The Blue Dahlia was first released in 1946. It was the only produced original screenplay by renowned crime writer Raymond Chandler (The Big Sleep, The Long Goodbye) and was directed by George Marshall (Destry Rides Again, How The West Was Won).
“I told you she was poison. They’re all poison sooner or later.”
Johnny Morrison (Alan Ladd – The Glass Key, The Carpet Baggers) is a discharged navy officer, just returned home from the war with his buddies George (Hugh Beaumont – Railroaded!, The Mole People) and Buzz (William Bendix – Lifeboat, Detective story). After a few drinks in the local bar, George and Buzz head off to their new flat and Johnny heads to the swanky Cavendish Court in the Hollywood Hills to see his wife, Helen (Doris Dowling – The Lost Weekend, Bitter Rice).
Upon arrival he is surprised to see a party in full swing, lots of people standing around drinking and singing. Even more surprising is his wife in the arms of Eddie Harwood (Howard Da Silva – The Great Gatsby), the owner of local nightclub, The Blue Dahlia.
After seeing off the rest of the guests and after an altercation with Helen, he storms off into the rain, watched by Houseman “Dad” Newell (Will Wright – Adam’s Rib, All The King’s Men). He is picked up by the beautiful and enigmatic Joyce (Veronica Lake – Sullivan’s Travels, This Gun For Hire) and together they drive to Malibu.
The next morning however, it becomes apparent they have a problem. Joyce is hiding a dark secret and Johnny learns from the radio that Helen has been killed and he is the prime suspect. He is now in a desperate race against time to prove his innocence.
The Blue Dahlia is a great watch, thrilling and packed with Hollywood glamour. It keeps you guessing right to the end and the acting is excellent for the era, although it feels a little stilted these days.
This release of the film, from Arrow Academy is presented in high definition 1080p and has lots of special features. Well worth adding to your collection.
“Just don’t get too complicated Eddie. A man gets too complicated, he’s unhappy.And when he’s unhappy, his luck runs out.”
The Blue Dahlia is available to buy now on Blu-ray.