5.6/10
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655 user 240 critic

The Black Dahlia (2006)

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

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(screenplay), (novel)
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3,769 ( 293)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Dwight 'Bucky' Bleichert
... Kay Lake
... Lee Blanchard
... Madeleine Linscott
... Elizabeth Short
... Det. Russ Millard
... Ramona Linscott
... Deputy DA Ellis Loew
... Dolph Bleichert
... Emmett Linscott
... Chief Ted Green
... Morrie Friedman
... Tomas Dos Santos
... Capt. John Tierney (as Angus MacInnis)
... Martha Linscott
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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:

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:

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Details

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Release Date:

15 September 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La dalia negra  »

Filming Locations:

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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
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Rose McGowan's character Sheryl Saddon appears to be inspired by a real person, one Sherryl Maylond, who had shared a room with Elizabeth Short and six other girls. See more »

Goofs

When Kay pours champagne at the dinner table, she fills Lee's glass twice. 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.
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Connections

References Scarface (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

In the Mood
Written by Joe Garland (as Joseph C. Garland)
Used by Permission of Shapiro Bernstein & Co. Inc. (ASCAP)
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User Reviews

 
visually dazzling but ultimately disappointing
28 September 2006 | by See all my reviews

Brian De Palma's so called "film noir" has all the aspects of a great film: detectives, guns, murder, a beautiful blonde, an Oscar winning brunette, and a boxing match. It involves violence, money, pimps, porn, and "the most notorious murder in California history". Sadly though, the movie just doesn't cut it.

The Black Dahlia isn't about murder, or guns, or pimps or porn. The Black Dahlia is about the new American dream: to sleep with Scarlett Johansson. The Dahlia isn't even introduced until a third of the movie is over, the longest 45 minutes I've ever experienced in cinema. A good hour of the movie doesn't have anything to do with the plot, and watching it is just like watching paint dry. Much of this wasted screen time is attributed to the relationship between Sgt. Leland "Lee" Blanchard (Aaron Eckert) and Officer. Dwight "Bucky" Bleichert (Josh Hartnett), where we see their transformation from enemies to partners to friends unrealistically fast, which is unrealistically cliché.

But the biggest downside of the movie is Josh Hartnett. What Hartnett is doing as a serious actor is beyond me, but his performance is a wooden as they come. It is unbelievable that he was considered for the role of Bleichert, and the fact that he was cast really makes me lose faith in Hollywood's mainstream actors. His noir-ish voice-over was like reading words off the script, making it feel less and less like the artsy film De Palma intended it to be.

The only redeeming feature of the flick was Mia Kirshner who had about one minute of screen time as the Dahlia, but was the most memorable character. Oh, yeah, and we do get to see Hilary Swank's ass.

But overall, The Black Dahlia is just another bad film to cap off the summer. It is extremely confusing with all its pointless sub-plots, and just gets annoying at the end. It's one of those movies you consider walking out of, and I counted down the minutes to what I thought would be a climactic finale, but was just a series of long monologues and unclear speaking. In the end, we learned little about the Dahlia, and were pretty much back where we started, except for a few missing comrades.


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