Lady in the Lake (1946) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • 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.

  • Private investigator Phillip Marlowe recounts one of his recent cases, which he has named The Lady in the Lake. Just prior to Christmas, he is secretly hired by Adrienne Fromsett, the tough talking second in command at Kingsby Publishing, to find Chrystal Kingsby, the wife of her boss Derace Kingsby. Chrystal has been missing for two months, and Derace, who believes for her own reasons has run off, just wants her to be left alone. But Adrienne knows that Chrystal has a boyfriend named Chris Lavery, the supposed reason for her running off. Marlowe believes Adrienne has ulterior motives for wanting Chrystal found, beyond her want to get Chrystal out of the way so that she can become Mrs. Derace Kingsby herself. Those ulterior motives may have something to do with the fact that everywhere Adrienne points him, people are either unhappy to see him, or he finds other people murdered. One of those murdered is a woman found in a lake near where the Kingsbys own a cabin. But what Marlowe learns is that to find Chrystal and discover the reasons for the additional murders, he has to dig through a complex web, which also includes the involvement of the police.

  • Three days before Christmas, magazine editor Adrienne Fromsett hires private detective Philip Marlowe to find Chrystal Kingsby, her boss Derace Kingsby's wife who has apparently run off with another man, Chris Lavery. The only problem is that Lavery has been seen around town just recently and there's been no news of Chrystal for a month. Marlowe soon finds himself with a case involving three murders, a crooked cop, and stolen identities.

  • In New York, the cynical private detective Phillip Marlowe is summoned by the editor of the Kingsby Publications Adrienne Fromsett that seems to be interested in a book he has written. Fromsett convinces her boss Derace Kingsby to pay a little fortune for Marlowe's book since she wants to hire Marlowe to find the missing wife of her boss named Chrystal. Fromsett is a gold-digger and expects the divorce of Kingsley to catch him. Marlowe follows the only lead he has and visits the crook Chris Lavery at home in Bay City. However Lavery hits him and simulates that Marlowe was DUI. He is arrested by the brutal Lieutenat DeGarmot, but on the next morning he is released from the jail by Captain Kane. On the Christmas Eve, Marlowe goes to Kingsley's house by the lake to seek out his wife but he finds that she is still missing and a woman named Mildred Havelend has died in the lake. Marlowe visits Lavery again and meets his landlord, Mrs. Falbrook; then he finds Lavery murdered in the bathtub. Now Marlowe suspects of Chrystal, Fromsett and Kingsby. Who might be the killer?

  • The lady editor of a crime magazine hires Philip Marlowe to find the wife of her boss. The private detective soon finds himself involved in murder.


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