Screenwriter/Noir Novelist David Goodis Film "The Unfaithful" References Real Time 1940s L.A. Lone Woman Murders

Los Angeles
January 14, 2016

Tomorrow marks the 69th anniversary of the murder of Elizabeth “Black Dahlia” Short.  Rest in Peace, dahlia flower007

Below photo sent to me this afternoon (1.15.16) by a Los Feliz District resident who received it in his email. Unknown person posted a large photograph of victim on front entrance wall of Sowden/Franklin House, obviously in memory of Elizabeth Short.


ES photo Sowden House jan 15 2016


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Photo posted by unknown person(s)on front entrance to Sowden House on 69th anniversary of murder.


Noir Novelist David Goodis and “The Unfaithful” (1947)

Received an email this morning from Kenneth Green, who in watching the 1947 noir film, “The Unfaithful” caught screenwriter David Goodis’ direct and real time reference to the then frequent serial killings in Los Angeles. Thanks and good job Ken!

Kenneth Green writes:

“Hi, Steve. I was watching an old film on TCM, The Unfaithful (1947), starring Ann Sheridan, Zachary Scott, and Eve Arden. I saw it back in the early 90s at a revival house. It’s very post-War and has many L.A. location shots including the Angel’s Flight railway. Eve Arden has a line where she says, “Every day you open the papers, and there’s a dead body in a weed-covered lot.”

In my 2014 NOIRCON powerpoint presentation in Philadelphia, knowing the love the attendees have for their native-born son, David Goodis,  I included the below slide referencing the quote in the film.











Noir novelist/screenwriter, David Goodis adapted the movie as a remake from The Letter (1940) starring Bette Davis and Herbert Marshall. The 1940 film directed by William Wyler was based on the original 1927 play written by W. Somerset Maugham.

Below is actress Eve Arden’s 1947 voice clip from The Unfaithful that captures in real time (film released on June 5, 1947, just three months after the Black Dahlia and Red Lipstick murders) the fact that Angelenos are then terrified because of the newspaper accounts of finding so many bodies on a  “weed-covered lot.” Eve Arden concludes her monologue (as only “Our Miss Brooks” can)  the fact that the mean streets of Los Angeles are so dangerous  that “parents are going to start buying their daughters brass knuckles instead of a wrist-watch for graduation.”

Eve Arden voice clip from “The Unfaithful”

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