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 »
A secretive widower hires a governess for his children, a willful boy and impressionable girl. Strange occurrences and the governess's curiosity lead her to unlock the secrets of the mysterious and uninhabited brownstone next door.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Screen rights were purchased from author Raymond Chandler for $2000 in 1942. 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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Philip Marlowe, Raymond Chandler's trenchant private detective saw many incarnations on the screen big and small. Chandler like S.S. Van Dine the creator of Philo Vance sold his work to several studios and the studio cast whomever. Humphrey Bogart in The Big Sleep for Warner Brothers and Dick Powell in Murder My Sweet for RKO are the best known interpreters of Marlowe. George Montgomery in The Brasher Doubloon gets a short shrift from most film fans.
I don't think this is necessarily Montgomery's fault. The Brasher Doubloon was based on the Chandler story The High Window and unlike Warner Brothers and RKO this was meant to be a B film and was treated that way. I've never read the book, but I could tell a lot was left out in the treatment.
Montgomery is hired by the imperious Florence Bates to get back a valuable coin, The Brasher Doubloon which was the prize of her late husband's valuable coin collection. Upon arrival to her home, Montgomery is told in no uncertain terms that his services will not be needed by her son Conrad Janis. Janis plays this punk as well as Elisha Cook, Jr. ever did in this type of part.
Of course as he starts investigating bodies keep being strewn in his path and the police are blaming Montgomery for some if not all. The mother and son turn out to be some pieces of work.
The Brasher Doubloon has a good deal of its problems with the character Nancy Guild plays. She's Bates's secretary/companion who has issues and she really ought to be seeing a therapist rather than Philip Marlowe. Her character holds the key to the answers, but the character itself is ill defined in the script.
Maybe had The Brasher Doubloon gotten the A treatment it would be better received. As it is it's not a bad film, but not in the same league as the others mentioned.
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