The Black Dahlia

The Black Dahlia
  • 2006
  • UK / Germany
  • 2h
  • 18
  • Directed by: Brian De Palma
  • Written by: Josh Friedman
  • Cast: Josh Hartnett, Scarlett Johansson, Aaron Eckhart, Hilary Swank, Mia Kirshner, Mike Starr, Fiona Shaw
  • Website:

A true Hollywood crime fictionalised in James Ellroy's novel with bags of potential as a money making movie. Add an obscenely glamorous cast and, surely, success? Well, no. The result underlines De Palma's foibles as a director, while the adaptation of Ellroy's source book is perplexingly loose and alarmingly trite in its conclusion. A half arsed riddle.

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Reviews & features

The Black Dahlia

1 Sep 20063 stars

The facts: on 15 January 1947, a 22-year-old fledgling East Coast actress called Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Short was discovered brutally murdered in downtown LA. The murder of the actress the press dubbed ‘the Black Dahlia’ (because of the black outfits she…

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1 Sep 2006

Allan Radcliffe explores the ongoing fascination with the Black Dahlia mystery

Crime fiction sells by the barrow-load and thrillers pack out cinemas. But we are never more titillated by crime than when it has its basis in fact. The abiding success of True Crime collectable part works, detailing the gruesome deeds of serial killers…

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