Blue Dahlia

Overview

This neat, fast-paced perfectly cast film noir reflects the hard-boiled, grim wit of the author of its screenplay, Raymond Chandler. Johnny Morrison Alan Ladd returns from the war to find his wife Helen Doris Dowling having a party and in the arms of another man. Johnny and Helen have a terrible fight, and later Helen is found dead. Johnny must prove his innocence and he enlists the aid of Joyce Haywood Veronica Lake, the ex-wife of Helen's lover. Pursued by the cops, and never sure if he is being set-up for the ...
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Overview

This neat, fast-paced perfectly cast film noir reflects the hard-boiled, grim wit of the author of its screenplay, Raymond Chandler. Johnny Morrison Alan Ladd returns from the war to find his wife Helen Doris Dowling having a party and in the arms of another man. Johnny and Helen have a terrible fight, and later Helen is found dead. Johnny must prove his innocence and he enlists the aid of Joyce Haywood Veronica Lake, the ex-wife of Helen's lover. Pursued by the cops, and never sure if he is being set-up for the murder, Johnny finally solves the murder and clears his name. Alan Ladd is at his hard-boiled, no-nonsense best as Johnny and Veronica Lake is, as always, the perfect noir femme-fatale, mysterious and alluring. Nicely directed by George Marshall, the film moves with great pace to an exciting, satisfying conclusion. The screenplay, the only one written by Chandler directly for the screen, was nominated for an Academy Award.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Though many of Raymond Chandler's books were turned into films (Murder My Sweet, The Big Sleep, The Long Goodbye) and he himself adapted other writers' novels into screenplays (Double Indemnity, Strangers on a Train), the only work that the author ever wrote directly for the screen was Blue Dahlia. It's fitting, then, that the film is laden with the fast-paced dialogue, disillusioned attitude, hard-boiled men, and mysterious women common to Chandler's work. Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake, who appeared in seven successful films together in the 1940s, are the usual suspects this time around, and both performers play up their strong suits: Ladd acts steely, and Lake looks as seductive as ever. Mostly known for his comedies, director George Marshall did surprisingly well with the film noir material, particularly at a time when the genre was at its peak. In historical context, The Blue Dahlia is an above-average, enjoyable post-war mystery with little to distinguish it from other films of its time. The film would be John Houseman's first success as a Hollywood producer; he was previously best-known for his stage productions. Chandler would be nominated for a second Academy Award for screenplay (his first being Double Indemnity).
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/26/1996
  • UPC: 096898237338
  • Original Release: 1946
  • Rating:

  • Source: Universal Studios
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Alan Ladd Johnny Morrison
Veronica Lake Joyce Harwood
William Bendix Buzz Wanchek
Howard Da Silva Eddie Harwood
Doris Dowling Helen Morrison
Tom Powers Capt. Hendrickson
Hugh Beaumont George Copeland
Howard Freeman Corelli
Don Costello Leo
Will Wright Dad Newell
Frank Faylen The Man
Walter Sande Heath, Gangster
Ernie S. Adams Joe, Man in Coveralls
Bea Allen News Clerk
Harry Barris Bellhop
George Barton Cab Driver
Nina Borget Mexican Waitress
Mae Busch Jenny the maid
George Carleton Clerk at DeAnza Hotel
Douglas Carter Bus Driver
Anthony Caruso Marine Corporal
Jack Clifford Plainclothesman
Thomas P. Dillon Prowl Car Cop
Jimmie Dundee Driver of Gangster Car
Dick Elliott Motor Court Owner
Brooke Evans Guest at Cocktail Party
Jack Gargan Cab Driver
Paul Gustine Doorman
Harry Hayden Mr. Hughes, the Assistant Hotel Manager
Charles Anthony Hughes Lt. Lloyd
Jerry James Guest at Cocktail Party
Stan Johnson Naval Officer
Roberta Jonay Girl Hotel Clerk
Milt Kibbee Night Hotel Clerk
Lucy Knoch
Audrey Korn
Perc Launders Hotel Clerk
Arthur Loft the Wolf
Vera Marshe Blonde
Charles Mayon Guest at Cocktail Party
Matt McHugh Bartender
William Meader Party Guest
James Millican Photographer
Noel Neill Hatcheck Girl
Franklin Parker Police Stenographer
Ed Randolph Cop
Albert Ruiz Photographer
George Sorel Paul, the Captain of Waiters
Beverly Thompson Guest at Cocktail Party
Harry Tyler Clerk in Bus Station
Henry Vroom Master Sergeant
Gloria Williams Assistant Maid
Dick Winslow Piano Player at Party
Technical Credits
George Marshall Director, Producer
Raymond Chandler Screenwriter
Sam Comer Set Decoration/Design
Hans Dreier Art Director
Edith Head Costumes/Costume Designer
John Houseman Producer
Lionel Lindon Cinematographer
Gene Merritt Sound/Sound Designer
Joel Moss Sound/Sound Designer
Arthur P. Schmidt Editor
Walter Tyler Art Director
Jimmy Walter Set Decoration/Design
James M. Walters Set Decoration/Design
Wally Westmore Makeup
Victor Young Score Composer, Musical Direction/Supervision
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