When Lt. Commander Johnny Morrison returns home during World War II he finds that his wife Helen has been less than faithful to him. When she’s found shot in the hotel bungalow where she lived, Johnny becomes the primary suspect.
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The blue dahlia, much like the hollywood, would appear to be a plant that does not and has not ever existed. Though the movie named for the former is distinguished by its performers (solid Paramount players, two remarkable stars have top billing), its idiosyncratic puzzle box screenplay won Raymond Chandler an Academy Award nomination, a notable fact. It is a fresh, unusual post-war A picture w/ a taste of gunmetal.
This is a better ending than Chandler's first idea, though it does rely on that whole 'confront the murderer who immediately confesses' crap. Makes for a tidier ending I suppose. The chemistry between Ladd and Lake is good as always, though putting them together this way was a bit contrived.
The least compelling of the Ladd/Lake vehicles. Chandler's script saves the day, with some very nice dialogues, Marshall's direction lacks the flair of his contemporaries Huston, Lang or Siodmak...
Veronica Lake's role isn't a central one but she brings sensitivity to her scenes with Ladd. William Bendix's character should have been the main one...
But it is very watchable, though not the best of its kind.
Would've almost been a dud if not for Chandlers script and Bendix's scene stealing performance. Dont see much in terms of the famed Ladd/Lake chemistry. I think the studio just paired them up bc they were somewhat close in height (she was only 4'11in). The direction is pretty uninspired, but one fun thing about this film is an early Hugh Beaumont sighting, of Leave It To Beaver fame. 3 stars, dont expect too much tho