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Murder, My Sweet (1944)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 22 February 1945 (USA)
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After being hired to find an ex-con's former girlfriend, Philip Marlowe is drawn into a deeply complex web of mystery and deceit.

Director:

Edward Dmytryk

Writers:

John Paxton (screenplay), Raymond Chandler (novel)
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1 win. See more awards »

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The lady editor of a crime magazine hires Philip Marlowe to find the wife of her boss. The private detective soon finds himself involved in murder.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dick Powell ... Philip Marlowe
Claire Trevor ... Helen Grayle / Velma Valento
Anne Shirley ... Ann Grayle
Otto Kruger ... Jules Amthor
Mike Mazurki ... Joe 'Moose' Malloy
Miles Mander ... Leuwen Grayle
Douglas Walton ... Lindsay Marriott
Donald Douglas ... Police Lieutenant Randall (as Don Douglas)
Ralf Harolde ... Dr. Sonderborg
Esther Howard ... Jessie Florian
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Storyline

This adaptation of the Raymond Chandler novel 'Farewell, My Lovely', renamed for the American market to prevent audiences mistaking it for a musical (for which Powell was already famous) has private eye Philip Marlowe hired by Moose Malloy, a petty crook just out of prison after a eight year stretch, to look for his former girlfriend, Velma, who has not been seen for the last six years. The case is tougher than Marlowe expected as his initially promising inquiries lead to a complex web of deceit involving bribery, perjury and theft, and where no one's motivation is obvious, least of all Marlowe's. Written by Mark Thompson <mrt@oasis.icl.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A night of murder the police won't let him forget! The only key to his safety... a woman's face he can't remember! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 February 1945 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Farewell, My Lovely See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$400,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Audiences initially stayed away, thinking that "Farewell My Lovely", its original title, was yet another Dick Powell musical. When the studio changed the title to "Murder My Sweet", box office receipts picked up considerably. See more »

Goofs

In several scenes with elevators, there are no thresholds, the floors are simply flat, and elevator doors are simply that, doors. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Randall: You're not a detective, you're a slot machine. You'd slit your own throat for 6 bits plus tax.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Exists in color-computerized version. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Rules of Film Noir (2009) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

One of the most entertaining Detective thrillers ever made.
31 July 2003 | by InfofreakSee all my reviews

'Murder, My Sweet' is based on Raymond Chandler's classic detective novel 'Farewell, My Lovely'. The book was later filmed in the 1970s under its original title starring Robert Mitchum. The Mitchum version is actually more faithful, but for some reason nowhere near as entertaining. 'Murder, My Sweet' tones down some of the racial and sexual aspects of the original story (which are included in the 1970s remake), and I'm might be mistaken (it's been a while since I read it), but the Anne Shirley character appears to have been created as a potential love interest for Dick Powell. She seems to have been inspired by a similar character in 'Double Indemnity' (written by James M. Cain and filmed the same year with the help of Chandler). Dick Powell was originally a crooner and casting him as Philip Marlowe was a very strange choice at the time, but it certainly works. Personally I would have preferred to see Robert Mitchum playing Marlowe in this version, but by the 1970s he was too old for the part, and comparing the two versions Powell definitely wins. Claire Trevor is also excellent as one of the definitive noir femme fatales, and her scenes with Powell are compelling. The drug sequence is also very memorable. 'Murder, My Sweet' is one of the most entertaining detective thrillers ever made, and along with 'Double Indemnity' and 'Out Of The Past' one of the very best crime movies of the 1940s.


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