Review: Devil in a Blue Dress
Blu-ray: Devil in a Blue Dress (1995)
Devil in a Blue Dress is an odd film of sorts; a snappy whodunnit made in 1995 but based in 1948, with a largely black American cast and directed by Carl Franklin, a black director. It also has to be the most colourful Noir I’ve seen!
Based on Walter Mosley’s novel of the same name, it features Denzel Washington as Ezekiel ‘Easy’ Rawlins, and Oh boy he is one fine looking man.
This part was made for him, just on the edge of ‘a good man down on his luck’, honest yet willing to do some bad stuff because he needs to pay the rent. When it finished I wished Franklin had made a few more films about the adventures of Easy and his trigger happy Psycho mate (Don Cheadle) Mouse.
The cast is excellent, the story is simple and effective despite it covering racism and child sexual abuse, and it just has this zingy vibe of a cool noir LA where black people live (and aren’t invisible).
A hugely enjoyable film, accompanied by an equally enjoyable commentary track amongst the special features too.
INDICATOR LIMITED EDITION BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES:
- 2K restoration
- Original 5.1 surround sound and stereo audio tracks
- Audio commentary with writer and director Carl Franklin (1999)
- Dancing with the Devil (2018, 23 mins): archival interview with Franklin, conducted by the Film Noir Foundation’s Eddie Muller at a screening of Devil in a Blue Dress
- Don Cheadle Screen Test (1994, 15 mins): videotape footage of the actor auditioning for the role of Mouse, with introduction by Franklin
- Original theatrical trailer
- Image gallery: promotional and publicity materials
- New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
- Limited edition exclusive 36-page booklet with a new essay by Keith M Harris, an archival interview with Carl Franklin from Positif magazine, an extract from Walter Mosley’s novel, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and film credits
- UK premiere on Blu-ray
- Limited edition of 3,000 copies
- All extras subject to change
Review by Tina from a disc kindly supplied by Powerhouse Films.