another log on the fire

The Blue Dahlia isn’t terrible but it is disappointing—it’s got Raymond Chandler’s only produced original screenplay, a great cast, and a couple of sterling fistfights, but what starts out like a killer noir winds up a pedestrian whodunnit. The weird thing is that the back of the DVD case contains a little box with big bold letters reading “A MUST-HAVE MOVIE – HAROLD J. STONE’S FIRST FILM”, which made me think “Wow, Harold J. Stone. I don’t think I care even one little bit”.

Harold J. Stone

Then, when I was checking the running time at IMDb, this piece of trivia caught my eye:

Some sources erroneously include Harold J. Stone in an undetermined, uncredited minor role; Stone does not appear in this film in any capacity. At the time it was filmed (in Hollywood), he was in New York City appearing on the stage in a prominent role in “A Bell for Adano” (1944-1945).

I find this mystifying. Somebody actually studied Harold J. Stone’s movements enough to know where he was when a particular movie he wasn’t even in was being shot, and then took the trouble to correct this pesky rumor which no doubt comes up every time the man’s name is mentioned. As it is, Harold J. Stone’s mother could’ve pulled her dress up over her head in The Blue Dahlia and it wouldn’t have interested me. The film does have some interesting trivia associated with it, though, and I’d recommend it just for Howard Da Silva, playing yet another one of his silky, sleazy killers. That man was brilliant, and the blacklist cut him down in his prime.

Not Harold J. Stone

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