Devil in a Blue Dress (film)

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Devil in a Blue Dress is a 1995 neo-noir film, set in 1948 Los Angeles, where Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins is a World War II veteran who has been unfairly laid off from an aircraft manufacturer, Champion Aircraft. He becomes a private investigator to pay the mortgage, despite having no training.

Directed and written by Carl Franklin, based on the novel by Walter Mosley.
In a world divided by black and white, Easy Rawlins is about to cross the line. taglines


Easy Rawlins[edit]

  • [voiceover] I had moved to Los Angeles right after the war with three hundred dollars and the G.I. Bill... And I liked coming home to a place that was mine. According to President Truman I had that comin' to me 'cause I had fought in 'the good war' against Hitler in Europe. But that didn't mean a damn thing to a lotta white folks, including the foreman on my job. So, here I was out of work needin' thirty-two dollars to pay the mortgage. That was three days pay on my old job -- and I had about three days to get it.
  • [voiceover] It occurred to me that Coretta had found out a lot more about what I was up to than I had wanted her to. But I had found out that the rich man's woman had a colored boyfriend. It had cost me a sawbuck to get Coretta to give me that information. Well, let's just say somethin' had cost me ten dollars.
  • [voiceover] It was actually looking more and more like I might not make it through this little adventure I was having. But I was likin' the chill in my blood, and the freedom of working on my own. There were times in the war when I had felt like this. When life or death where the only two choices. That made it simple. And that was alright by me.
  • [voiceover] I'd been thinking about Daphne, too...wondering if she meant what she said about what could have happened between us. But at the moment I was wondering if there was any such thing as a sprained chin. But other than that and a headache, a loose tooth and a kidney that a doctor would need to look at, I felt like five thousand, three hundred dollars. And unless Albright was alive somewhere, that feelin' was gonna last a while.
  • [voiceover] It scared me to think about a world that could kill a man like DeWitt Albright. What could a world like that do to me?

Dialogue[edit]

DeWitt Albright: These big companies, don't give a damn, do they? [writes on a business card] If you need a job, drop by this address at seven tonight.
Easy Rawlins: What kind of work you do?
DeWitt Albright: I do favors... I do favors for friends. Drop by. [leaves]
Easy Rawlins: Who the hell is that, Joppy?
Joppy: Just somebody I know... A bidnessman.
Easy Rawlins: What kinda business?
Joppy: Oh, I don't ask him all that. He comes in here every so often looking for somebody to do a little job for him... He pays good.
Easy Rawlins: In other words, he's a gangster.
Joppy: I didn't say that... But if there's a dollar laying in the street I don't think he'll let a little dirt stop him from picking it up. If you worried about making that house note this month, maybe you wanna pay him a call. All them pretty girls you be with ain't gonna buy you a house. Sound like he just wants you to keep your eyes open for somebody...He'll pay you whether you see anything or not. If it was me I'd take that man's money and go on about my bidness... Ain't nothin' to worry about.
Easy Rawlins: [voiceover] When somebody tells me "Don't worry," I usually look down to see if my fly is open... I noticed Albright didn't bother to pay for his drink. DeWitt Albright reminded me of somebody I knew back in Houston. His name was Raymond Alexander but we called him Mouse... Mouse called hisself a businessman too. And I found out that I shouldn't be nowhere around when Mouse got down to his business... I learned that the hard way.

DeWitt Albright: One thing I like about working for myself...I always have a bottle on the table. You wanna drink with me? Fine. You don't? Door's right behind you. Joppy tells me you're a war hero. Said you went in with Patton.
[Easy nods]
DeWitt Albright: So, you want the job?
Easy Rawlins: Depends on what kind of job. I don't want to get mixed up in nothing.
DeWitt Albright: Walk out the door in the morning, Easy, and you're mixed up in something. Only thing that matters is if you're mixed up to the top or not.
Easy Rawlins: I mean I don't wanna get mixed up with the law...
DeWitt Albright: Neither one of us wants to get mixed up in that. That's just rich people trying to keep me and you in our place. [he laughs] I'm looking for somebody for a friend.

DeWitt Albright: [to group of kids threatening Easy] Excuse me.
Kid: What do you want?
[Albright draws his gun]
DeWitt Albright: I want to see brains. I want you to die for me.
Kid: I'm sorry, sir.
DeWitt Albright: The question is: "Are you sorry enough?"
Kid: Yessir.
DeWitt Albright: Then prove it. Show him. Get down on your knees and suck his peter.
[The kid starts crying]
Easy Rawlins: I think he got the point--
DeWitt Albright: [to the kid] You heard me.
[He presses the barrel to the boy's forehead and he goes down to his knees. The other young men look on in horror.]
DeWitt Albright: Son of a gun. You were gonna do it, weren't you?
[He hits the kid on the head with his gun]
DeWitt Albright: Sick bastard.
[He hits him again; blood flies]
DeWitt Albright: Get out of here. You call the cops, I'll kill ya!
[The kid stumbles off]
DeWitt Albright: I don't think they'd dare call the cops. [giggles] But it'll cost me a few bucks if they do.

Easy Rawlins: What you doin' in my house, man?
DeWitt Albright: I expected you to be home, so Manny used a screwdriver on the door. What happened to your face?
Easy Rawlins: You got no excuse to be breakin' into my house -- What if I broke into your place?
DeWitt Albright: [still smiling] I'd tear your nigger head out by its root.
Easy Rawlins: So what do you want?
DeWitt Albright: Where have you been this time of morning, Easy?
Easy Rawlins: I went to see a girl. Don't you get none, Mr. Albright?
DeWitt Albright: I didn't come here to play, boy. You got my money in your pocket and we've been over at that address waitin' all night for Frank Green and now we've found out that he moved from there over a year ago.
Easy Rawlins: So what do you want me to do about it? You don't think I did my job. Shit, I give you the money back.
[He reaches for his pocket, but Albright reaches too -- Albright presses the barrel of the .45 against Easy's forehead.]
DeWitt Albright: Do you believe in God, Easy? 'Cause I'm curious to see if death is any different for a religious man.

DeWitt Albright: Get me some whiskey, Easy.
Easy Rawlins: Get it yourself. Bottle's in the cabinet.
[Slowly Albright smiles]
DeWitt Albright: Well, I'll be damned. Get us a drink, Manny. Easy, you're a brave man. I need a brave man working for me. But you gotta find Frank Green, so he can lead us to her.
Easy Rawlins: No, thanks, Mr. Albright. People are gettin' killed all around me. You never said anything about all this.
DeWitt Albright: Easy, you're connectable to two murders. You'll do whatever I tell you to do. Now you got three days to find him. And you make sure you count 'em right.

Degan Odell: Ain't thinkin' 'bout no job? How you gonna live?
Easy Rawlins: I'm gonna go to work for myself. Take a little money I got saved up and go into real estate. Start fixin' up folks' gardens again...and do a few favors on the side. Favors for friends.
Degan Odell: What you talkin' 'bout, 'favors'?
Easy Rawlins: Well, like a woman offered me thirty dollars to go track down her husband for her.
Degan Odell: You talkin' about private investigatin' or somethin'. You could get in trouble doin' that.
Easy Rawlins: Like a man once said to me, Odell: 'Walk out your door in the morning and you're already in trouble'. It's just how you're mixed up in that trouble that counts. Odell?
Degan Odell: Yeah, Easy?
Easy Rawlins: If you got a friend that does bad and you still keep him as your friend, even though you know what he's like... Do you think that's right?
Degan Odell: All you got is your friends, Easy.

Taglines[edit]

  • In a world divided by black and white, Easy Rawlins is about to cross the line.
  • Private detective Easy Rawlins has been caught on the wrong side of the most dangerous secret in town.

Cast[edit]

External links[edit]

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