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October 14, 2013


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John M

I wish I could watch "The Blue Dahlia" right now.


This is probably the best showcase Veronica ever had, This Gun for Hire is a close second, she is at all times seductive, alluring, humorous and seems to carry a gossamer glow with her wherever she goes. A pity she didn't have a chance to do more good comedies during her brief heyday since she was so adept at them.

While all the players are excellent the two who make the picture great are the leads. They are a beguiling pair seemingly completely swept away with their adoration of each other. Their chemistry is delightful which is extraordinary since behind the scenes they openly loathed each other. Veronica was a complicated woman burdened with extreme psychological problems which led her to have a prickly personality and causing her to often have conflicts with both actors and crews. However in this case she was probably justified. March although a great actor was a notorious hot pants putting the make on anything that moved, when she rebuffed him he spent the remainder of the film treating her like dirt under his talented feet. She struck back by various methods probably the best being placing weights under her dress during a scene where he had to carry her repeatedly. Be that as it may both were too professional to allow their animosity to show on screen.

As captivating as Veronica is I have to say the supporting cast each add a special touch to the film. Benchley is a scream as March's increasingly befuddled best friend while Elizabeth Patterson does the flustered housekeeper that she did so well. Cecil Kellaway manages to make his basically cruel character seem more impish than mean by the jaunty air he brings to the part. Then there's Susan Hayward, in a role that really moved her forward and one that she attacks with great relish, the beauty who would be a prize where she not a total shrew.

So glad Criterion takes these special films in hand, along with the recent release of The Uninvited they have really been bringing out the treats of late.

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