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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.

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(screenplay), (story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Norah Larkin
...
Casey Mayo
...
Crystal Carpenter
...
Harry Prebble
...
Sally Ellis
...
Al
...
Ruth Storey ...
Rose Miller
...
Homer
...
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:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 March 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gardenia - Eine Frau will vergessen  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

George Reeves has gone down in history as Clark Kent-Superman. One of his Adventures of Superman co-stars Robert Shayne (Inspector Henderson) plays the doctor in the hospital scene. See more »

Goofs

Perhaps unaware that his hands on the keyboard are visible in the mirror behind him, Nat 'King' Cole plays a strikingly different piano arrangement of "Blue Gardenia" than the one we are hearing. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
[Reporter Casey Mayo has tossed his "little black book", containing information on his girlfriends, to Al, his photographer]
Al: [Looks at the information on one page] Wow!
[He reads the following page]
Al: Oh, brother!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Django Unchained (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Blue Gardenia
Written by Bob Russell and Lester Lee
Performed by Nat 'King' Cole
Arranged by Nelson Riddle
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The Jilted Woman, a Poker, and The Blue Gardenia
15 January 2007 | by (NC) – See all my reviews

Slightly better than average yet engaging mystery/film noir about a telephone operator opening a Dear Jane letter then deciding to go out with a wolf(Raymond Burr of all people) only to return home not knowing what happened and hearing about the wolf's ugly homicide. Anne Baxter plays Nora the lead role as the Blue Gardenia - a name given to the murderess by a famous reporter from the local newspaper. In fact, the script, while maybe not overly imaginative in the conclusion of the film, has some snappy dialog and interesting points. The Blue Gardenia actually means at least four things in the movie: the murderess's newspaper's title, the name of the night club where Burr and Baxter go that fatal evening, a hit" song by Nat King Cole(who sings it in person at the club), and lastly as the flower of the night club sold by a blind woman. The film was directed by Fritz Lang and though effective in many ways - not up to what one might expect from that legendary director. Lang has some marvelous scenes. Two particularly jump out when Nora was at Burr's apartment and then when Baxter starts to feel pressure from all over - over her possible guilt. Lang manages to bring some real angst to these scenes, but more often than not - much of the film seems pedestrian by his standards. Nonetheless, The Blue Gardenia is entertaining. Baxter, Burr, Richard Conte as the newspaperman, George Reeves as a cop, and Ann Sothern all do good jobs acting and bringing their characters some depth. The ending is decidedly weak as some solution to the film's problems comes way too readily and unconvincingly ala deus ex machina.


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