The Black DahliaDirector: Brian De Palma, Josh Hartnett, Scarlett Johansson, Aaron Eckhart
Director Brian De Palma returns to the helm for the first time since 2002's Femme Fatale with this stylish screen adaptation of James Ellroy's novel detailing one of the most notorious unsolved murders in Hollywood history. Elizabeth Short (Mia Kirshner) was a struggling actress looking to make a name for herself in 1940s-era Tinseltown. Unfortunately for Elizabeth, it was her grim fate that would ultimately overshadow anything she would accomplish during her short and tragic career. When police discover Elizabeth's body cut clean in half and with all of her organs missing, ex-pugilist detectives Lee Blanchard (Aaron Eckhart) and Bucky Bleichert (Josh Hartnett) are the men charged with cracking the case and apprehending the killer. This isn't your average murder case, however, and as Blanchard's marriage to Kay (Scarlett Johansson) begins to suffer due to his obsession with the sensational crime, his partner Bleichert discovers a troubling link between the victim and the mysterious Madeleine Linscott (Hilary Swank), a prominent socialite and the daughter of one of the town's most connected key players.
- Release Date:
- Original Release:
- Universal Studios
- [Wide Screen]
- [DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
- Sales rank:
Cast & Crew
|Josh Hartnett||Dwight 'Bucky' Bleichert|
|Scarlett Johansson||Kay Lake|
|Aaron Eckhart||Lee Blanchard|
|Hilary Swank||Madeleine Cathcart Linscott|
|Mia Kirshner||Elizabeth 'Betty' Short|
|Mike Starr||Russ Millard|
|Fiona Shaw||Ramona Linscott|
|Patrick Fischler||Ellis Loew|
|James Otis||Dolph Bleichert|
|John Kavanagh||Emmett Linscott|
|Troy Evans||Chief T. Green|
|Anthony Russell||Morrie Friedman|
|Pepe Serna||Dos Santos|
|Angus MacInnes||Captain John Tierney|
|Rachel Miner||Martha Linscott|
|Victor McGuire||Bill Koenig|
|Gregg Henry||Pete Lukins|
|Jemima Rooper||Lorna Mertz|
|Rose McGowan||Sheryl Saddon|
|Brian De Palma||Director|
|John Thompson||Executive Producer|
|Joseph Urbancszyk||Camera Operator|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I saw this movie for the first time the other night and must admit I had difficulty following along at times. Overall, it was a good picture and definitely worth seeing. It was interesting to compare/contrast this film with 1981's "True Confessions" starring Robert Duvall and Robert DeNiro (which, incidentally, was also based on the infamous 40s Black Dahlia case).
Okay well I basically had to write this review to give the movie, the director, and the novel and mountain of credit. Historically, the case of the Black Dalhia is by far, one of the most baffeling cases that has ever occured in the US. In response to the case, James Ellroy wrote a historical fiction novel entitled "The Black Dalhia". This movie is based on the brilliantly written novel. The main reaso why someone would give this movie (which is very well based on the novel) a bad review is simply because they did NOT read the novel. In order to fully enjoy the movie for what it really is, you have to ready the book or have at least some remote interest in the case of the Black Dalhia.
Brian de Palma made an odd decision in creating this apparently very expensive, very strange and confusing version of a film, a movie less about the grisly/twisted unsolved murder (grossly illustrated ad infinitum here) of a wannabe 1940s actress of the title and more about two boxer cops (bland Josh Hartnett as 'Mr. Ice' and over the top Aaron Eckhart as 'Mr. Fire') and their bizarre ménage a trois with unfocused Scarlett Johansson. The film as written by Josh Friedman attempts to follow the novel by James Ellroy, itself a strange riff on the Black Dahlia murder. What results is an over produced, over directed, under realized recreation of the 1940s complete with slicky costumes and very loud music by (surprisingly!) Mark Isham. There are so many subplots filled with walk on characters that keeping the story understandable is almost impossible - certainly not worth an attempt to capsulize for a review. There are some terrific little performances by Fiona Shaw as the druggie mad woman whose role becomes significant only at film's end, Hilary Swank as the copycat Dahlia who dallies in cops and soldiers and lesbians (convincingly so), and Mia Kirshner who presence as the true Black Dahlia is shown only in black and white film clips that indeed focus the unwieldy script while she is on! Odd to see actors with the credentials of this cast wandering around in la-la land seemingly looking for a script that makes sense. But it is a pretty period piece to look at despite the lack of reasonable storyline. Grady Harp
This movie is an utterly miserable movie to sit through. All of the characters have the depth of a wading pool while the plotline is flimsy and too convoluted. In the end we are subjected to a bizarre scene "poorly portrayed here by Harry Potter's Aunt Petunia" and we never truly understand anyone's motivation for anything. Don't bother with this film.
I was looking forward to seeing this movie, but it was a terrible movie. I have not read the novel, so I can't judge it based on that, but on its own, it is just bad. I have never wanted to leave during a movie at the theater, but I was really tempted watching this. After the movie, while the credits rolled, the entire audience was talking about how they had wasted their money. If you want to see a good movie like this, watch Hollywoodland and save yourself the agony of watching this movie.
This had to be the biggest heap of garbage that I have scene since "In The Bedroom". I was watching the timer on my DVD player to count down to 0. Hate it Hate it Hate it.
Save your pennies and spend them on something that has a plot that makes sense!
This is the worst movie I've seen in ten years. Plot jumps all over the place without detailing or providing appropriate outline of each story that was taking place in the movie. I thought this was suppose to be a murder mystery about a young Woman from MA who moved to L.A. to be a star -where is that part of the story??? It's practically non-existent.
A somewhat confusing plot revolving around the real Black Dahlia murder with the rest being pure fiction, on top of the murder there is police corruption, adultery, betrayl, the porn industry, the crazy wife, the seductress all in a Hollywood location