A young woman from Kansas hires LA private detective Philip Marlowe to find her missing brother.



(novel), (screenplay)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Orfamay Quest
Mr. Crowell
Sonny Steelgrave
Grant W. Hicks
Sgt. Fred Beifus
Christopher Cary ...
George Tyne ...
Oliver Hady
Corinne Camacho ...
Paul Stevens ...
Dr. Vincent Lagardie
Roger Newman ...
Orrin Quest


Quiet young Orfamay Quest from Kansas has hired private detective Philip Marlowe to find her brother. After two leads turn up with ice picks stuck in them, he discovers blackmail photos concerning TV star Mavis Wald. She rejects Marlowe's help, and this is forcibly underlined by her gangster boyfriend. So, wonders Marlowe, is there a link between Orfamay and Mavis? Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Marlowe is the Best Private Eye in the Business. Just Ask the People He Does Business With See more »


M | See all certifications »




Release Date:

31 October 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Little Sister  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This James Garner film has a remarkable number of actors in common with Garner series The Rockford Files. Jason Wingreen, Corinne Camacho, Christopher Cary, Kenneth Tobey, Rita Moreno, William Daniels, and Paul Stevens all appeared in multiple episodes of that series. In addition, H. M. Wynant appeared in a single Rockford Files and Hoke Howell appeared in one of the Rockford TV movies. See more »


When Marlowe is incapacitated by Dr. Lagardie with the psychotropic laced cigarette while surmising about the blackmail scheme, it is hard to imagine Dr. Lagardie, being in close proximity, not being affected by the drug (unless he was immune to its effects). See more »


[first lines]
Philip Marlowe: How do I get in to see the manager?
[the man he's talking to points him in the right direction]
Philip Marlowe: Thank you.
See more »


Referenced in Minnie and Moskowitz (1971) See more »


Words by Norman Gimbel
Music by Peter Matz
Sung by Bruce Arnold of Orpheus
See more »

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User Reviews

Groovy noir
16 February 2010 | by (Sweden) – See all my reviews

Even though I've never understood who or why people got killed in this film, and I've seen it many times, I still like this movie a lot. I don't know why really, the plot is murky, it's not particularly atmospheric and it looks a little cheap sometimes with the studio-bound sets.

That most of the actresses in the film resemble one another doesn't help either. Rita Moreno looks like Gayle Hunnicut who looks like Marlowes girlfriend. Orfamay looks like the receptionist Marlowe talks to at her hotel. On top of that Orfamay and Mavis do NOT resemble each other and they are supposed to be sisters!!!!

I'm not a huge fan of James Garner but he's fun to watch. The film has an energy of it's own. The performances are all lively and entertaining. The last fight between the sisters is heartbreaking.

The cool clothes, groovy sixties setting and music add to the charm and I repeatedly watch this film without ever understanding who shot who!

10 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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