Starring Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, William Bendix, Howard Da Silva, Doris Dowling, Hugh Beaumont, Tom Powers, Howard Freeman
Hardboiled. Stylish. Surprising.
Joyce Harwood: Why is it? You’ve never seen me before tonight.
Johnny Morrison: Every guy’s seen you before somewhere. The trick is to find you.
Raymond Chandler’s first foray into scriptwriting, The Blue Dahlia boasts all of his hallmarks: great dialogue, tough guys, beautiful but dangerous women, colorful supporting characters, and a convoluted plot. Alan Ladd plays Johnny Morrison, a war hero who returns to find his wife’s been unfaithful. When she winds up dead soon after, naturally, Johnny is the prime suspect and it’s up to him to prove his innocence. With the help of a beautiful stranger, Joyce Harwood (Lake), Johnny finds that his wife had plenty of enemies. Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake really were great together and the supporting characters are perfectly cast. This film may not be as iconic as some of its contemporaries (The Big Sleep or The Maltese Falcon), but it’s one of the best of its kind.
-Walter Tyrone Howard-