A stock story and handling keep The Blue Gardenia from being anything more than a regulation mystery melodrama, from a yarn by Vera Caspary. Formula development has an occasional bright spot, mostly because Ann Sothern breathes some life into a stock character and quips.
Anne Baxter is a telephone operator who believes she committed murder when she was drinking away the tears of a broken romance. Too much rum with Raymond Burr, a licentious artist, has blacked out her memory and when she reads a newspaper account of his violent death, she naturally thinks she did it while fighting for her honor. Richard Conte, all-powerful newspaper columnist, masterminds the disclosure of her identity strictly to get an exclusive, but falls in love with her and has to uncover the real killer.
Baxter and Conte do what they can but fight a losing battle with the script while Burr is a rather obvious wolf. Nat ‘King’ Cole is spotted to sing the title tune, written by Bob Russell and Lester Lee.