Monday, October 26, 2009

The Blue Dahila

The Blue Dahlia (1946) was directed by George Marshall and starred Veronica Lake and Alan Ladd.

Johnny Morrison (Alan Ladd) returns home from the South Pacific with his military buddies Buzz (William Bendix) and George (Hugh Beaumont). Morrison returns home to his wife Helen (Doris Dowling) and finds her throwing a party with her new boyfriend Eddie Harwood (Howard Da Silvia), the owner of the Blue Dahlia nightclub.

Morrison finds his wife to be a drunken cheat and she admits to killing their son in a car accident when she was driving while intoxicated. Morrison has had enough, he grabs his suitcase but before leaving he points his gun at her. He then tells her she is not worth it and tosses the gun on the chair as he leaves.

While walking down the street in the rain, Morrison is picked up by the mysterious Joyce (Veronica Lake). Morrison does not know it, but Joyce is the estranged wife of Eddie Harwood, his wife's lover.

Meantime, Buzz, who has issues after being injured in the war, learns of Morrison walking out on Helen. Buzz goes to Helen's hotel and meets up with a mystery women and returns to her apartment. The mystery women is actually Helen. The next time we see Buzz is when he arrives home soaked from the rain and George asks where he has been, Buzz does not remember.

Eddie Harwood goes looking for Helen. Eddie Harwood has a secret about his past and Helen knows his secret. We see Eddie leaving Helen's apartment and "Dad" Newell (Will Wright), the hotel's house detective is hiding in the bushes.

The next morning the maid finds Helen has been shot to death with Morrison's gun. An investigation and a search for Morrison ensues.

Morrison learns of his wife's death from the news and that he is wanted for questioning by the police. Morrison knows the police suspect him and instead of turning himself in, he searches for the killer.

In the process of searching for the killer, he learns Eddie Harwood's secret thanks to Helen who wrote her own "insurance policy" by writing his secret on a back of a photo of Morrison's son. Morrison also learns Joyce is Harwood's estranged wife.

During the investigation, we learn the nice "Dad" Newell, the hotel detective, is a scheming blackmailer.

Who is the murder? So many suspects with motives.

Is it Buzz? Did he snap when he learned the mystery women he met in the bar is his war buddy's cheating wife?

Is it Eddie Harwood? Did he silence Helen to keep her from telling about his secret past?

Is it the blackmailing hotel detective "Dad"? Did his blackmailing schemes go to far?

Is it Joyce? Did she finally decide to get rid of her husband's mistress?

Is it Morrison? Did he return to the apartment and have an another arguement with his wife? She did cause his son's death and he is angry.

This is a wonderful suspense film. It will keep you guessing until the end.

Ladd, Lake, and everyone gives excellent performances. Also you get to see a very young Hugh Beaumont (aka Ward Cleaver).

If you have not seen this movie, I highly recommend it.

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