The Black Dahlia

Synopsis: In 1946, the former boxers Dwight "Bucky" Bleichert and Lee Blanchard are policemen in Los Angeles. Lee has a good relationship with his chief and uses a box fight between them to promote the department and get a raise to the police force. They succeed and are promoted to homicide detectives, working together. Bucky becomes a close friend of Lee and his girlfriend Kay Lake, forming a triangle of love. When the corpse of the aspirant actress 'Elizabeth Short (I)' is found mutilated, Lee becomes obsessed to solve the case called by the press Black Dahlia. Meanwhile, Bucky's investigation leads him to a Madeleine Linscott, the daughter of a powerful and wealthy constructor that resembles the Black Dahlia. In an environment of corruption and lies, Bucky discloses hidden truths.
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
Director(s): Brian De Palma
Production: Universal Pictures
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 12 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
121 min

Mr. Fire versus Mr. Ice.

For everything people were

making it out to be

you'd think

it was our first fight.

It wasn't.

And it wouldn't be our last.

And, in local news,

violence between servicemen and

zoot-suiters reached a new level tonight

after the wives of two sailors

were criminally attacked.

An order listing Los Angeles

as a restricted area

has not deterred the fighting,

but the Los Angeles Police

Department assures the public

that it has the situation

completely under control.

Hey, sawbuck on the private

chasing that skinny one over there!

Come on, private!

Come on, private!

That spic's quick!

Jesus Christ!

Double or nothing on that greaser! You're on!


I already knew him

by reputation,

record down pat.

A regular attraction at the

Hollywood Legion Stadium.

Lee Blanchard.



And he knew me,

Dwight "Bucky" Bleichert.

Light heavy,

by Ring Magazine.

Fighting no-name opponents

in a no-man's-land division.

Get out of here!

Hey, get back there.

In our first year

at Central Division Station

we never spoke.

To the Halls of Tripoli,


Who's this?

Officer Bleichert,

meet Seor Tomas Dos Santos.

You came all the way down

here just to roust some Class B felon?

Came down here, same as you,

to keep from getting killed.

Happened to see some jarheads

beating on a good collar.

I'll take him in the morning.

This is nuts.

We'll never get him

booked tonight.

That's a nice left hook

you got.


Well, you know, old habits.


My girlfriend saw you fight a

couple of times over at the Olympic.

Said you were good.

Said you were somebody.

Big fish, small pond.

Never made it up to the

big boys' division like you.

My first 20 fights

were stumblebums

handpicked by my manager.

Lucky to survive.

There's a Jew-boy Deputy D.A.

over in Central Warrants,

wets his pants for fighters,

and he promised me

the next spot he can wangle.

Warrants was

local celebrity as a cop.

Warrants was chasing

real criminals

not rousting winos and wienie waggers

in front of some Midnight Mission.

Hey, Bleichert.


They want to see you upstairs.

The D.A.'s office.

Jew-boy D.A.'s

with hard-ons for fighters.

Transfers, promotions...

Officer Bleichert.

Back then,

I told myself I didn't care.

Gentlemen, Bucky Bleichert.


this is Chief Ted Green.

Nice to meet you.

Deputy District Attorney

Ellis Loew.

Read that out loud, Dwight.

That's running

in the Sunday Times.

"Before the war,

the City of Angels

"was graced

with two local fighters,

"pugilists with styles

as different as fire and ice.

"Lee Blanchard..."

Excuse me.

"Mr. Fire and Mr. Ice

never fought each other

"but duty brought them to the

Los Angeles Police Department.

"Blanchard cracked the Boulevard-Citizens

Bank robbery case in 1939

"and captured thrill-killer,

Tomas Dos Santos.

"Bleichert served with distinction

during the Zoot Suit Wars."

Jump to the end.

Right, boss.

"On Election Day, voters are going

to be asked to vote on a bond proposal

"to upgrade

the LAPD's equipment

"and provide for an 8%

pay raise for all personnel.

"Keep in mind the examples

of Mr. Fire and Mr. Ice.

"Vote 'Yes' on Proposition B."

What do you think?


Prop B's a loser right now,

but I think if we can

drum up some publicity

we can get it passed

in next month's election.

- Yes, sir.

- Fire and Ice.

Ten rounds, Academy Gym, three

weeks from now, before the election,

all gate to charity.

After that, we bring back

the boxing team.

What do you say, Bucky?

You in?

I got to get back in shape.



I'd like you to meet Kay Lake.

- Hello.

- Hello.

You beefing up?

You know.

I was just telling Kay here

about our new hobby.

Are you a fight fan,

Miss Lake?

No, Lee used to drag me.

I was taking art classes,

so I'd sketch.

She made me quit fighting

the smokers.

Didn't want me doing

the "Vegetable Shuffle."

I promise not to hurt you.

That won't make Loew

very happy.

Oh, he's got money on me?

Seems that way.

You win, you get Warrants.

What's in it for you?

Well, betting works both ways.

My girl's got a taste

for nice things

and I can't afford to

let her down.

Right, babe?

Keep talking about me

in third person.

It sends me.

What do you think of all this,

Miss Lake?

Well, for civic reasons, I hope the LAPD

is ridiculed for perpetrating this farce.

For personal reasons,

I hope Lee wins.

And, for aesthetic reasons, I hope you

both look good with your shirts off.


Guten Tag, Dwight.

English, Papa.

Hey, you haven't finished

this plane yet.

Can you finish that?

Here, sit down.

If you could just come by

and clean the place up,

keep an eye on him

for a week or so.

I know I still owe you.

Guess what I hear is right.

You'll want to place this

with Mickey Cohen's indie.

He's got Blanchard, 2-1.

That confident, huh?

You done your homework?

Yeah. I've done my homework.

I'm not betting on me, Pete.

Blanchard's the hero here.

That's the way

the story's supposed to go.

I'm just the other guy.

Well, at least he looks good

with his shirt off.

Where's your sketchpad?

I was never any good.

Ended up with a Master's

in History.


an expensive habit.

Lee paid for it.

He shouldn't have

quit fighting.

I asked him to.

Besides, police work

gives him a sense of order.

Do you have a girlfriend,


I'm saving myself

for Rita Hayworth.

So he quits fighting for

you, puts you through school.

Quite a guy. Quite a pair.

Why aren't you married?

You know, shacking's against

regs. Probably cost him a stripe.

So where's the diamonds

and the bassinets, huh?

Well, you'd have to sleep

together for that, Dwight.

The gym was packed

to the rafters.

A wild crowd hungry

to see what was in us.

I already knew what was in us.

Ambition, pride,

dissatisfaction at a life

turned just the wrong way.

Luck, Dwight.

Come on.

Keep it clean!

I feel it's my duty

as a friend to tell you this,

make it look good.







I lost a lot of things

in life...


...but never

a fight for money.


I was trading Warrants for

a close-out on old bad debts.

The eight grand

I was going to clear

was enough

to maintain the old man

in a good, clean rest home

for three years.

The late-round tank job,

enough to convince myself

I wasn't a complete coward.


Finish the fight!

Where's that hook?

You're out!

Give me a smile.

It's nice, isn't it, Papa?

What do you think?

Hey! Canvasback!


You going to hide in there

another week?

Ain't you bored yet?

Nice chompers.

So, you want to work Warrants?

I lost.

What about Loew's deal?

Don't you read the papers?

The bond passed yesterday.

You want the job?

Atta boy, Mr. Ice.


Show them what's

under the lip, boss.

Right over here.

Officer Bleichert,

the men of Central D*cks.

Homicide, Ad Vice, Bunco, et

cetera. I'm Captain John Tierney.

Rate this script:0.0 / 0 votes

Josh Friedman

Josh Friedman (born 1967) is an American screenwriter best known as writer of the TV series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and the 2005 film adaptation of H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds. Friedman also publishes the blog "I Find Your Lack of Faith Disturbing". After being offered an opportunity to work on a script titled Snakes on a Plane, Friedman posted a blog entry that sparked interest in the film on the Internet before the movie entered production. The same entry introduced a profane line that was added to the film when the cast reconvened in March 2006 to shoot additional footage. On August 1, 2013 he was announced as co-screenwriter of Avatar 2 with James Cameron. He is a kidney cancer survivor. more…

All Josh Friedman scripts | Josh Friedman Scripts

0 fans

Submitted on August 05, 2018

Discuss this script with the community:



    Translate and read this script in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


    "The Black Dahlia" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 24 Jul 2024. <>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!

    Watch the movie trailer

    The Black Dahlia


    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

    Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.


    Are you a screenwriting master?

    Who played the character "Indiana Jones" in "Raiders of the Lost Ark"?
    A Tom Hanks
    B Harrison Ford
    C Bruce Willis
    D Sean Connery