Sat, 7 November 2009
A script by Raymond Chandler. Veronica Lake, Alan Ladd, and William Bendix in leading roles. Costumes by the great Edith Head, and cinematography by Lionel Lindon, who had been nominated for best cinematography just the year before for the Oscar sensation GOING MY WAY. In short, THE BLUE DAHLIA seems to have everything going it’s way. Why, then, does the film fail to deliver the emotional impact of near contemporary titles like THE KILLERS or THE BIG SLEEP? To frame an answer to this question, we must first displace the many frames through which we have become accustomed to viewing the film—most notably Producer John Houseman’s apocryphal account of how Chandler’s alcoholism impacted the screenplay. If we divest ourselves of these frames and really focus on the film, we see that Chandler’s script rescues, rather than compromises, this movie. THE BLUE DAHLIA is more a victim of an identity crisis, a film unable for reasons of censorship and limited artistic vision to commit fully to the noir worldview that came home full force in 1946. And thus, as a marginal success, it’s a film that can teach us a great deal about how noir came to be both a dominant Hollywood style and a philosophical stance.
I\'ve listened to almost every podcast and truly love them. There are so many more movies to cover. I hope that you continue to produce these. I was researching dome interesting \'film noir\' podcasts to put on an ipod for my father-in-law while he recovers from surgery. We share a common interest in film. He loved the work you have done (as do I). I wanted to thank you for providing these analyses, and to encourage you to keep going. Thanks again for all the hard work and passion.
Hi! Clute and Edward, Clute and Edward said, \"THE BLUE DAHLIA is more a victim of an identity crisis, a film unable for reasons of censorship and limited artistic vision to commit fully to the noir worldview that came home full force in 1946. And thus, as a marginal success, it’s a film that can teach us a great deal about how noir came to be both a dominant Hollywood style and a philosophical stance.\" I think that your definition just about define this film. (The Blue Dahlia) one of my favorite(s) of the three major films that actor Alan Ladd and actress Veronica Lake appeared in together. Now, I will sit back and listen...to your podcast. Thanks, DeeDee ;-D
Hi! Clute and Edward, I listened to your podcast and I must admit...that I really enjoy listening to how you both pointed out points about the film The Blue Dahlia that I may have overlooked upon my first viewing of this film. I may have to re-watch the film The Blue Dahlia in order catch the little details that you (both) have pointed out in your podcast. By the way, I especially, liked toward the end of your podcast your comparison of actors Humphrey Bogart and Alan Ladd portrayal of the characters that Chandler created. I think that I read that Chandler liked Humphrey Bogart portray of Phillip Marlowe, but I also read that he liked actor Dick Powell portrayal of Philip Marlowe even better. I wonder if that is true. Thanks, DeeDee
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