While in a train halted at a station, Nikki Collins witnesses a murder committed in a nearby building. When she brings the police to the scene of the crime, they think she's crazy since ... See full summary »
Edward Everett Horton
Homicide detective Mike Conovan investigates the shooting of fellow detective Monigan...who apparrently was moonlighting as guard for a bookie. He finds that all the bookies in town are ... See full summary »
The camera shows Phillip Marlowe's view from the first-person in this adaptation of Raymond Chandler's book. The detective is hired to find a publisher's wife, who is supposed to have run off to Mexico. But the case soon becomes much more complicated as people are murdered.Written by
Ken Yousten <email@example.com>
Director Robert Montgomery brought the finished movie in nineteen days ahead of schedule.. See more »
In the scene where Adrienne is taking care of Marlowe after the car crash, she hands him a mirror so he can see his injuries. As he is putting the mirror down, you can clearly see the face of a stage hand in the mirror. See more »
Shatteringly clumsy and agonizingly inept treatment of a Chandler story, totally lacking in style, variety and excitement. First impressions, for once, can be trusted: the disastrous opening scene in which Marlowe sits at his desk and *addresses the camera* gives you an utterly correct impression of the kind of cinematic screw-up you are in for. Next disaster: Robert Montgomery is a wholly uninteresting and un-charismatic actor whose attempts to portray the fast-talking, back-chatting Marlowe frequently come across as merely nasty. Failure Number Three is the ludicrous decision to film the entire story as a series of 'point-of-view' shots, giving us a 'Marlowe's-eye-view' of what little there is to see (Don't miss the bit where Marlowe crawls on his hands and knees - and we see the backs of his hands - before going on to use a telephone - when, gosh, we find ourselves looking at a telephone...). The two-fold pointlessness of the continual P.O.V. beggars belief: first, because it throws the weight on supporting players whose third-rate skills cannot carry it; second, because the fact that we have to watch a series of long, unbroken, unvaried, UNINTERESTING takes - in which whoever Marlowe is talking to simply faces the camera 'square-on' and talks 'back' to it - make vast stretches of the film UNBEARABLY TEDIOUS to watch and the details incredibly difficult to take in. Directors don't cut, employ 'reverse angles', reaction shots, profiles and so on for no reason. Fourth problem: removing Marlowe almost entirely from the visible action removes a lot of useful possibilities and adds PRECISELY NONE. Fifth problem: when Marlowe *is* actually visible, all we see is some lug talking to the camera - whereas a 'voice-over' would at least let us see something *different* happening. And why angle the story as a 'solve-it-yourself' mystery when *everyone* tries hard to work out a Chandler plot anyway? All in all, the results are so abysmal that one asks oneself how it could possibly have come to be done that way. Well, here are my suggestions. First, Bogart is a tough act to follow: by putting Marlowe out of view here, someone must have thought they were avoiding unfortunate comparisons. Second, look who the director is: yes, it's wooden leading man Robert Montgomery, who plainly can't see how bad his direction is when he's acting, and won't see (or hear) how bad his acting is when he's directing. Someone has bitten off more than they can chew - and this is the result: an unwatchable, saggy mess that manages to be significantly less interesting than 90 minutes spent putting your books in alphabetical order.
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