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Blue Dahlia, The – Arrow Academy (BluRay) 
Written by: on September 29th, 2016

Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1946
Director: George Marshall
Writer: Raymond Chandler
Cast: Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, William Bendix, Howard Da Silva, Doris Dowling, Tom Powers, Hugh Beaumont

BluRay released: September 19th, 2016
Approximate running time: 101 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: PG (UK)
Sound: LPCM Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH
BluRay Release: Arrow Academy
Region Coding: Region B
Retail Price: £15.99 (UK)

Synopsis: All of the evidence points towards an ex-bomber pilot, when his promiscuous wife turns up dead.

The Blue Dahlia was directed by George Marshall whose other notable films include, Destry Rides Again and Houdini. Key collaborators for The Blue Dahlia include, cinematographer Lionel Lindon (Quicksand, I Want to Live!) and screenwriter / author Raymond Chandler contributions to Film Noir cannot be understated, Double Indemnity, The Big Sleep, Lady in the Lake and The Long Goodbye.

The premise lays a solid foundation from which as tightly constructed narrative effortlessly fills in all the essentials, the who’s, the why’s and the where’s? Also there is a deliberate to the pacing which reinforces the protagonists muting paranoia. And when it comes to the characters they are all well-defined and their motivations are never in left in doubt!

From a production standpoint there this film delivers the goods and then some. With its striking visuals being one it greatest asset. Standout moments include, a scene where the protagonist is taken to a farm to henchmen connected to the man who was having an affair with wife. Another standout moment is the film’s finale where one of the protagonist’s friends who suffers from head trauma ends up being the one who holds the key to the killer’s identity.

Familiar faces make up this most unusual cast of characters. With this film’s standout performances coming from Alan Ladd (This Gun for Hire, Shane) in the role of this film’s protagonist, Johnny Morrison a retired Lt commander and Veronica Lake (I Married a Witch, Sullivan’s Travels) in the role of Joyce Harwood, the other woman redux. In an odd strange twist of fate, it is Lake’s characters’ husband who is having an affair with Ladd’s characters’ wife. Another performance of note includes, William Bendix (The Glass Key) in the role of Buzz Wanchek, he is the man who head trauma plays a large role in the film’s finale.

The BluRay:

The Blue Dahlia comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. This release has been flagged for progressive playback and the film is presented in its intended 1.33:1 aspect ratio. The image looks sharp, grain looks natural, black and contrast levels remain solid throughout. Also there are no issues with DNR or compression.

This release comes with one audio option, a LPCM mono mix in English and included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles. The audio sounds clean, clear, balanced and robust when it needs too.

Extras for this release include, an image gallery, a trailer for the film (2 minutes 30 seconds), an introduction to the film titled Small Boy, Tough Guy (29 minutes 23 seconds), The Screen Guild Theaters 1949 radio dramatization (28 minutes 56 seconds) and selected scene commentary by Frank Krutnik, author of in a Lonely Street: Film Noir, Genre, Masculinity (9 minutes 16 seconds).

Topics discussed in the extra titled Small Boy, Tough Guy include, how The Blue Dahlia differs from content wise from more well-known films from the genre, author Raymond Chandler and his screenplay for the film and how he struggled to come up with an ending, Alan Ladd and his thoughts on The Blue Dahlia.

The selected scene commentary provides a well-rounded overview of the film and information about the cast.

Rounding out the extras is a reversible cover art option, cast & crew info, an essay about the film written by Adrian Wootton and information about the transfer. Overall The Blue Dahlia gets a first rate release from Arrow Academy.

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