148) The Blue Dahlia (1946) Dir: George Marshall Date Released: April 1946 Date Seen: April 24, 2010 Rating: 3.75/5
I honestly and truly don't remember very much about this Raymond Chandler-scripted film noir save that I was kept guessing about the identity of the killer until the very end and am still not sure whodunnit. I like that about it a lot and Chandler's flinty dialogue, too. Hardly ground-breaking in the way it treats post-war trauma as potential psychosis but a sufficiently convoluted and plenty engaging plot.
One of the things that I do remember distinctly and finding fascinating was the way that at the beginning of the film, returning G.I.s come home to find a whole other world. This means new jobs, apartments and prospects but it also means your wife's now a drunken tramp that throws crazy parties when nobody's looking.
I also remember being impressed by Alan Ladd's performance, two-dimensional as it no doubt is. Can't help but compare it with his titular role in Shane as the avenging white-hat-wearing loner. The Blue Dahlia proves that while he didn't have too much range, Ladd did have some.