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With: Anne Baxter, Richard Conte, Ann Sothern, Raymond Burr, Jeff Donnell, Richard Erdman, George Reeves, Ruth Storey, Ray Walker, Nat 'King' Cole
Written by: Charles Hoffman, based on a story by Vera Caspary
Directed by: Fritz Lang
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 88
Date: 03/23/1953

The Blue Gardenia (1953)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Flower Power

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Made the same year as The Big Heat, Fritz Lang's lesser-known The Blue Gardenia plays just as well. Anne Baxter plays a telephone operator whose boyfriend is off fighting the Korean War. When she finds out that he's dumped her for someone nearer to him, she goes out on a bender and goes home with playboy artist Raymond Burr. Unfortunately, Burr ends up dead and she's the prime suspect. A hotshot newspaper columnist tries to help her out and winds up falling in love with her. One of the film's best touches has Baxter's roommate salivating over the latest dime-store crime novels while Baxter is secretly on the lam from the law. Nat 'King' Cole sings the title song, which became an enduring classic performed by many others (Dinah Washington, Etta James, etc.).

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