5.6/10
68,450
660 user 244 critic

The Black Dahlia (2006)

Trailer
2:24 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Prime Video

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

Director:

Brian De Palma

Writers:

Josh Friedman (screenplay), James Ellroy (novel)
Reviews
Popularity
3,046 ( 232)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Femme Fatale (2002)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A woman tries to straighten out her life, even as her past as a con-woman comes back to haunt her.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Rebecca Romijn, Antonio Banderas, Peter Coyote
Redacted (2007)
Crime | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The devastating reconstruction of the rape and murder of a 15-year-old Iraqi girl by American soldiers in Samarra in 2006.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Patrick Carroll, Rob Devaney, Izzy Diaz
Snake Eyes (1998)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A shady police detective finds himself in the middle of a murder conspiracy at an important boxing match in an Atlantic City casino.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Gary Sinise, John Heard
Passion (2012)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

The rivalry between the manipulative boss of an advertising agency and her talented protégée escalates from stealing credit to public humiliation to murder.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Rachel McAdams, Noomi Rapace, Karoline Herfurth
Raising Cain (1992)
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The oncologist wife of a prominent child psychologist suspects her husband has an unhealthy scientific obsession with their child, unaware of what - or who - is really going on inside his head.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: John Lithgow, Lolita Davidovich, Steven Bauer
Body Double (1984)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young actor's obsession with spying on a beautiful woman who lives nearby leads to a baffling series of events with drastic consequences.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Craig Wasson, Melanie Griffith, Gregg Henry
Adventure | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

When the first manned mission to Mars meets with a catastrophic and mysterious disaster after reporting an unidentified structure, a rescue mission is launched to investigate the tragedy and bring back any survivors.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Tim Robbins, Gary Sinise, Don Cheadle
Edit

Cast

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 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
Edit

Storyline

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 (I)' 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

Taglines:

From Brian de Palma director of Scarface and The Untouchables 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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA | Germany | France

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

15 September 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Black Dahlia See more »

Filming Locations:

Bulgaria See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,005,895, 17 September 2006, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$22,518,325, 22 October 2006
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

On the advice of a friend, screenwriter Josh Friedman included the screen tests in order to get the audience insight into the character. See more »

Goofs

During the scene in the theater screening The Man Who Laughs, we see the beam from the projection room. It is shining out of a single window. In the '40s, theaters used two projectors and changed reels (alternating projectors) every 20 minutes or so, unlike modern theaters that use only one projector per screen. The back wall should have shown two projector ports, two viewing ports for the projectionist and a large port for the spotlight. See more »

Quotes

[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.
See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Murderous Women in Film (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
De Palma Falters with So-So Take on Film Noir
15 September 2006 | by dglinkSee all my reviews

Dante Ferretti's set design beautifully evokes the 1940's; Vilmos Zsigmond's cinematography enhances the period look; and the voice-over narration has been pulled from film-noir classics. While Brian De Palma's "The Black Dahlia" has much of the look and feel of Curtis Hanson's 1997 "L.A. Confidential," that far superior film boasted better performances and a well-written screenplay. Although both films were based on James Ellroy novels and both had complicated, involved plots, the Hanson film came together with satisfying logic. Unfortunately, De Palma's movie is equally if not more complex and leaves a few threads dangling or at least badly frayed.

Although loosely based on a famous Hollywood murder, "The Black Dahlia" spends more time than necessary in establishing the three-way partnership, if not ménage, between Josh Hartnett, Scarlett Johansson, and Aaron Eckhart. The leisurely pace allows viewers to ponder the last time that they saw a film with so many double letters in the stars' names. The trailer, which has played in theaters for weeks, was misleading, and the actual murder and resulting investigation do not begin until well into the film after we have witnessed boxing scenes between the police investigators, Hartnett and Eckhart, and some three-way flirtations that do little to advance the proceedings.

The film only becomes interesting when the campy upper crust Linscott family enters. Hilary Swank as Madeleine Linscott is a deadly femme in black and as fatale as they come. Fiona Shaw as her mother shamelessly steals scenes and chews the banisters in her few minutes on screen, and John Kavanagh as Emmet Linscott adds to the family's quirky personality. An entire film could have been constructed around the Linscotts that would have been far more interesting than the Hartnett-Johansson-Eckhart romance. Scarlett has little to do but purse her luscious red lips and look desirable in tight blouses, which she does quite well. Josh is all squinty-eyed intensity and muscled charm, which he does quite well. Aaron tries for more, but goes a bit over the top; perhaps he would have been more comfortable playing a cousin of the Linscotts.

Although "The Black Dahlia" is not the worst way to spend two hours, the film's pedigree would lead viewers to expect more. Only a week after the less-disappointing "Hollywoodland," De Palma's take on another old Hollywood mystery should have been riveting. All of the essentials were there, except possibly a seasoned troop of stars, for another "L.A. Confidential." Unfortunately, what arrived was a nearly indecipherable mystery within a tedious love triangle that was wrapped in multi-million dollar production values.


133 of 187 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 660 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed