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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 7,858 users  
Reviews: 102 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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Title: Murder, My Sweet (1944)

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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 night of murder the police won't let him forget! The only key to his safety... a woman's face he can't remember! 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

To protect Dick Powell in the final shoot out, when Marlowe dives for Grayle's gun only to have it go off right in front of his face, Edward Dmytryk used the plate glass trick from the film's beginning to reflect the gunshot at a safe distance from Powell. Since Miles Mander had held the gun in his right hand in all other shots for that scene, he had to hold it in his left hand to disguise the reflection. See more »

Goofs

Lindsay Marriott's driver's license was issued 7/10/1942. According to the license, Marriott was born 5/5/1912. This would make him 30 at the time the license was issued, not 32 as is stated on the license. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Randall: [during an interrogation] How do you feel?
Philip Marlowe: Like a duck in a shooting gallery.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Moon Over Miami: Farewell, My Lovelies (1993) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Film Noir 101
4 April 2004 | by See all my reviews

This is the movie that hooked me on "Film Noir." I first saw this on the late show while suffering a killer flu. Even through local TV editing and enough medicine to tranquilize a circus tent, it had me sitting at attention from start to finish. It wasn't until several years later that I got to see it uncut on cable that I got the full effect. Having grown up with Bogart's hard-boiled private eye archetype, Dick Powell was a complete revelation to me. If you double-bill this with Bogart's "Big Sleep," you see at once that Powell truly IS Phillip Marlowe (even Raymond Chandler thought so), and Bogart is much better suited to portray Hammet's colder, meaner Sam Spade. Powell gives Marlowe a vulnerable cynicism as well as a touch of the "everyman," that Bogart wouldn't be able to pull off until later in his career. Powell's background in romantic musicals gives him access to a far deeper emotional range, needed to play the complex and conflicted Marlowe; his cynicism, his humour, his loyalty to his code...it's all there. Powell manages to give extra resonance to some of Chandler's throw-away similes! No wonder he claimed this as his favorite role!

The direction by Edward Dmytryk and cinematography by Harry Wild are perfect, giving the film a tight, economical yet alluring vintage "feel". Working on a tight budget, they manage to infuse it with all the seedy, chaotic topography that would serve as the touchstones for every film of this type from "Night of the Hunter" to "Blade Runner." While this isn't the first Noir film, it may well be the best.


77 of 89 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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