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Murder, My Sweet (1944) Poster

Trivia

Dick Powell's portrayal of Philip Marlowe earned the approval of Raymond Chandler himself.
Audiences initially stayed away, thinking that "Farewell My Lovely", its original title, was yet another Dick Powell musical. When the studio changed the title to "Murder My Sweet", box office receipts picked up considerably.
For Moose Malloy's first appearance, reflected in the window of Marlowe's office, Edward Dmytryk couldn't get Mike Mazurki to appear large enough because the window was too far from the camera. Instead, he had a plate of glass placed between the camera and Marlowe's desk, then reflected Mazurki's image in that. On screen, the plate glass is undetectable, making the large reflection seem to be farther from the camera.
In order to make Mike Mazurki more threatening, Edward Dmytryk had the sets built with slanted ceilings to force the perspective. As Mazurki walked closer to the camera, he seemed almost to grow.
It was hard to get Mike Mazurki to tower over Dick Powell, because the former singer stood 6' 2", with Mazurki only slightly taller at 6' 4 1/2". For many scenes, Powell had to stand in a trench.
Anne Shirley's final film. She retired from acting in 1944 at age 26.
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.
With the success of the film, RKO President Charles Koerner abandoned plans to star Dick Powell in a series of musicals and cast him in more hard-boiled detective and action films instead.
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.
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.
For the scene in which Marlowe is drugged, Edward Dmytryk showed Dick Powell falling through a sea of faces. In this he borrowed a trick from -Saboteur (1942) by having the camera pull back from the actor to make it seem he was falling. He had the camera accelerate as it pulled back, as well, to intensify the horror.
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In a 1946 Saturday Evening Post article, Dick Powell wrote that the film ended his ten-year effort to escape musicals. Powell said that when he asked Charles Koerner for a "solid tough guy" character to portray, Koerner offered him the role of Philip Marlowe.
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Star Dick Powell, who was desperate to change his screen image, lobbied hard unsuccessfully for the role of Walter Neff in :"Double Indemnity," but Paramount went with contract player Fred MacMurray. His role in "Murder, My Sweet" accomplished his goal. Both films were authored by Raymond Chandler.
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Shot in 44 days.
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Composer Roy Webb recycled his main theme from Stranger on the Third Floor (1940).
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In an early scene where Marlowe walks the streets of the city, the film plugs two 1938 RKO films on a marquee in passing: "Gangster's Boy" and "The Mad Miss Manton."
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This film did well at the box office, earning RKO a profit of $597,000 ($8.3M in 2017) according to studio records.
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Philip Marlowe's gun is a Colt Model 1903 Pocket Hammerless .32 semi-automatic, carried in what looks like a George Lawrence Co. shoulder holster.
"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on June 11, 1945 with Dick Powell and Claire Trevor reprising their film roles.
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Nat Pendleton is in studio records/casting call lists as a cast member, but did not appear in the film.
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The checkered suit worn by Mike Mazurki was a previously worn by Victor McLaglen two years previous in RKO's Call Out the Marines (1942).
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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The dream sequence in the film is similar to the one portrayed in the movie get out 2017.
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