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According to a September 1952 Hollywood Reporter news item, Alex Gottlieb, who produced The Blue Gardenia, bought the property from producer Howard Welsch and planned to release it independently. Although their appearances in the completed picture have not been confirmed, December 1952 Hollywood Reporter news items add Victor Sen Yung, Charles Victor and Ron Kennedy to the cast, and a December 1952 Hollywood Reporter news item adds Bo Ling, Esther Lee and Shirley Lew as telephone operators. According to a December 1952 Hollywood Reporter news item, actress Anne Baxter, who played "Norah Larkin," suffered a torn ligament while filming the fight scene with Raymond Burr. Ruth Storey, who played "Rose," was the real-life wife of Richard Conte.
The Blue Gardenia marked Sothern's return to films after a two-year absence. The Los Angeles Daily News review noted that the film's title was reminiscent of a 1947 Los Angeles murder case, in which the victim was dubbed "The Black Dahlia" by the press. However, the still officially unsolved case and the film's plot bear little similarity to each other. A Lux Radio Theatre adaptation of the film was aired on November 30, 1954, starred Dana Andrews and Ruth Roman.