6.9/10
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58 user 18 critic

The Blue Gardenia (1953)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 28 March 1953 (USA)
A telephone operator ends up drunk and at the mercy of a cad in his apartment. The next morning she wakes up with a hangover and the terrible fear she may be a murderess.

Director:

Fritz Lang

Writers:

Charles Hoffman (screenplay), Vera Caspary (story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Anne Baxter ... Norah Larkin
Richard Conte ... Casey Mayo
Ann Sothern ... Crystal Carpenter
Raymond Burr ... Harry Prebble
Jeff Donnell ... Sally Ellis
Richard Erdman ... Al
George Reeves ... Police Capt. Sam Haynes
Ruth Storey Ruth Storey ... Rose Miller
Ray Walker ... Homer
Nat 'King' Cole ... Nat 'King' Cole
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Storyline

In Los Angeles, on the day of her birthday, the telephone operator Norah Larkin decides to celebrate dining alone at home, with the picture of her beloved fiancé, a soldier overseas, and reading his last letter to her. In the letter he tells her that he met an Army nurse stationed in Japan and plans to marry her. Norah, completely upset, accepts to blind date the Don Juan and photographer of calendar girls Harry Prebble. They go to the Blue Gardenia Club, and Norah drinks six strong cocktails Polynesian Pearl Divers and gets completely drunk. Harry takes her to his apartment and tries to force Norah to have sex, and she uses a poker to hit Harry on the head. On the next morning, she wakes-up in her apartment with her two roommates, but she can not remember what happened. When she reads the newspaper, she finds that Harry is dead and the police has her handkerchief, her high heels and her blue gardenia and is chasing the woman that killed the famous wolf Harry. When she reads in the ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There was nothing lily-white about her !


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 March 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Blue Gardenia See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While the record album of the "Tristan and Isolde" music is never shown close enough to the camera for the movie audience to see it, it either is, or has been created to resemble, a typical 12", 78-RPM album set of the 1940s, of an RCA Victor recording featuring Arturo Toscanini conducting the NBC Symphony Orchestra. The cover art greatly resembles that of a 12" 78-RPM album pressing featuring Toscanini conducting that orchestra. Toscanini was considered one of the greatest conductors of that era. See more »

Goofs

It is stated that the record on the turntable was still playing when the body was discovered. This would not have happened because the turntable is a 'record changer' that automatically shuts off when the control arm is engaged and there are no more records in the stack. In the flashback sequence, Harry Prebble is shown activating the control arm. If it had been left disengaged (up and to the side) it would have played the record continuously as mentioned. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Casey Mayo: [friendly waking up Al in the backseat of his car] Hey,
[rustles his hair]
Casey Mayo: sleepy.
Al: [wakes up slightly startled] Where?
[sign reads: West Coast Telephone Co]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Django Unchained (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Prelude and Liebestod
(uncredited)
from "Tristan and Isolde"
Music by Richard Wagner
Played over the airport loudspeaker, and on the phonograph
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Another masterpiece by Fritz Lang
21 January 2005 | by Gavin567See all my reviews

Really excellent film, elegant, well constructed and atmospheric. Beautifully written script, directing, photography, art direction, soundtrack editing, performances, etc. A real masterpiece. I am surprised that so many people who review it here seem not to grasp it. They complain about lack of suspense because it doesn't use hackneyed noir film devices, but the film is not about that. It's about Anne Baxter, the world through her point of view. Her life is a beautiful dream of hopes of love and happiness for the future, which turns into a horrible nightmare that spirals downward with sickening realism and pathos. Snappy characters throughout, but they are not "wasted", miscast or otherwise ill-used. They are perfectly balanced in a skilled script that is not about actors chewing the scenery, but is a real film, an art film, by the master Fritz Lang, whose every decision in creating this film up to the smallest detail seems to me to be highly intentional. Highly recommended.


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