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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "The Blue Gardenia (1953) ... Fritz Lang ... WB/Image (2000)"
Warner Bros. Pictures and Image Entertainment presents "THE BLUE GARDENIA" (1953) (90 min/B&W) (Fully Restored/Dolby Digitally Remastered) -- After learning that her boyfriend, a GI in Korea, has found someone else, Norah Larkin impulsively agrees to meet womanizer Harry Prebble for dinner --- Norah allows herself to get drunk and accept Prebble's invitation to his...
Published on 20 Dec 2010 by J. Lovins

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lang's weakest noir
The Blue Gardenia is a rather disappointing noir from Fritz Lang, and easily the weakest of his tabloid trilogy (Gardenia, Beyond a Reasonable Doubt and the superb While the City Sleeps). It lacks the guts to really go for the jugular and the set-up is pure production line stuff - watchable but forgettable, with Raymond Burr's seduction technique leaving the only lasting...
Published on 6 Mar 2009 by Trevor Willsmer


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lang's weakest noir, 6 Mar 2009
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
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The Blue Gardenia is a rather disappointing noir from Fritz Lang, and easily the weakest of his tabloid trilogy (Gardenia, Beyond a Reasonable Doubt and the superb While the City Sleeps). It lacks the guts to really go for the jugular and the set-up is pure production line stuff - watchable but forgettable, with Raymond Burr's seduction technique leaving the only lasting impression. It's hard to get excited by the DVD either - no extras and an acceptable but far from outstanding transfer.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "The Blue Gardenia (1953) ... Fritz Lang ... WB/Image (2000)", 20 Dec 2010
By 
J. Lovins "Mr. Jim" (Missouri-USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Blue Gardenia [DVD] [1953] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Warner Bros. Pictures and Image Entertainment presents "THE BLUE GARDENIA" (1953) (90 min/B&W) (Fully Restored/Dolby Digitally Remastered) -- After learning that her boyfriend, a GI in Korea, has found someone else, Norah Larkin impulsively agrees to meet womanizer Harry Prebble for dinner --- Norah allows herself to get drunk and accept Prebble's invitation to his apartment --- When he tries to force himself on her, she hits him with a poker --- Unfortunately, Prebble is found dead the next morning, and Norah, not even remembering how she got home, thinks that she killed him --- Meanwhile, newspaperman Casey Mayo, looking for an angle, invites the "Blue Gardenia Murderess" to turn herself in to him.

Excellent noir from Fritz Lang, with a stand-out performance from Raymond Burr.

Under the production staff of:
Fritz Lang [Director]
Charles Hoffman [Screenwriter]
Vera Caspary [Story]
Alex Gottlieb [Producer]
Raoul Kraushaar [Original Film Score]
Nicholas Musuraca [Cinematographer]
Edward Mann [Film Editor]

BIOS:
1. Fritz Lang [Friedrich Christian Anton Lang] [Director]
Date of Birth: 5 December 1890 - Vienna, Austria-Hungary [now Austria]
Date of Death: 2 August 1976 - Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California

2. Anne Baxter
Date of Birth: 7 May 1923 - Michigan City, Indiana
Date of Death: 12 December 1985 - New York City, New York

3. Richard Conte [aka: Richard Nicholas Peter Conte]
Date of Birth: 24 March 1910 - Jersey City, New Jersey
Date of Death: 15 April 1975 - Los Angeles, California

4. Ann Sothern [aka: Harriette Arlene Lake]
Date of Birth: 22 January 1909 - Valley City, North Dakota
Date of Death: 15 March 2001 - Ketchum, Idaho

5. Raymond Burr [aka: Raymond William Stacy Burr]
Date of Birth: 21 May 1917 - New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada
Date of Death: 12 September 1993 - Sonoma, California

the cast includes:
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 ... Rose Miller
Ray Walker ... Homer
Nat 'King' Cole ... Himself

Mr. Jim's Ratings:
Quality of Picture & Sound: 4 Stars
Performance: 4 Stars
Story & Screenplay: 4 Stars
Overall: 4 Stars [Original Music, Cinematography & Film Editing]

Total Time: 90 min on DVD ~ Image Entertainment ~ (04/11/2000)
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, 14 Mar 2009
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Harry Prebble (Raymund Burr) is an artist who is a sleaze with women.
He is making his way through a group of switch board operators when one
evening he is murdered by a mystery female. The police are gradually
uncovering clues, eg, a blue gardenia (also the name of the club where
he was last seen with a mystery blonde), a pair of shoes, and a blind
woman remembers the sound of a black taffeta dress. Norah (Anne
Baxter), Crystal (Ann Sothern) and Sally (Jeff Donnell) are room-mates
who are following the case with interest. One evening it dawns on
Crystal that Norah is the person that the police are hunting....Norah
makes a deal with a reporter Casey Mayo (Richard Conte) in return for
protection in the up-coming case. However, it backfires but Casey takes
the Police Captain (George Reeves) to investigate one last line of
enquiry.....

The film is a mystery that gradually unfolds even though we know who
the presumed guilty party is from the outset. Unfortunately, Anne
Baxter is a little OTT in some of her reactions, and I found her annoying at times. Ann Sothern does well as does Raymund Burr and I enjoyed the film. The ending is what I had hoped for.....
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1.0 out of 5 stars Anne Baxter and Richard Conte, 7 Aug 2014
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This films lacks credibility despite the fine cast. I think I would have preferred it if Anne Baxter had killed Raymond Burr in self-defence. Bringing in a third party towards the end of the film to justify that Baxter did not commit the murder is silly.

43-year old Richard Conte is wasted in this film and has to be subservient to a 39-year old George Reeves who is on the rise as Superman on television.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fritz Lang, Anne Baxter, a fireplace poker and a blue gardenia...plus a cost-of-living lesson, 13 July 2008
By 
C. O. DeRiemer (San Antonio, Texas, USA) - See all my reviews
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Fritz Lang's The Blue Gardenia is not just a minor noir, it's a minor film. The story is so simple and linear, and the final revelation so ordinary, that it's difficult to get much involved. Except...and that's because Lang has put together the movie so professionally and with such craftsman-like assurance that it's difficult not to stick with it. The Blue Gardenia keeps moving and we keep watching.

Norah Larkin (Ann Baxter) is a telephone switchboard operator at West-Coast Telephone Company in Los Angeles. She rooms with her two best friends, also operators. There's Crystal Carpenter (Ann Southern), a wisecracking, sympathetic lady who always has a cigarette in her mouth, and Sally Ellis (Jeff Donnell), a friendly, mystery-reading young woman who could use a date now and then. Norah's fiancée, a man she loves dearly and to whom she is faithful, is a soldier in Korea. On her birthday she opens a letter from him, a letter she has been saving for a special moment. Turns out it's a "Dear Norah" letter and he tells her he's decided to marry someone else. Norah's world crashes around her. When successful painter of calendar girls and major lecher Harry Prebble calls (he had discovered Crystal's number), Norah impulsively pretends to be Crystal and accepts Harry's invitation to dinner. All she has to do is take a taxi to The Blue Gardenia.

When she arrives, Harry already has things well in hand. "Chinese peas," he tells the waiter before she arrives, "fried rice and Lobster Cantonese. Well, that's the dinner. The drinks...Polynesian Pearldivers...and don't spare the rum." While Norah is grateful not to be alone, Harry keeps ordering those Pearldivers and Nat Cole at the piano croons...
"Blue gardenia...now I'm alone with you
and I am also blue...
she has tossed us aside.
And like you, blue gardenia, once I was near her heart...
...love bloomed like a flower...
then the petals fell...
Blue gardenia...thrown to a passing breeze...
but pressed in my book of memories..."

Soon Norah is considerably more than tipsy and she's at Harry's apartment. He puts on a record of "Blue Gardenia," turns down the lights and starts getting way too physical. Norah is so woozy she can hardly see, but she finds a fireplace poker in her hand, swings and shatters a big mirror. She swings again, hits Harry and passes out. When she comes to she runs from Harry's apartment, makes her way home in the rain and can't remember much except the dinner. Then the newspaper headlines scream that Harry Prebble has been murdered. Hot on the case are the cops and Casey Mayo (Richard Conte), ace reporter on the Los Angeles Chronicle, "the peoples' favorite columnist." He's determined to find the woman who killed Prebble before the police do. Among the clues, a crushed blue gardenia at Harry's place, bought for the mysterious woman by Harry at The Blue Gardenia. Said the elderly, blind flower seller when she came to Prebble's table, "Good evening, sir. Would you like a blue gardenia for the lady? It's a specialty of the house. Aren't they pretty...?"

Will Norah be caught? Will Casey find love? Will Crystal make wry observations? Will the real killer turn out to be interesting, unexpected, startling? Well, no the last question.

This is Anne Baxter's movie. For me, that's more a drawback than an advantage. She was 29 when she made The Blue Gardenia but seems older. Baxter too often carried around with her an aura of well-bred graciousness. She spoke (and acted) with a carefully modulated voice. In The Blue Gardenia she gives the impression of one of those wealthy young matrons who live in the most exclusive of neighborhoods, not a young telephone operator with limited experience, natural warmth and real vulnerability. Baxter's great weakness as an actress, in my opinion, was too often appearing so earnest that the acting could be detected. This made her perfect as Eve Harrington in All About Eve [1950]. When she could tone it down, she could be most appealing, as in Yellow Sky [1948].

In addition to the pleasure of Fritz Lang's craftsmanship, Richard Conte was an intriguing actor, Ann Southern is a joy even if she's playing an Ann Southern character; Richard Erdman as Casey Mayo's photographer adds his fine ability to read a line and be both likable and wry; Jeff Donnell, now forgotten, always made an appealing best friend in so many movies; and Raymond Burr, considerably slimmer than in his Perry Mason years, makes a memorable and sleazy Harry Prebble.

We even learn a little about the cost of living in Los Angeles in the early Fifties. Casey has met Norah in a diner. She wants to trust his offer of help, but she knows he's a newspaperman. Casey isn't quite sure if Norah is the Blue Gardenia murderer. They eat and they talk, but then it's time to leave. "How much do I owe you," Casey asks the counterman.

We listen enviously to the reply. "Two hamburgers and five coffees...three for you and two for the lady. That's $1.40, Mr. Mayo."

The DVD transfer looks fine. There are no extras and the movie starts as soon as you slip it in the player. If you hit "menu" the chapter stops will appear.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Blue Gardenia film DVD, 30 May 2011
By 
Dr. H. A. Jones "Howard Jones" (Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
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The Blue Gardenia: b&w, 1953, running time 88 min.

This is the story of telephone operator Nora Larkin (Anne Baxter), who is rejected by her paramour who is in Korea with the army. After the letdown, she goes on a date with her boss, Harry Prebble (Raymond Burr) who gets her drunk in order to take advantage of her. As a sideline from managing the telephone exchange he gets operators to pose for him as an artist. Larkin is accused of killing Prebble in defending her honour. Enter columnist Casey Mayo (Richard Conte) who, in order to get a story, convinces Larkin to confess all. But all is not as it seems and there are still a couple of surprises in store before the end. Nat `King' Cole makes a welcome live appearance as the lounge singer/pianist of The Blue Gardenia nightclub, singing the title song (accompanied by the ever-reliable but discreetly invisible Nelson Riddle orchestra) and we get to hear the tune twice more on disc. This is quite an entertaining film noire, which was directed by Fritz Lang.
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Blue Gardenia [DVD] [1953] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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