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Marlowe (1969)

M  |   |  Mystery, Crime, Drama  |  31 October 1969 (USA)
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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 ... See full summary »



(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
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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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


Mystery | Crime | Drama


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?


A rare and only the second theatrical feature film directed by Paul Bogart. 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

"Marlowe", Adventure, a Detective Yarn and a Good Production
18 July 2005 | by See all my reviews

The 1970 film "Marlowe" is an adaptation by noted scenarist Stirling Silliphant of a Philip Marlowe detective novel by Raymond Chandler. It is the novel I, as a writer, rate as his masterpiece, "The Little Sister". The storyline and characters belong the realm of Hollywood and the underworld of drugs, crime and movie wannabees of the 1940s, even though some of the characters, including Marlowe, comes from other backgrounds. The interesting thing is that the film is an adventure level hard-boiled detective mystery, whereas the book would have been able to be adapted as a dramatic-level work. But taking the film as it is, it is a strong story-line. What is happening in the film is a drug racket run by the bad guys selling to movie people. Marlowe, played by James Garner with less force than once might have expected, is hired by a young woman to find her brother. His office is demolished by a karate expert, Bruce Lee, a harmless detective is murdered, he is nearly killed, and he meets a Mexican stripper played by Rita Moreno, as he tries to unravel the connections between the missing brother--now a contract killer, the movie people (including Gayle Hunnicutt, a kookie client (Sharon Farrell) and the doctors supplying the drugs, before one of their operatives finishes him off. The film was made in color, and it is an attractive one, well-lighted. The director Paul Bogart did a solid job keeping the abundant action moving. Original music for the film was composed by Peter Matz, very good cinematography by the noted William H. Daniels and art direction by Addison Hehr and George W. Davis. The elaborate set decorations were supplied by Henry Grace and Hugh Hunt, and costumes were created by Jean Louis, Florence Hackett and James Taylor. The film features a number of scenes outdoors and in locations such as a burlesque theater, a mansion, an office building, an apartment house, and more. The production comes off as bright and vivid, contrasting the daylight of semi-desert Los Angles with the darker events and nighttime goings-on depicted. In the cast, Gayle Hunnicutt is fine as a young woman and suggests the qualities of a future actress. Rita Moreno is very good, as usual, except that the way her character is played is not as Chandler wrote it; it was a part written with Jane Russell in mind, to be underplayed; Carroll O'Connor is delightful as the short-fused Lt. French; Jackie Coogan as Grant Hicks and Sharon Farrelkl as Orfamae Quest have some of the best parts of their careers. others notable in a fine cast include Paul Stevens as the villain, William Daniels who makes a fine foil for Garner, Kenneth Tobey, Christopher Cary, Corinne Camacho, George Tyne, Roger Morgan as the missing brother, the aforementioned Bruce Lee as Sylvester Wong (with a great death scene) and Read Morgan. This is a very entertaining detective yarn, with above-average dialogue scenes injected here and there, and characters interesting in their situations. As late as it was in Hollywood history, this film is well cast, well-mounted and interesting. Those who would wish the original novel to be produced as a dramatic work about deeper human character and relationships get more than a taste of those qualities here; but this is an adventure, and thanks to Garner's breezy professionalism, it fulfills that function quite well. Many detective stories have been made since this one, but few have came off so competently.

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