Private detective Philip Marlowe is hired by a wealthy family. Before the complex case is over, he's seen murder, blackmail, and what might be love.Private detective Philip Marlowe is hired by a wealthy family. Before the complex case is over, he's seen murder, blackmail, and what might be love.Private detective Philip Marlowe is hired by a wealthy family. Before the complex case is over, he's seen murder, blackmail, and what might be love.
Initially, private detective Philip Marlowe (Bogart) is summoned to the Sternwood mansion by General Sternwood who wants Marlowe to resolve his daughter Carmen's gambling debts. But soon Marlowe is caught in a web of murder, extortion, pornography, love triangles, organized crime, and missing persons. No wonder the plot is convoluted. It would have to be so to get past the production code! All along , everyone is telling Marlowe all events resolve around Regan, but Marlowe didn't care. Instead what everyone cares about is that the Bogie and Bacall characters can live on and develop that sizzling relationship in peace. Warner Bros capitalized on the PR aspect of the event of releasing this film and made it less dark and a lot more romantic than the source material and who-killed-who became a side show instead of the core of the film.
What with Marlowe flirting or more than flirting with a book store proprietor, an eager cabby, Vivian Sternwood and her thumb sucking sister (even little Jonesy winked at him once, didn't he?), I'm surprised the private eye had the chance to solve any crimes at all. Bogart's Marlowe was sort of a '40s forerunner to James Bond as a chick magnet. It was adolescent male fantasizing, Warners style. Not only that but this Marlowe was clever enough to indulge in racetrack double entendres with a glamorous, sophisticated looking babe like Lauren Bacall. No wonder viewers aren't terribly concerned if they can figure out the convoluted plot when they can have fun, sexy times with this particular noir crowd.
So stick with this for the clever dialogue, for the atmosphere, for the weird characters, and most of all the chemistry that is Bogart and Bacall. Everything else is just window dressing.
- Aug 27, 2017