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The Black Dahlia (Widescreen Edition) (2006)

Josh Hartnett , Scarlett Johansson , Brian De Palma  |  R |  DVD
2.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (281 customer reviews)

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The Black Dahlia (Widescreen Edition) + Hollywoodland (Widescreen Edition) + L.A. Confidential (Keepcase)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Josh Hartnett, Scarlett Johansson, Hilary Swank, Aaron Eckhart, John Kavanagh
  • Directors: Brian De Palma
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: December 26, 2006
  • Run Time: 122 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (281 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000K2UVZM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,658 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Black Dahlia (Widescreen Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Reality and Fiction: The Story of The Black Dahlia
  • The Case File
  • The De Palma Touch Presented by Volkswagen

  • Editorial Reviews

    Inspired by the Most Notorious Unsolved Murder in California History. From the acclaimed director of Scarface and the author of LA Confidential comes the spellbinding thriller The Black Dahlia. Two ambitious cops, Lee Blanchard (Aaron Eckhart) and Bucky Bleichert (Josh Hartnett), investigate the shocking murder of an aspiring young starlet. With a corpse so mutilated that photos are kept from the public, the case becomes an obsession for the men, and their lives begin to unravel. Blanchard's relationship with his girlfriend Kay (Scarlett Johansson) deteriorates, while Bleichert finds himself drawn to the enigmatic Madeleine (Hilary Swank), a wealthy woman with a dark and twisted connection to the victim.

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars MORE "FILM NO" THAN "FILM NOIR"! August 3, 2008
    Format:DVD
    Even though it is still one of California's unsolved murders, the whole Elizabeth Short case can be told in about 60 seconds. So making a 2 hour movie would be quite a feat. That's why the director factored the L.A. "Zoot Suit" riots of 1943, a boxing match, the killing of black pimps and prostitutes who were minding their own business, the dysfunctional love affair between Scarlett Johansson's character and Josh Harnett's partner, a bunch of very chic lesbians, and the bizarre wealthy family of a bi-sexual Hilary Swank (does her mother have Parkinson's or is that the actress' idea of an alcoholic socialite?)

    We didn't hear about the murder until 20 minutes had passed and only then because it happened on the street behind the pimp shoot-out. Somehow the "first responders" on the Black Dahlia crime scene didn't hear all of that gun fire on the other side of the building. Instead of going to the rescue of their fellow officers, they and a dozen reporters stood transfixed on the naked body in the park. So much for "Officer down! Send back-up!" The best thing about this movie was the autopsy which was done in a compelling narrative by a jowly M.E. That's about all we learned about this murder victim who was made out to be a slut who slept with men AND women in exchange for a sandwich or pair of nylons. In fact, there was not one woman in this movie who was not depicted as prostitute, golddigger, or tramp. Only the lesbians had class and dignity - and there is a gang of them! (Look for an uncredited k.d. lang in a great piece of camp.)

    Hartnett has the charisma of a grape. Johansson fits right in during an era when 20 year-old women looked like they were 35. But she handles a lame role like a pro. I don't know why Swank was even in the area. And that accent!
    Read more ›
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    99 of 125 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars no fragrant flower October 1, 2006
    Brian De Palma's "The Black Dahlia" is like a beautiful sports car with no engine under the hood: it sits there looking mighty pretty, but it never actually goes anywhere.

    The movie is based on the James Ellroy novel of the same name, a highly fictionalized telling of Hollywood's most notorious unsolved murder case. On January 15, 1947, a young woman named Beth Short was found brutally slain - her body gruesomely dismembered and gutted - in a field in Los Angeles. The case became a cause celebre around the nation, with speculation rife as to the background of the victim and the identity of the perpetrator, but the actual killer was never found. The movie focuses on two fictional homicide detectives, played by Josh Hartnett and Aaron Eckhart, who, to varying degrees, become obsessed with the case. Their investigation leads them into the heart of a film noir maelstrom comprised almost exclusively of twisted psychosexual perverts and Tinsel Town sickos.

    Thanks to Vilmos Zsigmond's fine cinematography and all the spiffy 1940's paraphernalia with which the costume designer and art directors have decked out the movie, "The Black Dahlia" is never anything but dazzling to look at, but in almost every other respect, the film is a monumental disappointment. Although the first half is relatively straightforward in its approach and style, by about the midway point, De Palma's trademark cinematic excesses - stilted dialogue, floridly staged action scenes, campy performances, and overemphatic music - begin to take over and the film becomes an incoherent mess.
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    12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars The Blah Dahlia October 29, 2008
    Format:DVD
    Wow - I didn't know they still made movies this bad. I knew Brian De Palma's reputation had taken a beating in the last decade or so, but I really understand why now. This was easily the worst movie I had seen in a long time. And a warning for anyone who is interested in seeing this film because of the real Black Dahlia murder: "The Black Dahlia", the film, treats it as nothing more than a springboard and a background. The very real murder is secondary or perhaps tertiary to the silly and contrived plot, and - at least in my opinion - this film trivializes what was the brutal and gruesome death of a very real woman. I would have been embarrassed to have made a movie like this. Embarrassed, or perhaps ashamed, if we lived in a culture that could still feel shame.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars Extremely disappointing. December 28, 2006
    Format:DVD
    This film should not have been titled "The Black Dahlia".

    It should have been title "Josh Hartnett bangs everyone's girl / with brief appearances/mentionings of The unsolved murder of Elizabeth Short / aka: The Black Dahlia Murder"

    This film barely kept me awake and interested.

    I was hoping for a story based on the black dahlia murder, and what I got watching this movie was not it.

    This movie is more about "the lives of the people in L.A., and the L.A.P.D. in the 40's" ... and , seriously, the murder of Elizabeth Short is used more for a "back-story."

    As the previous reviewer noted, this movie has a poor ending.

    I wanted so much more out of this movie, but, I was completely let-down.

    Well, I guess I'll go and watch a movie where I know what to expect.

    Jackass 2 here I come !!!
    Was this review helpful to you?
    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible
    This movie was absolutely thrilling. I LOVE it. Every second kept my attention.
    Plus, Mia Kirshner is naked in this movie. What's not to love!?
    Published 2 months ago by HarlotSlaughter
    3.0 out of 5 stars OK
    Not what I expected, but not too bad. Would have liked the story to focus on the 'Dahlia' murder instead of the lives of the two detectives.
    Published 3 months ago by Midwesterner
    3.0 out of 5 stars Modern Noir
    This is one of those buys that I have to say that while I am glad I purchased but am not necessarily really stoked that I bought. Read more
    Published 3 months ago by Brian
    1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your time and no "LA Confidential"
    This was not a good use of two hours of my life. It was confusing and I am currently reading the book! Read more
    Published 4 months ago by Ruth Ann
    1.0 out of 5 stars Ive Recently Become Horrifyingly Fascinated with this Real Life Case...
    This Movie is Pretty Horrible, The Acting is Ridiculous and Story Pretty Cheesy.
    It is based on the real life case but I think that alot of it is made up. Read more
    Published 4 months ago by J. Wilson
    4.0 out of 5 stars It's an art house film, not a thriller
    So I got what I expected. The pacing was slow, the acting was good, the story unravels as it should. There is no adrenaline in this movie, not car chases, and few shoot-outs. Read more
    Published 5 months ago by Jill L. Ferguson
    2.0 out of 5 stars Oh, the Horror of it All!
    I've tried to watch this film at least twice -- it was on "free" TV both times, so no harm no foul, outside of time lost -- and it is nearly as horrifying as the original... Read more
    Published 6 months ago by California Dreaming
    3.0 out of 5 stars Fictional Speculation
    This movie is Hollywood speculation and centers around the personal lives of two detectives that are working the case. Read more
    Published 8 months ago by Paul Haynes
    5.0 out of 5 stars Polarized critics do no justice
    I was upset to see how many people had a strong dislike for this film. I found it to be a favorite in my collection. Read more
    Published 11 months ago by Vincent Winters
    3.0 out of 5 stars blame the studio
    Brian De Palma had an orginal cut of three hours to this movie. James Ellroy had seen the original three hour cut and it was a masterpiece according to Ellroy. Read more
    Published 11 months ago by Harry Georgatos
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