Murder, My Sweet
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A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Murder, My Sweet can be found here.

Yes. Murder, My Sweet is based on Farewell, My Lovely, a 1940 novel by American crime story writer Raymond Chandler [1888-1959], which itself was based on three of Chandler's short stories: The Man Who Liked Dogs (1936), Try The Girl (1937), and Mandarin's Jade (1937). After introducing Philip Marlowe, private detective extraordinaire, in his first novel The Big Sleep (1939), Chandler refashioned the above three short stories, which did not feature Philip Marlowe, into Farewell, My Lovely, replacing the characters in the short stories with the Philip Marlowe character. The novel was adapted for the movie by American screenwriter John Paxton. The movie was remade in 1975 under the name of the novel as it was originally published, Farewell, My Lovely.

The story goes that, when Dick Powell was cast to star as the wise-cracking, hard-nosed detective Philip Marlowe, the studio executives feared that the public would see the movie not as the noir film it was meant to be but as a another comedy or musical typical of the films Dick Powell was, till then, known for playing. So, they changed the lighter title Farewell, My Lovely to the darker Murder, My Sweet.

Those who have both seen the movie and read the book claim that Murder, My Sweet is a movie that is best viewed for itself, not as a comparison to the novel, because of the massive adaptations made to the story. Characters have been consolidated and severely streamlined. For example, Ann Riordan becomes Mrs Grayle's stepdaughter, probably to avoid having to spend time on a separate story introducing her to Marlowe.

Moose Malloy (Mike Mazurki) was purely and simply in love with Velma Valento (Claire Trevor), which is why he hired detective Marlowe to find her. After spending eight years in prison, Moose just wanted to see Velma again, to see if she was doing okay. There is some suggestion that it was Velma who got Moose sent up in the first place when she either asked him to commit a murder for her or set him up to take the rap for a murder she herself committed. Moose was just too simple-minded and too much in love with Velma to see her for what she was.

The woman actually pictured in the photo was never credited. Mrs Florian claims it is a photo of Velma. At the end of the movie, however, we learn that the photo was not Velma but a photo of some other woman simply handed to Marlowe as a decoy.

No definite answer is given in the movie, but most viewers conclude that it was an attempt to show that Marlowe was not just out to make a buck. They also feel that the necklace should be given to Ann (Anne Shirley), since it was one of her father's most prized possessions, next to his wife and daughter.

It's an Isotta-Fraschini. It looks like a variant of the 8A model. The distinctive front grille with asymmetrical lightning bolts is a dead giveaway.

How does the movie end?

Marlowe, temporarily blinded by the shot of a bullet fired too close to his face, finishes telling the story of what happened between Velma, Moose, Ann, her father, and himself. The police then tell him his story has been corroborated. When Marlowe asks by whom Nulty says he doesn't know. The viewers can see Ann sitting in the interrogation room but Marlowe can't see her because of the bandages over his eyes. Marlowe is then released and escorted outside to a waiting taxicab. He is helped into the cab by Detective Nulty (Paul Phillips), but it is Ann who scoots into the seat beside him. Marlowe sniffs the air and recognizes the smell of Ann's perfume. Still pretending that he believes it is Nulty on the seat beside him, Marlowe asks "Nulty" if he can kiss him. Wordlessly, Ann goes into Marlowe's arms and lets him kiss her.

No. Murder, My Sweet was the only Philip Marlowe mystery that featured Dick Powell as the hard-boiled detective. Other actors to have played Philip Marlowe include Humphrey Bogart in The Big Sleep (1946), Robert Montgomery in Lady in the Lake (1947) and The Brasher Doubloon (1947), James Garner in Marlowe (1969), Elliott Gould in The Long Goodbye (1973), Robert Mitchum in Farewell, My Lovely and (1975) The Big Sleep (1978), and Powers Boothe in the television series Philip Marlowe, Private Eye (1983-86).

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