Carl Franklin's Devil in A Blue Dress traverses the noir narrative structure with tactical precision, showing a great understanding of the genre while it delivers a stunning portrait of post-WWII Los Angeles rarely seen in mainstream cinema, one in which segregation was rampant and the increasing African American populace, driven by the second great migration, threatened and disrupted the political power structures of the city. It's pretty remarkable how this film pre-dates L.A. Confidential, is more potent and nuanced thematically, and yet it's by-and-large completely forgotten from the collective consciousness. Features a panoply of African American character actors to admire as well as great performances by Denzel Washington and Don Cheadle, the later being a characterization which particularly stood out to me. A character which is effectively a bulldog of aggression, hardened by his oppressors to a point of sheer tragedy, his internalized pain manifesting into outer aggression. A rich work that has a lot admire
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