Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

"THE BLUE DAHLIA" on TCM 1/10/09


Film_Fatale
 Share

Recommended Posts

Pretty darn good movie, and it was also good to see that the print was in very good, if not pristine, condition. Still, it really would be awesome if the folks at Universal would give it a proper restoration and put it out on DVD. Maybe they could even package it as a set, together with *The Glass Key* and *This Gun For Hire*

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's one irksome film for me. First off, it piles one coincidence on top of another - Da Silva is tangled up with Ladd''s wife, Ladd's just happens to get picked up by Lake who is Da Silva's wife, Bendix just happens to run into Ladd's wife, she and Lake just happen to pick at flowers at the appropriate moment...

 

But Ladd himself is at his peak here, I don't mind saying that the guy was gorgeous. The production values are among the best of any of his vehicles and he's surrounded by good performers. The climax is a bit much, Ladd comes in and just tosses a gun to suspect numero uno right in front of the cops who go along with shooting the tip of the match. Considering that it's Chandler, I find the script very uneven, but it's a testament to the unheralded George Marshall's skill that he manages to make such a watchable film out of all of it. Despite my reservations, I've seen it about six times.

 

I do love when Will Wright comments to the cops that the killing was bad for the hotel and is told "It wasn't too good for the Morrison dame either."

 

I'll go along with Film Fatale's DVD box set of this, THE GLASS KEY and THIS GUN FOR HIRE, but will add CHICAGO DEADLINE and SALTY O'ROURKE.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

> {quote:title=clore wrote:}{quote}

> It's one irksome film for me. First off, it piles one coincidence on top of another - Da Silva is tangled up with Ladd''s wife, Ladd's just happens to get picked up by Lake who is Da Silva's wife, Bendix just happens to run into Ladd's wife, she and Lake just happen to pick at flowers at the appropriate moment...

>

 

Well, I do admit you've got a very good point regarding all the coincidences. Maybe it doesn't hold up to very close scrutiny if you really start thinking about it.

 

Having just seen *The Glass Key* again, I'd have to say I like that one slightly better than *The Blue Dahlia*. Incidentally it appears that it was during the shooting of *Glass Key* that Ladd and Bendix became close friends - at least according to RO's outro explanation. B-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the Ladd bio by Beverly Linet, it's mentioned that they had a falling out and that they were not really close during the period that they made this film, CALCUTTA or TWO YEARS BEFORE THE MAST. It all had to do with a misunderstanding about willingness to serve in the military and a comment that one made to the other. But being contracted to Paramount, both had to do what their bosses told them to do. Ladd never really did attempt to exercise whatever clout he had at the studio, he just took whatever assignment came his way. It wasn't until after being verbally promised the lead in DETECTIVE STORY, and then reading in the trades that Kirk Douglas was doing the film, that Ladd began to consider leaving rather than renew his about-to-expire contract. By the time that SHANE was released (it actually sat on the shelf a while), Ladd was gone and the studio put its Oscar efforts behind Holden in STALAG 17 rather than promote Ladd who had gone to Warners.

 

Ladd and Bendix did reconcile later, and appeared together in Ladd's 1958 production of THE DEEP SIX, which is not exactly the best film that they made together. In fact, its failure killed his deal with Warners.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

> {quote:title=clore wrote:}{quote}

> In the Ladd bio by Beverly Linet, it's mentioned that they had a falling out and that they were not really close during the period that they made this film, CALCUTTA or TWO YEARS BEFORE THE MAST.

 

That's interesting, Charles. *The Blue Dahlia* and *Two Years Before the Mast* were two of the movies that RO mentioned as having been made when the two were close friends. Then again, it wouldn't be the first time that RO apparently got his facts wrong.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sure they were both professional to not let any grievances show, posing for publicity photos together and such. Apparently their wives continued to be friendly with each other, but the boys didn't pal together socially as they had been doing.

 

I like to give Robert Osborne the benefit of the doubt and presume that there are researchers writing his stuff and that he probably just edits it in order to sound more conversational rather than professorial. It's got to be time consuming enough for him to just shoot the wraparounds, let alone write them personally. I've always been curious as to how many takes they have to make of each one, surely there has to be some flubbing here and there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I've heard he does a lot of his own writing (he is, after all, also a writer for "The Hollywood Reporter", I believe). As for the retakes, I think they don't do a whole bunch of them, which is perhaps why you occasionally see promos where he slurs slightly or mispronounces the name of some European composer. ;)

 

I could be wrong, but maybe someone else knows this better than I. B-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have the same affliction. I love to stare at Veronica and the sound of her voice is smooth like buttah. Whoever came up with the idea of teaming Ladd & Lake is a genius. They play off each other like sizzling lightning. Both are really wonderful actors, together, and when they starred opposite other people.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used to read his column in The Hollywood Reporter, way back when I was employed in the TV programming business and budgets were such that we could subscribe to all sorts of publications.

 

Maybe it's just a case of fact sheets prepared for him. I have caught some of the goofs, they seem especially common when imports are involved. On the other hand, it was Osborne who identified the correct pronunciation of Frank Borzage's last name, so i have to give him credit for that. :)

 

Ya know, I have SAHARA on right now, and it's been about 30 years since I've seen it. I forgot just how good it looks, a really nice job by Rudolph Mate here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

> {quote:title=randyishere wrote:}{quote}

> I have the same affliction. I love to stare at Veronica and the sound of her voice is smooth like buttah. Whoever came up with the idea of teaming Ladd & Lake is a genius. They play off each other like sizzling lightning. Both are really wonderful actors, together, and when they starred opposite other people.

 

Well said, randy. Enjoy this photo:

Ladd2.jpg

 

> {quote:title=clore wrote:}{quote}

> Ya know, I have SAHARA on right now, and it's been about 30 years since I've seen it. I forgot just how good it looks, a really nice job by Rudolph Mate here.

 

I have it on right now but wasn't really watching - I got the DVD just a few weeks ago, and enjoyed it very much (I posted something about it in the War Movies forum).

 

The most amazing thing is that the whole movie was shot in California and Arizona - but to me, it seemed totally believable that it was all set in the Sahara.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The chemistry between Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake just burns the screen in _The Blue Dahlia_ (1946)!!

 

_The Blue Dahlia_ (1946) was nominated for an Academy Award: Oscar, Best Writing, Original Screenplay, Raymond Chandler; 1947!!

 

 

However, I always preferred Veronica Lake in _This Gun for Hire_ where is a nightclub magician and singer!!!

 

 

 

90521-004-78CE6A14.jpg

_The Blue Dahlia_

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't forget Alan & Veronica did another movie together called Saigon in 1948. So let's show all four of them, TCM.

 

FF, that photo you just posted of Veronica is the best. She looks so good. No wonder Howard Hughes and Aristotle Onassis were after her in her heyday. Thanks for the pic.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

> {quote:title=randyishere wrote:}{quote}

> Don't forget Alan & Veronica did another movie together called Saigon in 1948. So let's show all four of them, TCM.

 

I might have overlooked that...

 

> FF, that photo you just posted of Veronica is the best. She looks so good. No wonder Howard Hughes and Aristotle Onassis were after her in her heyday. Thanks for the pic.

 

Thanks! :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There does seem to be something funny going on with that link, but here's another upload of the picture:

 

2u4j1b5.jpg

 

*Ever notice that Sal Mineo had a picture of Alan Ladd in his locker in REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE?*

 

No, but I'd like to look for it next time I watch it. B-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That shot came from the Brian's Drive-In site, maybe he's doing some work on it, or his server is slow. A few times I tried to access pics there and got the error message about not "having permission" that pops up once in a while.

 

I wish that TCM would air HELL ON FRISCO BAY, here's Ladd with Paul Stewart and Edward G.Robinson:

 

frisco.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

> {quote:title=clore wrote:}{quote}

> I wish that TCM would air HELL ON FRISCO BAY, here's Ladd with Paul Stewart and Edward G.Robinson:

>

> frisco.jpg

 

That does look like an interesting movie. Seems like it was released by WB. Sometimes TCM seems to have a harder time gettting a hold of post-1949 WB movies (something to do with rights issues) so it might be why it doesn't show up more often.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

>>That does look like an interesting movie. Seems like it was released by WB. Sometimes TCM seems to have a harder time gettting a hold of post-1949 WB movies (something to do with rights issues) so it might be why it doesn't show up more often.

 

HELL ON FRISCO BAY is the closest that Ladd got in the 50s to one of his 40s films. Hiring Frank Tuttle, who directed him in THIS GUN FOR HIRE and LUCKY JORDAN may have had something to do with it. A nice group of co-stars in it too, Joanne Dru, Fay Wray, William Demarest, Perry Lopez and Rod Taylor in an early role.

 

 

It was one of his "Jaguar" productions and maybe there are some rights issues involved there also. Most of them were weak films but by this point, Ladd was getting some poor career advice from wife Sue Carol.

 

George Stevens wanted him as Jett Rink in SHANE, but his wife talked him out of taking third-billing to Taylor and Hudson. Ladd wanted to work with Stevens again, but chose to follow the "guidance" of the woman who had been steering his career from his early days.

 

To me, this is where his decline starts - between nixing the role and his ill-fated affair with June Allyson, Ladd fell deeper into a depression and took to drink. He had enough demons already pursuing him. In the late 30s, when he was head of a family that not only included his first wife and son Alan Jr., but also his sister and mother, there was an event that plagued him for the rest of his life.

 

His mother kept bugging him for some money - less than a dollar, but in his struggling period, that money could have been spent on a meal for his brood. But his mother kept nagging him and he caved in. She spent the money on some rat poison and committed suicide. I've always suspected that Sue Carol was a surrogate mother to him and that even if he thought otherwise, he just continued to follow her career instructions.

 

Whether his own death was a suicide or not is still an issue, but considering that he had a gun "accident" a year earlier, and the circumstances surrounding his death, I'd say that it was intentional.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

> {quote:title=clore wrote:}{quote}

> To me, this is where his decline starts - between nixing the role and his ill-fated affair with June Allyson, Ladd fell deeper into a depression and took to drink. He had enough demons already pursuing him. In the late 30s, when he was head of a family that not only included his first wife and son Alan Jr., but also his sister and mother, there was an event that plagued him for the rest of his life.

>

 

That's pretty sad, thinking about Ladd's decline. It's amazing how many talented actors ended up with similar stories.

 

Oh, it seems *Hell on Frisco Bay* is not currently available on DVD, but it was at some point released on VHS. Maybe some copies are still around.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For a guy with so many demons, it's interesting to note how many of his films had demonic connotations:

 

HELL BELOW ZERO

HELL ON FRISCO BAY

ONE FOOT IN HELL

 

Even THE DEEP SIX has a reference to death and 13 WEST STREET has an unlucky number in the title.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

© 2022 Turner Classic Movies Inc. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...