A private detective is hired to retrieve a valuable antique coin that was stolen from its owner by her son, who used it to pay off a blackmailer. The private eye soon finds himself up to ... See full summary »
Philip Marlowe is hired when a rare doubloon is stolen, and he soon discovers that it is being used for blackmail purposes. Marlowe's involvement has him encounter a girl who goes into hysterics when touched by a man; a domineering mother; three corpses; a couple of scuffles in which he gets his clock cleaned; a secretary who killed her boss, which is the reason Raymond Chandler called his story "The High Window", and a rich boy (who qualifies as a S.O.B. by two definitions) who is having trouble with the Mafia. So, what's not to like.Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
The flop house location for this film was the Gladden Apartments in the Bunker Hill section of Los Angeles. Raymond Chandler, who wrote the novel on which this is based, lived in the building 30 years before the film was shot. See more »
I was sore at myself for coming all the way out to Pasadena on a day like that just to see about a case. And how I hate summer winds - they come in suddenly off the Mojave Desert and you can taste sand for a week. I knew it was the voice of the girl on the phone that had got me and I was reminding myself how often your ears play a dirty trick on your eyes - but this time there was no let down...
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George Montgomery doesn't cut mustard as Philip Marlowe
In the mid-1940s Hollywood discovered Raymond Chandler: Murder, My Sweet (1944), The Big Sleep (1946) and The Lady in the Lake (1947). Also from '47, John Brahm's The Brasher Dubloon is a version of Chandler's The High Window and, unfortunately, the most disappointing of this crop. Troubles start with the running time; at 72 minutes, that's not enough time for Chandler's baroque structures to start to unfurl, unless you reduce them to mere plot (and plot is not Chandler's long suit). Second, there's George Montgomery trying to fill the shoes of Dick Powell, Humphrey Bogart and the other Montgomery, Robert. He doesn't. While he's pleasant enough -- as a light leading man -- he swallows line after line of the script smoothly where a more nuanced actor would have found a whole ham sandwich to sink his teeth into. Still, there are good points here, especially in Brahm's directing. The big old mansion with its twin, massive turrets is especially ominous with the Santa Ana winds whistling outside; Florence Bates, as its owner, knows how to grande-dame it with the best; and a striking series of sinister characters take us down meaner and ever meaner streets. With a better star and a more leisurely pace, this private-eye flick could have been a contender.
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