Amid a semi-documentary portrait of New York and its people, Jean Dexter, an attractive blonde model, is murdered in her apartment. Homicide detectives Dan Muldoon and Jimmy Halloran ... See full summary »
A drifter hitches a ride from the local District Attorney to an 'out of the way' restaurant/gas station owned by a man and his beautiful wife. They fall in love and together they plot the murder of her husband. Written by
Mark Logan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
As a contrast to the fact she's playing an inherently evil character, Lana Turner wears white throughout the film. See more »
Frank is twice positioned in the courtroom in the wheelchair. See more »
It's too bad Nick took the car.
Even if it was here we couldn't take it, unless we'd want to spend the night in jail. Stealing a man's wife, that's nothing, but stealing a man's car, that's larceny.
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Funny, the comment there about the title - it's the strangest part of the adaptation because at least it IS mentioned in the film, but nowhere in the book. It's an absolute mystery to me how this title made it through intact when great titles like "Farewell My Lovely" were dumbed down to "Murder My Sweet" for the sake of Hollywood audiences. James M. Cain originally submitted the story to Alfred Knopf with the title "BBQ" (which makes sense in context) and was asked to change it; he considered "Black Puma" and "The Devil's Checkbook" before settling on the mystifying title by which the novel and both adaptations are well known.
Anyway, I like the film and think it's a great straight adaptation of the book, though the dialogue in the beginning seems a bit hurried (for the sake of the quick establishment of character and story) - the book does a better job of painting the hobo/gypsy lifestyle Frank embraces, and I think it's pretty central to the eventual conflict between him and Cora, so it's a shame it wasn't better depicted in the film.
Lana Turner is good, but probably just a bit mis-cast - she's a little too "glamorous" for Cora, which is also established immediately in the famous opening shot of her legs and lipstick (in contrast to the book, where she was introduced in an apron, working hard for the business like she always says she wants to.)
One note for femme-fatale buffs: Cora and Nick in the film are surnamed "Smith," which in the book was Cora's maiden name. (Nick in the book was Greek - "Papadakis") Is this a statement on marriage in general, or perhaps a desire to eliminate the racial implications in what happens? Seems unlikely; it is what it is, for smarter people than me to unravel.
"So long mister, thanks for the ride!"
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