Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Silver Screen Sunday {The Blue Dahlia}

I know it's not Sunday but it seems that it's becoming a habit of mine to post these late! Apologies, yet again, but as I mentioned the other day I've been rather distracted of late. The distractions have all been rather good but distracting nonetheless.

Today, I've decided to look at George Marshall's The Blue Dahlia, from 1946. With a screenplay by Raymond Chandler it has some very slick dialogue and was actually nominated for an oscar for best writing, original screenplay in 1947. The film stars Veronica Lake and Alan Ladd - it was the the third of four films they made together - and centres around the story of Navy pilot Lieutenant Commander Johnny Morrison, who returns home to find his wife Helen (Doris Dowling) paryting and living it up with night-club owner Eddie Harwood (Howard de Silva). Johnny walks out on Dorothy later in the night and ends up hitching a ride with Joyce (Lake), who happens to be Harwood's estranged wife. When Helen is found murdered, Johnny is the number one suspect and seeks to clear his name with a little help from Joyce along the way. For a more detailed (as in there are those horrible, nasty things I destest: spoilers) plot description go here.

Now, on to the pictures! Firstly, who could go past the loveliness of Veronica Lake's understated style? (Her costumes were designed by Edith Head).

I can just picture her wearing a coat like this one, found here on etsy.

I simply adore 1940s evening gowns. This one was found here on etsy.

Even though I'm more than a little bit in love with Miss Lake's hair my absolute favourite style in this film is the one sported by Doris Dowling as Helen Morrison:

Isn't it divine? I've been wanting to get my hair cut (I love it this length but there's just so much hair to contend with!) but the only thing holding me back is that I won't be able to braid my hair and pin it up on my hair if I do. What's a girl to do? (At least my hair grows fairly quickly).

Of course, I was a little bit distracted by the men as they are very well dressed...

My favourite things from the above pictures: Alan Ladd wearing his hat pushed back (it's too adorable!) and Tom Powers and William Bendix with no jackets on because it shows one wearing braces, the other with a belt. It's the little things that get to me!

Last, but not least, here is a shot of Alan Ladd walking in the rain - how very noir!

Actually, two more things:

1. It seems you can watch the film on youtube. Here's a link to some playlists as more than one person has uploaded the film.
2. A trailer:

Andi B. Goode

P.S. I put some screencaps up on flickr.


  1. I think I'll have to add this one to my Netflix list!


  2. one of my favorites. but very hard to locate these days i have found. i haven't seen a copy of it in a video store since the 90's. i wonder if it hasn't been released on dvd yet or something,

  3. what a great post! love edith & anything noir. i need to see this!

  4. Ms Dowling's hair certainly looks divine. I have never seen this film but will definitely watch it!

  5. I cannot believe I still haven't seen this film yet--it's been on my wishlist for (literally) years! :p Veronica Lake and Alan Ladd in "This Gun for Hire" is one of my all-time favorite film noirs, so I know this one will be yummy. ;) lol.

    About the hair Doris Dowling is sporting... I dare say most of that is fake bits worked in with her real hair; it wasn't unusual in the 30s and 40s to use additional braids and buns to flesh out what you (didn't) have. I've been meaning to go to the beauty store and buy myself a length of hair to make a crown braid with, since my own is now too short! :/

    ♥ Casey
    blog | elegantmusings.com

  6. i love veronica lake. I haven't seen this film of hers though. :( wah! Thanks for featuring it. I shall add it to my netflix que!

  7. Betty2Tone: Oh, yes, do!
    bellisimama: Well, it has a DVD release in Australia.
    MrJeffery: Thanks. =D You do!
    Stefanie: Hurrah. Hope you enjoy it.
    Casey: Oh, you really must see it. Yes, I was thinking it would be a piece but I'm too lazy to do that, too. ;]
    Justice Pirate: Hope you like it!


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