The Blue Dahlia

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The Blue Dahlia

Post by Lzcutter »

TCM premiered The Blue Dahlia earlier this evening as part of The Essentials. In his commentary, Alec alluded to the fact that this was one of Robert O's picks and that he was happy Robert O had picked it. He said that basically it was a revelation watching Alan Ladd in this film because we too often associate him with Shane and this movie serves to remind us that Ladd is more than just Shane.

In his outro, he talked about the cameraman, Lionel Lindman and what a diverse career he had from shooting this "nifty little noir" to Around the World in 80 Days to tv shows like McHale's Navy and The Munsters. It was while listening to his outro, that I realized that Alec B is the on-air equivalent to our own Moira and her Morlocks blog, always going for that not so well known nugget that makes us go, "I didn't know that."

Things I loved about the Blue Dahlia- the chemistry between Veronica Lake and Alan Ladd. It didn't sizzle off the screen but it sure did spark in all the right places.

The rear screen projection of driving around my City of Angels (no matter where I am professionally, my heart belongs to Los Angeles) and the wonderful pieces of dialogue that included Malibu, Laguna and Long Beach.

William Bendix as a shell shocked vet with a plate in his head. According to the outro, Bendix was originally the killer and it was only after the Army caught wind of it, that the ending was reshot to put the blame on the "peeper", the hotel detective, Dad. (Who claimed to be 57, which only goes to prove people in classic movies looked much older than we do now).

Hugh Beaumont (Ward Cleaver) as the lawyer and the one logical one of the three vets who returned.

Howard Da Silva as Eddie Harwood, the proverbial bad guy. He had such a great voice and seeing him in this film made me regret that the Blacklist sidelined him from movies for way too many years (and no, this is not a reason to turn this thread into a discussion of the Blacklist).

Tom Powers as Capt. Hendrickson, he looked and sounded like a world weary cop. One of the best movie cop portrayals on record.

And yes, Alec was right, Alan Ladd is much more than Shane and this movie proves it.

Alec made the point of being an actor on the set and thinking "he's not doing anything" acting wise. But when you blow it up 40 feet across and 20 feet up, you realize that nothing that Ladd is doing is expressing itself all over the screen.

I love Alec and Robert O together. And they seem to be enjoying it, too. Robert O even said so!
Lynn in Lake Balboa

"Film is history. With every foot of film lost, we lose a link to our culture, to the world around us, to each other and to ourselves."

"For me, John Wayne has only become more impressive over time." Marty Scorsese

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Re: The Blue Dahlia

Post by mrsl »

Great breakdown lz. The only one that disturbed me was Hugh Beaumont as the lawyer and why he kept so quiet for so long. The police committed a myriad of things incorrectly, yet he just stood there, until finally at the end when he proclaimed, "finally, someone has said something". Up until then he allowed the police to browbeat Buzz, let out information, pick and choose who to question, etc.

In any case, I have always liked Alan Ladd, I didn't realize at first why his movies and Tyrone Powers were never shown on TCM until I understood about studio ownership. I believe Ladd and V. Lake only did 3 or 4 movies together, but it seemed like so many more (kind of like Mitchum and J. Russell), because their chemistry is so good, even though the plots are similar, they make it all seem fresh.

I just love RO and Alec, they compliment each other beautifully.

* * * * * * * * What is past is prologue. * * * * * * * *

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