Saturday, December 29, 2018

"A black pool opened up"

Based on Raymond Chandler's Farewell, My Lovely, the film version was renamed Murder, My Sweet (1944) because Dick Powell had hitherto played light romantic roles and this definitely wasn't that kind of film. This is one of my favorites in the film noir genre.

The Rotten Tomatoes description:
Murder, My Sweet is a nearly perfect film. Long considered one of the quintessential film noir, this tough, sardonic, and unusually witty film features hard-boiled detective Philip Marlowe (Dick Powell) hired by ex-con Moose Malloy (Mike Mazurki) to find his missing girlfriend Velma. Shortly thereafter, Marlowe is hired by socialite Mrs. Grayle (Claire Trevor) to find a valuable jade necklace that has been stolen from her. Marlowe finds the necklace and also finds blackmail, double crosses, corruption, and murder on both sides of the tracks. This film made almost washed up song-and-dance man, Dick Powell a star, and his portrayal of Marlowe is at least the equal of Humphrey Bogart's role in The Big Sleep. Director Edward Dmytryk creates a truly bleak and disorienting netherworld populated by a variety of sordid characters, including Mike Mazurki at his best. Claire Trevor is superlative in a difficult role and gives an unequaled performance as the most evil of femme fatales.
From the film:

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