Would you like an invitation to our beta?
|Josh Hartnett||Dwight 'Bucky' Bleichert|
|Scarlett Johansson||Kay Lake|
|Aaron Eckhart||Lee Blanchard|
|Hilary Swank||Madeleine Linscott|
|Mia Kirshner||Elizabeth Short|
|Mike Starr||Det. Russ Millard|
|Fiona Shaw||Ramona Linscott|
|Patrick Fischler||Deputy DA Ellis Loew|
|James Otis||Dolph Bleichert|
|John Kavanagh||Emmett Linscott|
|Troy Evans||Chief Ted Green|
|Anthony Russell||Morrie Friedman|
|Pepe Serna||Tomas Dos Santos|
|Angus MacInnes||Capt. John Tierney (as Angus MacInnis)|
|Rachel Miner||Martha Linscott|
|Kevin Dunn||Elizabeth Short's Father (uncredited)|
|Richard Brake||Bobby DeWitt|
|Rose McGowan||Sheryl Saddon|
|K.D. Lang||Lesbian Bar Singer (uncredited)|
|Jemima Rooper||Lorna Mertz|
|Gregg Henry||Pete Lukins|
|Victor McGuire||Sgt. Bill Koenig|
"Inspired by the most notorious unsolved murder in California history."
In Los Angeles, California, on January 15, 1947, police officers Dwight 'Bucky' Bleichert (Josh Hartnett) and Lee Blanchard (Aaron Eckhart), investigate the murder of Elizabeth Short (Mia Kirshner). As he is investigating, Bucky learns that Elizabeth was an aspiring actress, although she had not had any big breaks in her career. However, Elizabeth had become desperate for money and was paid to make a "stag" film with a friend of hers, Lorna Mertz. Through questioning a former roommate of Elizabeth, Bucky is told that Elizabeth liked to hang out with "sisters" or lesbians. He goes to a lesbian nightclub and meets a woman, Madeleine Linscott (Hilary Swank), who looks like Elizabeth. She tells him that she knew Elizabeth well, but because she is from a prominent family, she insists that her name be kept out the papers. In exchange for his silence, she promises him sexual favors and the two sleep together. Through his own investigation of the murder, Lee becomes obsessed with the case and trying to track the killer. His obsession leads him to become erratic and slightly abusive towards his longtime girlfriend Katherine 'Kay' Lake (Scarlett Johansson), who is also Bucky's close friend.
Through Bucky's relations with Madeleine, he meets her father, Emmett Linscott, her mother, Ramona, who is addicted to prescription medication, and her sister, Martha. A few days later, after having an argument with Lee about an old case, Lee and Bucky have a fight and Bucky leaves. He later goes to Kay and Lee's home looking for Lee, only to find him gone. He questions Kay as to where Lee is and she confesses that there was a tip about a drug deal involving a recently released convict, Bobby DeWitt, that Lee had helped send to jail. Bucky goes to the location of the drug deal, and is involved in an altercation with Bobby DeWitt on the main stairs in the atrium of the building. DeWitt gets away, and Bucky chases him up the stairs, only to find DeWitt shot to death. Bucky looks up to see that it was Lee, standing on the stairs across the lobby, who had murdered Bobby. Bucky sees a shadowed figure holding a rope sneak up behind Lee, and Bucky calls out to warn him. However, the shadowed man is able to wrap his rope around Lee's neck. Lee fights back until he and his attacker are both backed up against the railing of the stairs. Bucky is in shock and is unable to help Lee. As Lee continues to struggle, another shadowed figure walks up to Lee and the man with the rope and slits Lee's neck, causing the men to fall over the railing and onto a fountain several floors below, leading to the death of both. While dealing with the grief of losing Lee, Kay and Bucky sleep together and begin dating.
Bucky is still intent on solving Elizabeth's murder, along with Lee's, and his search for answers leads him to an old housing site that Madeleine's father helped build. In one of the houses, Bucky sees the set that was used to film the pornographic movie that Elizabeth was in. Bucky also finds a barn on the property, which is below the Hollywoodland sign and a drawing of a man with a Glasgow smile drawn on the wall with blood. It is also the picture that Madeleine has in her parents' house. The same smile that was carved into Elizabeth's face during her murder.
Bucky then accuses Madeleine's father Emmett (John Kavanagh) and Madeleine of murdering Elizabeth. However, Madeleine's mother Ramona (Fiona Shaw) reveals that she was the one to kill Elizabeth, one of the reasons being that she looked so much like her Madeleine. A few moments after her confession, Ramona kills herself in front of Bucky, Madeleine, and Emmett. A few days later, Bucky goes to the Linscott's house again, and after speaking with Madeleine's sister, he discovers that it was Madeleine who had murdered Lee, as Lee was trying to blackmail her father, as he was desperate for money. Bucky finds Madeleine at a motel, and although she insists that he won't shoot her because he would rather have sex with her, he tells her she is wrong and shoots her dead.
Bucky later goes to Kay's house, and when she opens the door he sees a crow cawing by Elizabeth's body on the front lawn, then realizes that it was only a hallucination. Kay tells him to come in and closes the door as the film ends.
Theatrical : 2006-09-15 : United States of America