Blue Dahlia, The (Paramount 1946, Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake)

The Blue Dahlia

In The Blue Dahlia Alan Ladd plays an ex-serviceman returning to Los Angeles after WW2 to discover that his wife has been unfaithful. After she is found murdered he turns detective to clear his name and find the real killer.

This tense film noir began life as a Philip Marlowe thriller by Raymond Chandler but ended up as this Paramount production. The less-than-likely ending was not favoured by Chandler who had other ideas for the identity of the murderer. Nevertheless the movie vividly recreates Chandler’s hard-boiled, fallible and flawed universe and the moody monochrome cinematography aptly bathes the proceedings in film noir light.

USA / Paramount / 99 minutes / 1946

Writer: Raymond Chandler / Cinematography: Lionel Lindon / Music: Victor Young / Producer: John Houseman / Director: George Marshall

Cast: Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, William Bendix, Howard Da Silva, Tom Powers, Hugh Beaumont, Howard Freeman, Will Wright