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Devil in a Blue Dress

( 4 )

Overview

Denzel Washington stars in this adaptation of the novel by African-American crime author Walter Mosley, the first of his stories to reach the screen. Ezekiel Rawlins Washington, known to his friends as "Easy," has just lost his job at an aircraft plant in post-WW II Los Angeles, a time when good-paying jobs for black men are hard to come by. He's wondering how to make his mortgage payment when he's approached by De Witt Albright Tom Sizemore, who describes his job as "doing favors for friends." It seems that a ...
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Overview

Denzel Washington stars in this adaptation of the novel by African-American crime author Walter Mosley, the first of his stories to reach the screen. Ezekiel Rawlins Washington, known to his friends as "Easy," has just lost his job at an aircraft plant in post-WW II Los Angeles, a time when good-paying jobs for black men are hard to come by. He's wondering how to make his mortgage payment when he's approached by De Witt Albright Tom Sizemore, who describes his job as "doing favors for friends." It seems that a woman named Daphne Monet Jennifer Beals has gone missing; Daphne is the former girlfriend of wealthy mayoral candidate Todd Carter Terry Kinney and a known habitué of the black jazz clubs and night spots on L.A.'s Central Avenue. Albright offers Easy $100 to help him find Daphne, and while he doesn't have any detective experience, the price is right, so Easy agrees. After a passionate affair with a friend of Daphne's, Coretta James Lisa Nicole Carson, leads to that woman's murder, Easy enlists the help of his friend Mouse Don Cheadle, who seems to know just a bit too well how to use a gun, which gives Easy all too clear a look at the lower depths of L.A.'s upper crust.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
The so-called "Black Pack" films of the late '80s and early '90s intersect with this attempt to revive film noir, set in 1940s Los Angeles. It has all the staples of the noirs of decades past: a dogged private eye Denzel Washington, shady, omnivorously sexual women, duplicitous clients, brutal cops, and a Deep, Dark Secret at the heart of it all. What makes Devil different is its pungent depiction of racism, which victimizes Washington's character repeatedly. Previous private eyes such as Sam Spade had to worry about getting killed or beaten up when they learned the truth; Washington has to worry about it while walking in a white neighborhood after dark. Director Carl Franklin also posits a black suburbia where both parents raise children in lovely middle-class homes with white picket fences, razor-cut lawns, and brightly beautiful sunlight, ironically contrasting the murky depravities of the night and the bombed-out minority "drug war" neighborhoods of decades later. Washington contributes a workmanlike performance, and watch for Don Cheadle as a friendly but hopelessly psychotic best friend -- he's terrifying. In all, Devil is a good but minor movie.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/10/1996
  • UPC: 043396513433
  • Original Release: 1995
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Denzel Washington Easy Rawlins
Tom Sizemore DeWitt Albright
Jennifer Beals Daphne Monet
Don Cheadle Mouse
Maury Chaykin Matthew Terell
Lisa Nicole Carson Coretta James
Terry Kinney Todd Carter
Mel Winkler Joppy
Albert Hall Odell
Jernard Burks Dupree Brouchard
David Wolos-Fonteno Junior Fornay
John Roselius Mason
Beau Starr Miller
Steve Randazzo Benny Giacomo
Scott Lincoln Richard McGee
L. Scott Caldwell Hattie Parsons
Barry "Shabaka" Henley Woodcutter
Nicky Corello Sheriff
Kenny Endoso Manny
Renee Humphrey Barbara
Brendan Kelly Terell's Chauffeur
Peggy Rea Carter's Secretary
Vinny Argiro Baxter
Deborah Lacey Sophie
Frank Davis Butcher
G. Smokey Campbell Nightclub Owner
J.D. Smith Pool Hall Owner
Nigel Gibbs Bootlegger
Joseph Latimore Frank Green
Jeris Poindexter Alphonso Jenkins
Technical Credits
Carl Franklin Director, Screenwriter
Jesse Beaton Producer
Elmer Bernstein Score Composer
Mark Cotone Asst. Director
Sharen Davis Costumes/Costume Designer
Jonathan Demme Executive Producer
Cheryl Smith Dimont Set Decoration/Design
Katterli A. Frauenfelder Asst. Director
Gary Frutkoff Production Designer
Tak Fujimoto Cinematographer
Donna Gigliotti Associate Producer
Gary Goetzman Producer
Thomas A. Imperato Associate Producer
Carole Kravetz Editor
Walter Mosley Associate Producer
Kathryn Peters Set Decoration/Design
Lauren Polizzi Set Decoration/Design
Edward Saxon Executive Producer
Ken Segal Sound/Sound Designer
Victoria Thomas Casting
Tom Ward Special Effects
Dan Webster Art Director
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Denzel at his Best

    My favorite Denzel movie. Good crime mystery with interesting characters.
    Set in post-war LA, it is a good period piece.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    20th Century Classic in Living Color

    Finally, a crime drama with an ethnic-lead cast. The post WWII timing adds classical ambiance with modern-day, bona-fide African-American stars (Washington/Cheadle). This film has a Casablanca feel, with a splash of soul. The script leads and teases with a fist full of twists and turns. This is one for the library.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews