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Murder, My Sweet (1944)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  9 December 1944 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 7,621 users  
Reviews: 100 user | 55 critic

After being hired to find an ex-con's former girlfriend, Philip Marlowe is drawn into a deeply complex web of mystery and deceit.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Douglas Walton ...
Donald Douglas ...
Police Lieutenant Randall (as Don Douglas)
Ralf Harolde ...
Esther Howard ...
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Storyline

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 <mrt@oasis.icl.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A Sensational Triumph for the NEW Dick Powell See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 December 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Farewell, My Lovely  »

Box Office

Budget:

$400,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

RKO was on the verge of bankruptcy when it signed up aging matinée idol Dick Powell to make a series of musicals. Powell only signed under the proviso that he could play a straight dramatic role first, so he was cast as Philip Marlowe. Attached director Edward Dmytryk was initially horrified at this casting decision. See more »

Goofs

When Marriott is in Marlowe's office, the word "Marlowe" from the window is projected across his chest. However, the window blind is drawn down to cover that part of the lettering in the window. See more »

Quotes

Philip Marlowe: She had more than a figure too. Not a beautiful face, but a good face. She had a face like a Sunday School picnic. You have any idea what kind of face that is, Nulty?
Detective Nulty: I wouldn't know.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Diamond's Edge (1988) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

"I Don't Know Which Side Anybody's On!"
30 December 2001 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

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"!


57 of 69 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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