Two detectices of the LAPD, Dwight 'Bucky' Bleichert and Leland 'Lee' Blanchard, have to investigate the murder of a young woman named Elizabeth Short who was found horribly mutilated in downtown L.A. Both men are former boxers, appreciate each other a lot and use to spend their free time in the company of Lee's girl-friend, Kay Lake. While Bleichert decides to question Elizabeth's Short friends, Blanchard starts to take amphetamines and becomes obsessed with this case, locking himself up during hours in his room filled of the young murdered girl's photos.
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Soon, Bleichert discovers that Elizabeth Short, nicknamed now the Black" Dahlia" by the journalists, patronized lesbians bars and even shot a couple of nudies. He meets Madeleine Linscott, the daughter of a wealthy real estate developer, who knew Elizabeth Scott, and starts an affair with her. Blanchard is killed during a police operation and Bucky and Kay Lake spend more and more time together. One night, Bucky realizes that the set of the Elizabeth Short's nudies is the same than the set of a well-known movie produced by the father of Madeleine Linscott. Based on a novel by James Ellroy and directed by Brian De Palma in 2005.
The review of this Movie prepared by Daniel Staebler
What's glamorous and comes with smouldering good looks but little depth? The answer isn't just Scarlett Johansson but her latest movie. Directed by the semi-legendary Brian De Palma, The Black Dahlia is nothing less than a crappy, insomnia-busting bore that shows the man who brought us Scarface and Carlito's Way lost his touch a long, long time ago.
Based on James Ellroy's crime novel, the movie revolves around cops Blanchard and Bleichert (Aaron Eckhart and Josh Hartnett) who are called in to investigate the murder of a young starlet in ‘40s Hollywood. And this isn't your average homicide. The poor girl has been beaten, disembowelled and cut in half in a case that shocks the nation. Blanchard's obsession with finding the killer soon begins to threaten his relationship with his gal Kay (Johansson), while Bleichert finds himself distracted by the sultry Madeleine (Hilary Swank), the daughter of one of the city's richest families, who has an unsavoury connection with the murderer.
De Palma's trademark elaborate tracking shots and camera swoops are all here which, together with the decision to bathe the film in a sepia tint, make this a technical tour-de-force. The tatty neighbourhoods of downtown LA are also well captured, evoking a city wreathed in cigarette smoke, populated by femme fatales and wise-cracking cops in sharp suits. But for all that, it's hard to find much to recommend about The Black Dahlia. Good-looking they may be, but there's not a decent performance from the cast, with Johansson really starting to show her limitations. Meanwhile, Eckhart and particularly Hartnett are simply too bland as the leading men. Then there's that plot. Ellroy's sprawling 600-page novel - based on the real slaying of 22-year-old Betty Short - has frequently been called unfilmable and on the evidence presented here, you can't argue with that. De Palma patently fails to keep on top of the many story strands which makes for a confusing and ultimately frustrating experience for us, the audience.
The review of this Movie prepared by afia ahmad