This, the second adaptation of Raymond Chandler's novel, is much closer to the source text than the original - Murder, My Sweet (1944), which tended to avoid some of the sleazier parts of the plot - but still concerns private eye Philip Marlowe's attempts to locate Velma, a former dancer at a seedy nightclub and the girlfriend of Moose Malloy, a petty criminal just out of prison. Marlowe finds that once he has taken the case, events conspire to put him in dangerous situations, and he is forced to follow a confusing trail of untruths and double-crosses before he is able to locate Velma. Written by
Mark Thompson <email@example.com>
This re-make of Raymond Chandler's work has the edge on the 1944 film. Robert Mitchum's face fits the film perfectly. His ageing hard boiled-looking features look like a relief map of the Rocky Mountains! In this movie Mitchum was as good he has ever been. He got better as he got older. What I also liked was the haunting but soulful musical score, at the beginning and at the end.
In the closing scene an atmosphere of rising crisis that seems to hang in the air; created by the soulful musical score. Marlow with the case all wrapped up and himself at a loose end; in the amusement centre playing the machines, picks up a discarded newspaper with "Tokyo" in bold print as the front page headline. Was this the late hours of the 6th of December in Los Angeles? A sailor and his girl, and a soldier in the background makes it seem so. Both the sailor and the soldier, and the whole of America blissfully unaware, that a Japanese armada has shaped a easterly course
across the North Pacific. That scene coupled with the soulful musical score is like a forlorn-sounding and doom-laden overture to what is about to happen with surprising and devastating suddenness on the following but quiet Sunday morning in Hawaii. It is not surprising that one of the songs is titled, "Sunday".
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