40's vamp ...........I guess we are not accustomed to seeing her that way and she evidently does not do well in sexy, seductive roles............Josh Hartnett did pretty well.........although the constant taking off of clothing of his different ladies seemed a bit tiresome......if I would have had this on video I would have fast forwarded the constant "clothes removal" scenes. James Ellroy also wrote LA Confidential and that was a masterpiece on film.........but of course, the actors were Russell Crowe, Kevin Spacey, Danny Divito, and many very well seasoned actors with a far above average script. Sorry to say that this film is not academy award material as LA Confidential was................Ellroy's stories can be told on film with good writing, competent acting, good casting, good screenplay and continuity. This was not present in The Black Dahlia. Actually, the girl who played The Black Dahlia was the most sensitive and sympathetic and portrayed her character excellently.

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USA | Germany | UK | Israel | Bulgaria


English | German

Release Date:

15 September 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Black Dahlia See more »

Filming Locations:

Bulgaria See more »


Box Office


$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,005,895, 17 September 2006

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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