Monday, March 27, 2017

Murder, My Sweet (1944)

Starring Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, Anne Shirley, Otto Kruger, Mike Mazurki
Directed by Edward Dmytryk
(actor & director credits courtesy

Private detective Philip Marlowe takes on the case of locating an ex-con's old girlfriend, but soon becomes involved in investigating the theft of a jade necklace, which may somehow be related.

This adaptation of Raymond Chandler's novel, Farewell My Lovely, changes the storyline a bit, but the screenplay by John Paxton captures Chandler's more colorful prose, and Powell gives a good performance as the detective who keeps finding his way into trouble.  It's really a landmark role for Powell, stepping aside from his past films as a singing star, and his hard-boiled narration helps sell him as the character.  He's surrounded by a talented supporting cast who play their parts without any grandstanding, and Harry Wild's shadowy cinematography and Roy Webb's dark score establish the picture as a moody film noir.  It's not the best film of its type, but is a worthy entry in the genre, and Dmytryk should be credited for guiding Marlowe onto the silver screen with the literary feel of the character intact.

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