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The Blue Dahlia.

Chandler, Raymond. (Screenplay) Bruccoli, Matthew J. (edited with Afterword) Houseman, John. (Memoir)

ISBN 10: 0809307588 / ISBN 13: 9780809307586
Published by Southern Illinois University Press., Carbondale, 1976
Condition: Fine Hardcover
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About this Item

Fine in fine dust jacket. 1000 copies issued in hardcover. Screenplay for the film starring Alan Ladd & Veronica Lake. (O) ; 8vo 8" - 9" tall; 139 pages. Bookseller Inventory # 3113336

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Blue Dahlia.

Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press., Carbondale

Publication Date: 1976

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First Edition; First Printing.

About this title


A previously unpublished work by Raymond Chandler.



Raymond Chandler’s screenplay for The Blue Dahlia is a valuable addition to the published canon for the writer who has been called the Shakespeare of hard­boiled fiction.” Converted from a never-completed novel, this screenplay is all that survives of the novel Chandler worked on between The Lady in the Lake and The Little Sister.


In 1944 Paramount Pictures, where Chandler was under contract, needed a rush script for Alan Ladd. Chandler agreed to cannibalize his novel-in-progress, but as detailed in producer John Houseman’s memoir he became stuck and decided that he could only complete his screenplay drunk. The Blue Dahlia was completed on schedule and was well received, earning Chandler his second Academy Award nomination.


Although the writer’s screenplay is metamorphosed by other hands in the movie-making process, the screenplay as written has an independent existence, and may be read and judged as a literary work. Indeed, the movie studio archives are a valuable literary resource; and it is inevitable that many screenplays will be published as the study of movies ex­pands.


The Blue Dahlia is the story of a war hero who is suspected of having mur­dered his unfaithful wife. Although it does not involve a private-eye, the work utilizes familiar elements of Chandler’s world: the loner hero, the quest for jus­tice, the sense of a corrupt society, and above all the theme of personal honor.

About the Author:

John Houseman, the producer of The Blue Dahlia, is now head of the Drama Division of the Juilliard School of Music.


Matthew J. Bruccoli, Professor of English at the University of South Carolina, is the author of the recently published The O’Hara Concern, a biog­raphy of John O’Hara.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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