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The Blue Gardenia


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The Blue Gardenia + While The City Sleeps [Remaster] + House By the River (1949)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Anne Baxter, Richard Conte, Ann Sothern, Raymond Burr, Jeff Donnell
  • Directors: Fritz Lang
  • Writers: Charles Hoffman, Vera Caspary
  • Producers: Alex Gottlieb
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 11, 2000
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004RER5
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,037 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Blue Gardenia" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Fritz Lang's scathing critique of fifties America's hunger for bloodshed and scandal. Classic Hollywood film noir with a feminine twist, "The Blue Gardenia" stars Anne Baxter (All About Eve) as Norah Larkin, a working girl who wakes up a murderess after passing out in the apartment of brutish playboy Harry Prebble (Raymond Burr). Branded "The Blue Gardenia" by a sensational columnist (Richard Conte), Norah dodges dragnets, informants and the cruel hand of fate as she struggles to conceal her involvement with Prebble and to remember the details of her ill fated night. As her hopes for justice fade, she decides to gamble her future on the journalist who transformed her into such a notorious public figure. Enhancing the melancholy mood of the film is the haunting theme song arranged by Nelson Riddle and performed to perfection by Nat "King" Cole.

Customer Reviews

Plot twists and good acting make this one a classic.
Jess F.
[A reference to "Mike Hammer"?] One woman, Nora, has a boyfriend in Korea but gets a "Dear Jane" letter.
Acute Observer
Though it is not truly a noir release, BG is a perfectly decent murder mystery.
Mcgivern Owen L

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Antoinette Klein on October 6, 2002
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
The acting by both Anne Baxter and Raymond Burr is exceptional and elevates this to one of my favorite film noirs. Baxter is the young innocent Norah Larkin who is crushed when she receives a 'Dear Jane' letter from her boyfriend in Korea. Devastated and alone, she is easy prey for the slimey Harry Prebble portrayed by Raymond Burr in his pre-Perry Mason period. After a drunken night, Norah can't remember anything except that she was fighting off advances from Prebble. The newspapers are filled with the story of his murder and the mysterious blonde who left a blue gardenia behind. Viewers watch Norah slip deeper and deeper into paraonia as she frantically tries to conceal her involvement yet remember the details of her ill-fated night. Adding to the outstanding cast are Ann Sothern and Jeff Donnell as her roommates and Richard Conte as the newspaper reporter who makes an open appeal for the Blue Gardenia killer to come forward and trust him. As the police web (led by TV's Superman George Reeves) tightens around her, Norah turns to the reporter to help her, but....suffice it to say the happy-ever-after ending is a little too quick and easy. However, this is definitely worth watching and as an added plus you will be treated to the melodic voice of Nat "King" Cole singing the title song throughout the movie.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By mirasreviews HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 7, 2005
Format: DVD
"The Blue Gardenia" is among director Fritz Lang's lesser films. It is often categorized as noir, but is only vaguely so. Adapted from the short story "Gardenia" by Very Caspary, it's more mystery/romance, like Caspary's "Laura", which made a far superior film. The cinematography by Nicholas Musuraca is in high-key style that was coming back into fashion in the 1950s, a major departure from the low-key lighting of the 1940s that became iconic of film noir. "The Blue Gardenia" looks an awful lot like 1950s television, which is alluded to in one bit of dialogue. It's placement during the Korean War and the plethora of post-war gender stereotypes also place this film firmly in the 1950s thematically. Ironically, Fritz Lang made "The Big Heat" the same year, which is solid film noir and perhaps his only truly great American film.

Norah Larkin (Anne Baxter) is a pretty, young switchboard operator with a boyfriend to whom she is devoted stationed in Korea. She cheerfully spends her evenings at home and never dates other men, wishing to remain faithful to her man overseas. But on her birthday, she learns that her boyfriend has fallen in love with another woman. Distraught, Norah impulsively accepts a dinner invitation from artist and infamous lothario Harry Prebble (Raymond Burr). She drinks too much and gets herself right snookered, a situation which Harry tries to take advantage of. Prebble is found dead in his apartment the next day, and Norah can't remember what happened. Confused and afraid, she responds to newspaperman Casey Mayo (Richard Conte) who, looking for an angle, promised his newspaper would provide the murderer with legal assistance in exchange for an exclusive story.
Read more ›
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on April 25, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
My mother and I ordered this video to see if it beared any resemblance to "The Blue Dahlia" with Alan Ladd. It turned out to be nothing like it, but we love it just tje same. I highly reccomend it to anyone who enjoys classic film noir.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By chirsaud on March 21, 2008
Format: DVD
Performances by Anne Baxter and Raymond Burr and Fritz Lang's direction make this a top drawer noir. Unfortunately the transfer leaves an awful lot to be desired, especially when compared to recent releases of Fox and Warner noirs. While the source print is contrasty but clean, this transfer appears to have been made from an early D1 or D2 digital video master, early digital formats that predate current DVD mastering processes, resulting in a blocky, pixilated image much like watching the film through through a window screen. By putting an already compressed image (D1 master) through another round of compression (MPEG-2 for DVD), you get an image that's perpetually distracting, and un-film-like. This is not uncommon with many low-budget DVD releases, especially from the wild-frontier days of the shift from VHS to DVD. Thanks to TCM and The Critereon Collection, our expectations are much higher now, and this is a film that deserves better.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By K. Wade on November 3, 2000
Format: DVD
I just wanted to clarify some inaccuracies put forth in a couple previous reviews:
1) "The Blue Dahlia" was released on April 19, 1946.
2) Elizabeth Short's body was found nine months later, on January 15, 1947. It is most commonly believed that she was nicknamed the "Black Dahlia" by a sensationalistic press looking for a catchy nickname. It is probably a reference to both the Veronica Lake film, and the fact that Beth had a fondness for black clothing.
3) This film, "The Blue Gardenia" was not released until 1953, and really has nothing overtly to do with the notorious unsolved murder of Beth Short. However, I CAN see where the filmmakers may have slightly exploited the fact that the Black Dahlia had seeped well into America's collective unconscious by then.
Anyone interested in the facts and theories surrounding the Black Dahlia case would do better to consult [...] or to read John Gilmore's book "Severed", available right here at Amazon!
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