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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 entire movie plot unfolds from lead Robert Montgomery's point of view, thus creating a rarity in film: the principal character is only seen on-screen as a reflection in mirrors and windows, and as the narrator speaking directly to the audience. See more »
Audrey Totter's character uses the word "deducted" rather than the correct "deduced." See more »
[Adrienne pitches Marlowe's story to publisher Derace Kingsby]
And he's a very well-known private detective. That's what makes the stuff so authentic. So full of life and vigor and heart. So full of... what would you say it was full of, Mr. Marlowe?
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This movie could only interest a film historian. The camera shows the point of view of the lead character, Marlowe. This is a technical failure: deadened pans and zooms, no physical contact with other characters, no outdoor scenes.
With clever self-reference, writer Raymond Chandler has Marlowe try his hand at pulp detective fiction -- based on his own experience, of course. The publisher's executive assistant, A. Fromsett (overplayed by Audrey Totter), expresses interest in the manuscript, to draw Marlowe into looking for the publisher's missing wife. Soon we are up to our camera lens in blonde bombshells, drawling thugs, crooked cops, and dead bodies.
This could be an intriguing story. Unfortunately, Robert Montgomery, playing the lead (appearing in mirrors and editorial commentary), also directs. He has a tin ear for dialogue, a glass eye for scenery, and a peg leg for pacing.
Those looking for an entertaining Marlowe crime drama should try "Farewell my Lovely", "The Big Sleep", or "The Long Goodbye".
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