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Greetings, and welcome to VIEWING THE CLASSICS. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage movies from the early days of cinema through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery movies. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find a Film Index of all my reviews, links to the reviews organized by cast members, directors, and other contributors, and links to my reviews of the films of talented young director Joshua Kennedy.

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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 IMDB.com)

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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