Friday, March 2, 2012

The Blue Dahlia

A bomber pilot returns home from war and, after having a few drinks with his service buddies, goes to meet his wife and finds her at a party in the arms of another man. After a heated and public argument, she turns up dead the next morning and the G.I., along with the sultry ex-wife of his dead wife's lover, must solve the mystery before the pursuing coppers close in. "The Blue Dahlia" is a well made noir from director George Marshall with a script by the hard boiled novelist Raymond Chandler. Alan Ladd is in top form as the hard nosed G.I. and Veronica Lake is as sexy as ever as the mysterious blonde whom he becomes entangled with. William Bendix and Doris Dowling are also strong in supporting roles as an edgy, brain damaged veteran and Ladd's malevolent wife. (spoilers) Only in the end does the film unravel with an unsatisfying revelation of an irrelevant culprit, maligning an otherwise excellent noir exercise.