The Blue Dahlia (1946)

GEORGE MARSHALL

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5

USA, 1946Paramount Pictures.  Screenplay by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by , .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Academy Awards 1946.  

The definitive film noir for fans of the genre, and in particular the most famous pairing of  and .  Ladd plays a returned veteran whose fight with his unfaithful wife makes him the prime suspect in her murder when he later finds her dead in their apartment. Running from the scene of the crime, he meets up with a dubious blonde (Lake, whose character would become an iconographic genre standard) whom he hopes can help him clear his name. Despite a clever script by Raymond Chandler, the direction isn’t stellar enough for this story; one wonders what wonderful stuff Hitchcock or Michael Curtiz would have made of it. Still, the actors are pretty, and the trip through the murky atmosphere is fun.

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