5.6/10
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664 user 248 critic

The Black Dahlia (2006)

Trailer
2:25 | Trailer
Two policemen see their personal and professional lives fall apart in the wake of the "Black Dahlia" Elizabeth Short murder investigation.

Director:

Brian De Palma

Writers:

Josh Friedman (screenplay), James Ellroy (novel)
Reviews
Popularity
3,631 ( 314)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Josh Hartnett ... Dwight 'Bucky' Bleichert
Scarlett Johansson ... Kay Lake
Aaron Eckhart ... Lee Blanchard
Hilary Swank ... Madeleine Linscott
Mia Kirshner ... Elizabeth Short
Mike Starr ... Det. Russ Millard
Fiona Shaw ... Ramona Linscott
Patrick Fischler ... Deputy DA Ellis Loew
James Otis James Otis ... Dolph Bleichert
John Kavanagh ... Emmett Linscott
Troy Evans ... Chief Ted Green
Anthony Russell ... Morrie Friedman
Pepe Serna ... Tomas Dos Santos
Angus MacInnes ... Capt. John Tierney (as Angus MacInnis)
Rachel Miner ... Martha Linscott
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Storyline

In 1946, the former boxers Dwight "Bucky" Bleichert and Lee Blanchard are policemen in Los Angeles. Lee has a good relationship with his chief and uses a box fight between them to promote the department and get a raise to the police force. They succeed and are promoted to homicide detectives, working together. Bucky becomes a close friend of Lee and his girlfriend Kay Lake, forming a triangle of love. When the corpse of the aspirant actress Elizabeth Short is found mutilated, Lee becomes obsessed to solve the case called by the press Black Dahlia. Meanwhile, Bucky's investigation leads him to a Madeleine Linscott, the daughter of a powerful and wealthy constructor that resembles the Black Dahlia. In an environment of corruption and lies, Bucky discloses hidden truths. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Inspired by the most notorious unsolved murder in California history. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, some grisly images, sexual content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

James Horner was previously attached, before Mark Isham was hired to score the film. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the movie, set around the 1942-3 Zoot Suit Riots, Bleickert hands his father a model and says "C'mon Dad, you haven't finished this model yet." From the shape of the wings it is clearly a P-47 Thunderbolt, but the shape of the fuselage shows that it is the later 'bubble canopy' model P-47 G or H, which did not fly until late 1944. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ofcr. Dwight "Bucky" Bleichert: [voiceover] Mr. Fire versus Mr. Ice. For everything people were making it out to be, you'd think it was our first fight. It wasn't. And it wouldn't be our last.
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Connections

References The Blue Dahlia (1946) See more »

Soundtracks

Love for Sale
Written by Cole Porter
Performed and Produced by k.d. lang
Published by WB Music Corp. (ASCAP)
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User Reviews

Disjointed murder in the first degree
12 September 2006 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

"For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak/With most miraculous organ." Shakespeare's Hamlet

Murders are messy on the screen and in real life; screenplays about them can be chaotic and disjointed also. Such is the case with Black Dahlia, a film noir from Brian De Palma, a past master of the macabre and the complicated (Blow Out, Body Double). It has all the trappings of a first-rate detective novel (James Ellroy) made into a 1940's thriller with appropriately moody music of the soulful trumpet (Mark Isham), lush production design (Dante Ferretti), and equally impressive costuming (Jenny Beavan), all set in a timelessly seedy Los Angeles.

There's also the conflicted, sometimes dark hero detective (Josh Hartnett) and the sexy, dangerous femme fatale (Hilary Swank), accompanied by the questionably good voluptuary sex bomb (Scarlett Johansson). As if these noir troublemakers were not enough, writer Josh Friedman seemingly adapts Ellroy's every subplot, every story thread, as if each had to be accounted for in the best CSI tradition.

The original novel was based on aspiring actress Elizabeth Short's unsolved grizzly murder in 1947. After a considerably convoluted exposition, with plot lines rarely intersecting in a unified way, the film has the nerve to offer one of the most extensive denouements in film history, could be a half hour, with lengthy explanation of how all those ends tied together. Needless to say, anti climaxes abound in this last segment, leaving not only more confusion about the plot but also a desire to get back to The Big Sleep without sleeping, a state Black Dahlia threatened several times.

Hartnett's detective says, "Nothing stays buried forever. Nothing." I say this weak noir wannabe should stay buried until a bright 22nd century scholar sees its cultural and aesthetic significance. Until then, it's a jumble of plot points resolved in the end by tedious narration. Even Scarlett Johansson's pulchritude couldn't win me, and that's murder in the first degree.


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Details

Official Sites:

Universal Pictures [UK]

Country:

USA | Germany | UK | Israel | Bulgaria

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

15 September 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Black Dahlia See more »

Filming Locations:

Bulgaria See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,005,895, 17 September 2006

Gross USA:

$22,545,080

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$49,332,692
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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