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Blue Gardenia, The (1953)
Starring: Anne Baxter, Raymond Burr, Nat "King" Cole, Richard Conte, George Reeves, Ann Sothern
Director: Fritz Lang
Category: Suspense / Thriller, Classic
Studio: Image Ent.
88 mins



"A particularly venomous picture of American life."- Peter Bogdanovich, Director

Classic Hollywood film noir with a feminine twist, The Blue Gardenia stars Anne Baxter (All About Eve) as Norah Larkin, a working girl who wakes up a murderess after passing out in the apartment of brutish playboy Harry Prebble (Raymond Burr).Branded The Blue Gardenia by a sensational columnist (Richard Conte), Norah dodges dragnets, informants and the cruel hand of fate as she struggles to conceal her involvement with Prebble and to remember the details of her ill fated night.As her hopes for justice fade, she decides to gamble her future on the journalist who transformed her into such a notorious public figure.

The first of Lang's "newspaper noir" trio (with While the City Sleeps and Beyond a Reasonable Doubt) The Blue Gardenia is a scalding critique of the public's hunger for bloodshed and scandal.At the same time, it captures the panic of a nation sliding into cold war paranoia."It was the first picture after the McCarthy business," Lang later said."Maybe that's what made me so venomous."

Enhancing the melancholy mood of the film is the haunting theme song arranged by Nelson Riddle and performed to perfection by Nat "King" Cole.