Over-the-hill boxer Bill 'Stoker' Thompson insists he can still win, though his sexy wife Julie pleads with him to quit. But his manager Tiny is so confident he will lose, he takes money ... See full summary »
Adam Hayward (Robert Montgomery), a successful New York City defense lawyer, receives a cable that the British war buddy who saved his life at Anzio Beach is now in trouble with the law in ... See full summary »
On trial for murder, Larry Ballantyne regurgitates an unbelievable story. He recounts how he philanders to other women while his rich loving wife Gretta tries to keep him in line. According... See full summary »
Movie star Collier Laing is recalled to active duty with the Army Criminal Investigation Division. His mission: to sweep debutante Marita Connell off her feet and flush out her former ... See full summary »
Philip Marlowe gets involved when limp-wristed and snidely Leslie Murdock steals a rare doubloon from his mother to give to a newsreel photographer in exchange for film that is being used ... See full summary »
The camera shows Phillip Marlowe's view from the first-person in this adaptation of Raymond Chandler's book. The detective is hired to find a publisher's wife, who is supposed to have run off to Mexico. But the case soon becomes much more complicated as people are murdered. Written by
Ken Yousten <email@example.com>
The actress Ellay Mort is credited in the role of Chrystal Kingsby. This person does not exist. The credit is a joke, as the name is phonetic for the French phrase "elle est morte" or "she is dead." See more »
In the kitchen, Marlowe pours the rice into his left hand twice, presumably putting the rice in his left pocket. After he meets "Mrs. Kingsby," he drops the rice with his right hand. See more »
So you're a story writer too, hmm? The detective business must be on the skids. What are you trying to do, elevate yourself?
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Out of the many Marlowe novel adaptations, this must be one of the closest to the spirit of the original. Unfortunately Chandler himself does not seem to have had the opportunity to contribute to the screenplay - although there are plenty of Chandleresque wisecracks. The film, unlike most of the other adaptions reflects the original author's full dislike of the cops (although the tough police chief having to answer a telephone call from his daughter during an interrogation is an unusual appeal for the viewer's understanding), and mistrust bordering on pathological hatred of women (I suspect that the ending is an uncharacteristic 'cop out' to assuage the producer's or popular taste). Director/star Robert Montgomery shows great self-restraint by appearing only briefly in the action. When he does show himself, mainly in mirror-reflections, the star appears (as in that other great latter day film noir, China Town) battered and bruised and not at all flattering. The plot is suitably twisted and confusing - just like the novels. And the concept of timing the whole dark affair against the backdrop of the Christmas holidays only emphasises the bleakness of the subject matter. Incidentally the idea of continuing the opening titles' jolly Christmas carol chorus in darker, more disturbing tones throughout the soundtrack is fascinating and I think unique. Audrey Totter (whatever happened to her?) makes a very sexy femme fatale. And as she plays most of her lines to camera we are seduced just as protagonist Marlowe. On top of that, her gowns are absolutely magnificent examples of forties chic. Lloyd Nolan deserves special mention as a superb heavy. What a wonderful example of Hollywood film noir.
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