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The Black Dahlia: DVD Review

Updated on December 20, 2008

The True Story Would Be Interesting To Investigate

Far Less Than The Sum Of It's Parts!

Black Dahlia is an incredibly, interminably slow moving, plotless wonder. It is essentially about two men who are both prize fighters and policemen who are pitted against each other in the ring as a publicity stunt by the police department and then go on to become partners in the homicide division. One of them has a girlfriend, played by Scarlett Johansson, who was apparently the victim of some dreadful killer/mutilator of some sort at some point in time. The three of them pal around together while the two men work on solving a variety of incomprehensible (due to being so poorly presented) crimes. The main one is that someone has killed a witless aspiring starlet and mutilated her body and left it behind a store, cut in half and completely drained of blood.

Through a series of investigations into odd and interesting looking places, we meet a character played by Hilary Swank who turns out to be a lesbian who was obsessed with the murder victim because she claims that they looked exactly alike and so she was fascinated. Actually, they look nothing alike, but no one seems to notice this. We end up finding out that Hilary Swank’s family is bizarrely dysfunctional, to say the least, and the craziest person in it is the killer.

A Train Wreck!

By the end of the movie, one of the two partners has been killed, so the other one is free to take up with Scarlett Johansson, and all is well. This all takes place in Hollywood of the 1940s, and that’s the best part of the movie. The only reason to watch it all the way through is the interesting sets and wardrobe. Hillary Swank and Scarlett Johansson turn in admirably quirky performances given the dreadful, disjointed script. The biggest mystery is why on earth these two fine actresses allowed themselves to be involved in this train wreck.

On a 1 - 5 scale with one being worst and five being best, I give it a 2 only because of the interesting sets and costumes and because Hilary Swank & Scarlett Johansson are interesting!

A Wonderful Movie With Hilary Swank

An Amazing Actress!

After seeing Hilary Swank in Freedom Writers, I put just about all of her movies in my NetFlix queue. The next movie I got was Boys Don't Cry. I get goosebumps thinking about what an incredible actress this woman is! If you haven't seen these two movies, I would strongly suggest watching them one right after the other as I did. You will be amazed!

An Astonishing Movie With Hilary Swank

A Charming, Self Confident Young Actress

Scarlett Johansson is another actress whose movies I am making it a point to watch. I think that it is wonderful that she is lovely and not classically beautiful, and she is absolutely self-confident about that. One thing I did come away from Black Dahlia with is the realization that Scarlett Johansson, made up for that era, bears a rather striking resemblance to Judy Garland. How different Judy Garland's career and life might have been if she had been allowed to be as natural and confident in herself as Scarlett Johansson is.

A Lovely Movie With Scarlett Johansson

A Delightful Movie With Scarlett Johansson


Submit a Comment

  • Cris A profile image

    Cris A 9 years ago from Manila, Philippines

    actually, it's kinda convoluted! LOL but i agree with you on Hilary and Scarlet :D

  • justmesuzanne profile image

    justmesuzanne 9 years ago from Texas

    The editorial reviewer on Amazon said that the script just flat out didn't make any sense, and when it did, it was silly! I had a very hard time following it, and really would not have watched the whole thing if it weren't for liking the 2 female leads and, as I said, the sets and costumes were very good!

  • Cris A profile image

    Cris A 9 years ago from Manila, Philippines

    the movie went through various changes from director to it stars. Mark Wahlberg was supposed to star in it, too. guess that's where the neighborhood went! LOL

  • profile image

    JenArt 9 years ago

    I have seen this case covered on crime shows very often, including the actual crime scene photos. I don't know why they made a movie about it, we don't know the ending. So they knew going into it that there were going to be plot holes they had to fix by fabrication....which probably impacted the script.

  • justmesuzanne profile image

    justmesuzanne 9 years ago from Texas

    I'm sure the book was good, and I plan to look into the actual case more. Funny, about the only thing the editorial reviewers of I liked about this movie was the film noir aspects. The script was just dreadful.

  • Cris A profile image

    Cris A 9 years ago from Manila, Philippines

    i can tell you didn't really like movie, huh? David Fincher was originally attached as director and he planned a 3-hour more film noir-ish production but it fell through. anyways, James Elroy's book was a good read though. nice hub :D


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