Well, I knew somebody would evenually post a thread about this movie so, it might as well be me.
Last Tuesday, I saw this movie at the Winnetka 21. It's amazing how much time one has while unemployed. Anyway, if you're a '40s fanatic, as I am, I think you'll like the way they pertrayed the era. The cars, clothing, etc, were right on the mark. Fortunately, they haven't torn down all the historical areas of LA and many of the old buildings that were around, are still standing. For instance, The Frolic Room, the bar where Elizabeth Short (the Black Dahlia) picked up so many men, is still there and serving drinks, as it did in 1945. Even the apartment building, where Elizabeth Short lived until she was murdered, is still standing. However, the neighborhood where her body was found, has changed considerably since 1946. It is now a neat and well-kept modern housing developement, with palm trees, etc.
The acting was very good and there were a lot of twists and turns in the plot. Even Ben "Bugsy" Siegel's name got mentioned in one or two scenes. I don't want to give away the whole story, in case some of you haven't seen the movie yet. I'll leave that to someone else.
This movie is definately an "R" rated flick and NOT suitable for children under 17. The one thing I thought unauthentic was all the fowl language in the presence of mixed company. There was a scene in which the two police detectives are interviewing a cook in a diner, who was supposedly --- well, I'd better not say --- was using the "F" word every two or three words during a sentence. I know, from talking to my parents and grandparents that this would not have been done in the presence of women and children during that time. I'm certainly not saying that people didn't use this language but, it was done only in certain situations. When my Uncle Al enlisted in the Navy to serve in the Pacific in 1942, he never heard that sort of language until he was assigned on his first ship.
Yes, there are the usual gratuitous "love scenes" in which certain areas of the anatomy are exposed, though, I'm surprised they didn't go further! There are also a couple of "same-gender" scenes, as well. The movie also has its grizzly moments that are not for the squeemish or, faint of heart.
Aside from the above, I'm disappointed that the movie basically starts when Elizabeth Short's mutilated body is found by a woman pushing a pram along the sidewalk, and this was done almost as an after-thought. I was hoping the movie would be more focused on the life of Elizabeth Short leading up to the time of her murder. But, maybe, she was just too much of a shadowy figure and, the circumstances of her murder, even more so. As it is, the movie is 90% fiction, since it is based mostly on a novel, the title and author of which escapes me (I'm having another one of those middle-age moments; darn it!). I still think the movie could have been just as suspenseful, intriguing, and action-packed, if they had stuck more to the story of the Black Dahlia, herself.
Anyway, the fore-going are my own opinions and impressions. You may feel otherwise. If and when you see "The Black Dahlia, Let us know: what are your thoughts!