"I caught the blackjack right behind my ear--a black pool opened up at my feet. I dived in...it had no bottom."
- Philip Marlowe (Dick Powell) in voiceover
Description by OLDIES.com:
They say crime doesn't pay. Private detective Philip Marlowe knows better. The fat wad of folding money warming his breast pocket is the kind of thing that keeps him going through thick and thicker as he wades chin deep into a mystery involving a missing necklace and a missing hoodlum's moll named Velma.
Sharply directed by Edward Dmytryk, Murder, My Sweet is film at its most noir; creating a moody sense of a world that never plays on the level. Cast against type, Dick Powell puts sunny crooner roles behind him, dishing hardboiled patter and wearing five-going-on-six-o'clock stubble so well that source author Raymond Chandler called Powell his favorite screen Marlowe. "I'm just a small businessman in a very messy business," the PI observes. With wit and trendsetting style to burn, it's never business as usual.
Director Edward Dmytryk put himself on the map with this impressionistic adaptation of Raymond Chandler's detective novel FAREWELL, MY LOVELY. It was also a big turning point in the career of Dick Powell, who before this film was known only as a young male lead in countless musicals opposite Ruby Keeler and Joan Blondell. Here he shows grittiness and snap as the hard-boiled detective Phillip Marlowe, who finds himself ensnared in an elaborate net of murder and deceit. At the center of the mystery is a missing jade necklace and a dim-witted but dangerous thug named Moose (Mike Mazurki) who's hired Marlowe to find his lost girlfriend, Velma. In one memorable sequence, Marlowe finds himself vividly hallucinating after waking from a drug-induced stupor. He also gets beaten up and later seduced by a mysterious hard-as-nails blonde (Claire Trevor). Otto Kruger, Miles Mander, Anne Shirley, and Ralf Harolde are but a few of the interesting faces in the cast. Film noir doesn't get much blacker or more enjoyable than this moody classic.
Edward Dmytryk's MURDER, MY SWEET is one of the darkest of all film noir thrillers, featuring Dick Powell as Raymond Chandler's famed detective Philip Marlowe.
MURDER, MY SWEET was Dick Powell's first turn as a hard-boiled detective. Prior to this, he was best known as a singing star in musicals, especially those directed by Busby Berkeley.
The original title, FAREWELL, MY LOVELY, was changed so that Powell's fans wouldn't mistake the film for a musical comedy. However, the 1975 remake, starring Robert Mitchum, retains the original title.
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