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Murder, My Sweet (1944)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 22 February 1945 (USA)
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After being hired to find an ex-con's former girlfriend, Philip Marlowe is drawn into a deeply complex web of mystery and deceit.

Director:

Edward Dmytryk

Writers:

John Paxton (screenplay), Raymond Chandler (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dick Powell ... Philip Marlowe
Claire Trevor ... Helen Grayle / Velma Valento
Anne Shirley ... Ann Grayle
Otto Kruger ... Jules Amthor
Mike Mazurki ... Joe 'Moose' Malloy
Miles Mander ... Leuwen Grayle
Douglas Walton ... Lindsay Marriott
Donald Douglas ... Police Lieutenant Randall (as Don Douglas)
Ralf Harolde ... Dr. Sonderborg
Esther Howard ... Jessie Florian
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Storyline

This adaptation of the Raymond Chandler novel 'Farewell, My Lovely', renamed for the American market to prevent audiences mistaking it for a musical (for which Powell was already famous) has private eye Philip Marlowe hired by Moose Malloy, a petty crook just out of prison after a eight year stretch, to look for his former girlfriend, Velma, who has not been seen for the last six years. The case is tougher than Marlowe expected as his initially promising inquiries lead to a complex web of deceit involving bribery, perjury and theft, and where no one's motivation is obvious, least of all Marlowe's. Written by Mark Thompson <mrt@oasis.icl.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Forget that feeling...she's got murder in her heart! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 February 1945 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Farewell, My Lovely See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$400,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

To protect Dick Powell in the final shoot out, when Marlowe dives for Grayle's gun only to have it go off right in front of his face, Edward Dmytryk used the plate glass trick from the film's beginning to reflect the gunshot at a safe distance from Powell. Since Miles Mander had held the gun in his right hand in all other shots for that scene, he had to hold it in his left hand to disguise the reflection. See more »

Goofs

When Marlowe strikes a match upon the marble statue of Cupid, the statue wavers. Some pedestal. See more »

Quotes

Philip Marlowe: Either book me, or let me go home and go to bed.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Exists in color-computerized version. See more »

Connections

Version of The Falcon Takes Over (1942) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
You're not a detective, you're a slot machine. You'd slit your own throat for 6 bits plus tax.

Produced by the legendary RKO during the golden age of American film noir, Murder, My Sweet remains to this day one of the best adaptations of the adventures of Philip Marlowe.

The mythical antihero Raymond Chandler had a slew of excellent adaptations to the big screen including The Big Sleep by Howard Hawks and The Private by Robert Altman. Philip Marlowe has inspired dozens of imitators and one can still find his DNA in the chronic darkness of James Ellroy.

Everything is there: the smoky bars populated by exotic dancers, the femme fatale, the weary detective who is constantly beaten up after his hilarious escapades, etc. To this Dmytryk adds a few original touches straight out of German Expressionism.

Humphrey Bogart will overshadow him a few years later, but Dick Powell portrays a Philip Marlowe deeply funny, always ready to deliver a good line. A memorable performance, although the actor did not necessarily look the part. Powell is accompanied by excellent supporting characters, including two femmes fatales Claire Trevor and Anne Shirley. In the role "Moose" Malloy, Mike Mazurki intimidates while managing to remain touching. As for Otto Kruger, he plays a deliciously evil villain. Scripted by John Paxton, the film is somewhat watered down compared to the Chandler novel, he nevertheless manages to bring out the very substance without too many sacrifices.

Murder, My Sweet is a fine example of film noir.


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