The Black Dahlia (L.A. Quartet, #1) by James EllroyOn January 15, 1947, the torture-ravished body of a beautiful young woman is found in a vacant lot. The victim makes headlines as the Black Dahlia—and so begins the greatest manhunt in California history. Caught up in the investigation are Bucky Bleichert and Lee Blanchard: Warrants Squad cops, friends, and rivals in love with the same woman. But both are obsessed with the Dahlia—driven by dark needs to know everything about her past, to capture her killer, to possess the woman even in death. Their quest will take them on a hellish journey through the underbelly of postwar Hollywood, to the core of the dead girls twisted life, past the extremes of their own psyches—into a region of total madness.
The Black Dahlia
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The qualities that make Josh Hartnett such a washout as a romantic lead—his emotional opacity, his inexpressive, coal-black eyes—make him a natural for the world of film noir, where stoic men cut themselves off from their emotions to avoid being swallowed whole by the darkness surrounding them. In Brian De Palma's masterful adaptation of James Ellroy's The Black Dahlia , Hartnett embodies two hardboiled types: the cop who gets too close to the case, and the boxer who must take a dive. Hartnett and co-star Scarlett Johansson—that most fatale of current filmic femmes—are naturals for this kind of noir-hued material, but the pairing of Ellroy and De Palma proves a marriage made in hardboiled heaven. In many ways, Dahlia is De Palma's History Of Violence— a virtuoso thriller by a wildly idiosyncratic filmmaker working at his most restrained and commercial. But it nevertheless touches on many of De Palma's pet obsessions, from kinky sex to voyeurism to classic film.
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Thousands of murders go unsolved; most are forgotten, why do some obsess us so?, T he return of Brian De Palma to centre-stage is something that many will greet with mixed feelings. His pop genius status is something that posterity has still not had sufficient time to ratify, and I am uncertain about this over-long and muddled adaptation of James Ellroy's postwar LA thriller about the murder and dismemberment of a failed actress, instantly nicknamed The Black Dahlia by the yellow press.
It is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by James Ellroy , in turn drawn from the widely sensationalized murder of Elizabeth Short. Despite its failure both critically and financially, effectively ousting De Palma from the Hollywood studio system his subsequent films have been filmed and financed overseas , it was nominated for Best Cinematography at the 79th Academy Awards , losing to Pan's Labyrinth. Mia Kirshner 's performance as Short was also widely praised, as was that of Scarlett Johansson. Lee introduces Bucky to his girlfriend Kay Lake, and the trio becomes inseparable. Bucky is shocked when Kay tells him she isn't sleeping with Lee, and later tries to seduce him, but he refuses. He also discovers that Kay has been branded with the initials "BD", for Bobby DeWitt, the gangster whose arrest and conviction for a big bank robbery made Lee's career.