AFI Movie Club: DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS – American Film Institute
Devil In A Blue Dress Film Still - Don Cheadle and Denzel Washington



DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS stars two-time Academy Award®-winning actor Denzel Washington, who was honored with the 47th AFI Life Achievement Award. The film was directed by AFI Conservatory alum Carl Franklin (Class of 1986).

Watch Issa Rae announce the film:


Movie Trivia about DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS

DID YOU KNOW that DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS was based off a novel of the same name by Walter Mosley?

DID YOU KNOW that a movie theater marquee that Easy (Denzel Washington) passes is advertising THE BETRAYAL by director Oscar Micheaux? Micheaux was the first African American filmmaker to make a feature film. He wrote, directed and produced THE HOMESTEADER in 1919 and was called “the most prolific black – if not most prolific independent – filmmaker in American cinema” by the Producers Guild of America.  

DID YOU KNOW that DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS was the first film that Denzel Washington’s production company Mundy Lane Entertainment ever produced? 

DID YOU KNOW that director Carl Franklin (AFI Class of 1986) and star Denzel Washington reteamed for the 2003 thriller OUT OF TIME? 

-DID YOU KNOW that stars Denzel Washington and Don Cheadle would later collaborate on Robert Zemeckis’ FLIGHT in 2012? 

Learn more at the AFI Catalog.


The movie doesn’t end at the credits: Family-friendly Discussion Questions

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The film is based on Walter Mosley’s hardboiled mystery novel. What devices does Carl Franklin use to establish the film noir genre? And what other film noir pictures in cinematic history are your favorite? 

-How is 1948 Los Angeles depicted and how is the setting used almost like a character? 

-How does Carl Franklin use imagery and symbolism to explore the topic of race and racial ambiguity? 

-What compromises does Easy make throughout the film to survive?  

-What are your favorite Denzel Washington performances throughout his career? 

-The film’s title suggests that Daphne Monet is the villain of the story. Is she a sinister character, or an innocent victim of circumstance? 

-Don Cheadle delivers a breakthrough performance in the film, stealing scenes right and left. Why is his loose-cannon character of Mouse so unforgettable?  

-How would you rate DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS? 


In this exclusive AFI Archive video, Denzel Washington talks about working on the film:



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Comments (1)

Tim Gordon

Not only a bad film club choice, but not a good film, period

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