This, the second adaptation of Raymond Chandler's novel, is much closer to the source text than the original - Murder, My Sweet (1944), which tended to avoid some of the sleazier parts of ... See full summary »
A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.
This adaptation of the Raymond Chandler novel 'Farewell, My Lovely', renamed for the American market to prevent filmgoers mistaking it for a musical (for which Powell was already famous) has private eye Philip Marlowe hired by Moose Malloy, a petty crook just out of prison after a seven year stretch, to look for his former girlfriend, Velma, who has not been seen for the last six years. The case is tougher than Marlowe expected as his initially promising enquiries lead to a complex web of deceit involving bribery, perjury and theft, and where no one's motivation is obvious, least of all Marlowe's. Written by
Mark Thompson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Lindsay Marriott's car (driven to the jewelry rendezvous by Marlowe) is an Isotta Franchini 8A Spinto variant. This expensive Italian make was typically sold as a chassis with the owner selecting a custom body by a selected coach builder. The car used here is highly unusual (a 4-place convertible, split windshield, the original right hand drive was retained and features parade doors). Although the year is unknown it is likely a 1932. It featured a straight 8-cylinder engine and 4-wheel brakes. See more »
At the end of the movie, when only Marlowe and Velma are in the living room, talking, and Marlowe is walking around the couch, when he is between the couch and fireplace, the large shadow of a boom mic appears over the fireplace. It starts at the upper left and goes to center left. This is easily visible even in non-letterbox viewings. See more »
He died in 1940, in the middle of a glass of beer. His wife Jessie finished it for him.
See more »
Private dick Phil Marlowe is hired by a "paltry, foppish man" to accompany him on a midnight assignation. What follows is a glorious piece of Chandleriana, a ganglion of a plot involving a jade necklace, a jailbird who carries a torch for a showgirl, a "big-league blonde" with a rich old husband and an eye for private eyes, and more narrative twists and turns than a Restoration comedy on acid.
Will Moose be reunited with Velma? Who's the brunette in the gulch? What is Anthor's precise relationship with Marriott? How many more times can Marlowe get slugged from behind without having his skull disintegrate?
Golden tenor Dick Powell may not be the obvious choice to play Marlowe, but in fact he turns in THE definitive performance. Chandler once defined the ideal hero in one of his essays as a special man, but at the same time a man of the people. Not amazingly bright, subject to bouts of confusion and wrong-headed wilfulness, but for all that a tough, decent, dry-humoured guy who just happens to be as sexy as hell. Powell delivers.
Watch out for a remarkable dream sequence after Marlowe is forcibly injected with heroin (yes, heroin). Expressionist cinema was never as evocative as here!
All in all, the film is an example of a genre captured at its apex - "like lighting a stick of dynamite, and telling it not to go off"!
56 of 68 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?