The Blue Dahlia

The Blue Dahlia ★★

It makes a certain sense that Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake found one another as a successful screen duo because in truth both of them were eerily blank in their charisma. Somehow the combination of the two negative electrons produced a positive charge, or something. Not much of a charge though, because the pleasure of their aesthetic beauty aside, it’s hard to swallow Ladd’s tough guy character and Lake’s bombshell persona. They somehow drain the life out of Raymond Chandler’s story in this painfully inert noir, where people move from static scene to static scene, talking wise but otherwise doing little. Only Howard Dasilva, as the bad guy, manages to pop off the screen with a bemused, devilish charm that leaves the audience hungry for more. We never get it though.

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