In The Blue Gardenia, trying to mend a broken heart, telephone operator Norah Larkin (Anne Baxter) agrees to a date with the office stud, Harry Prebble (Raymond Burr). At his apartment later that night, Harry plies her with a drink, but Norah resists his aggressive advances, fending him off with a fireplace poker.
The next morning, Harry is dead and Norah can’t remember what happened. As the police investigate, newspaperman Casey Mayo takes an interest in the case. Locating Norah through appeals to her in his column, he convinces her she is a murderess. But that’s before the final twist in Fritz Lang’s film noir mystery.
Lang directed The Blue Gardenia as a work-for-hire, but his artistry looms in the use of the camera for psychological insight and in making even trusty, everyday items (such as a telephone) appear potentially lethal.
USA | Warner Bros | 88 minutes | 1953
Director: Fritz Lang
Script: Charles Hoffman, Vera Caspary,
Ruth Storey as Rose Miller
Richard Erdman as Al
Anne Baxter as Norah Larkin
Ray Walker as Homer
Almira Sessions as Cleaning Lady
Raymond Burr as Harry Prebble
Jeff Donnell as Sally Ellis
Richard Conte as Casey Mayo
Ann Sothern as Crystal Carpenter
George Reeves as Police Capt. Sam Haynes
Nat ‘King’ Cole as Himself
Lela Bliss as Miss Stanley
Norman Leavitt as Bill
Frank Ferguson as Drunk Reporter
Celia Lovsky as Mary
Hugh Sanders as Managing Editor of The Chronicle