The Blue Gardenia is less stylish than Lang's expressionist films, & I don't put it in the same category as Fury or The Woman in the Window, but I suspect it's sometimes unfairly dismissed. It's got some great visual moments--I think of the scene where Norah goes to the Chronicle office to see reporter Casey Mayo. That scene is shadowy & artfully framed. Vera Caspary's story puts women in the driver's seat.
A solid noir effort by the master of sound and shadows. Truth be told, this felt like Lang was on auto-pilot. Nothing about reaches the height of his great work. Nevertheless, the plot is still really engaging and it continues to show Lang's sympathetic view of criminals, who are hunted like beasts in our society. In all, it's definitely worth a watch but I doubt it will linger in my memory like his other thrillers.
Loved the atmosphere and the musical score. The appearance of Nat King Cole as himself is certainly a bonus too. Even though the movie is captivating thanks to Lang's direction and a talented cast notably Raymond Burr and Ann Sothern, the storyline is ultimately predictable.
The first half hour is among the best work of Lang's American phase, a smart and well-drawn look at sexual tension (and a predator-prey dynamic) in age-of-innocence America. But after that, it becomes a more routine and less interesting noir, with an ending that can't help but feel a little like a cop-out.