Murder, My Sweet

Murder, My Sweet

Director: Edward Dmytryk Cast: Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, Anne Shirley


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One-time movie crooner Dick Powell literally turned his career around in the 1944 film noir Murder My Sweet. Powell stars as Phillip Marlowe, the hard-boiled private detective antihero created by novelist Raymond Chandler. Hired by hulking, psychotic Moose Malloy (Mike Mazurki) to locate Moose's old girl friend, Marlowe is pitched headlong into a morass of intrigue and deception. The participants include duplicitous glamour-girl Claire Trevor, sodden slattern Esther Howard, suave blackmailer Otto Kruger and dyspeptic doctor Ralf Harolde. At one point, Marlowe is railroaded into a lunatic asylum, where under the influence of drugs he experiences a surrealistic nightmare the like of which would not be seen on screen again until Hitchcock's Vertigo (1958). So fascinating are the "bad" characters in Murder My Sweet that the two 100% "good" characters, heroine Anne Shirley and detective Don Douglas, seem wishy-washy wimps by comparison. After years of insipid golly-gee roles, Dick Powell startled his fans with his cynical, world-weary portrayal of Philip Marlowe. The part put him back on top of the box-office tallies and enabled him to extend his acting career into the 1950s, which led to an even more lucrative "third life" as a powerful TV-studio executive. Murder My Sweet was based on Chandler's Farewell My Lovely, previously filmed in 1942 as The Falcon Takes Over; a remake, Farewell, My Lovely, was produced in 1975, with Robert Mitchum as Marlowe.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/28/2014
UPC: 0888574113100
Original Release: 1944
Rating: NR
Source: Warner Archives
Time: 1:35:00
Sales rank: 4,335

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Dick Powell Philip Marlowe
Claire Trevor Velma/Mrs. Grayle
Anne Shirley Ann Grayle
Otto Kruger Amthor
Mike Mazurki Moose Malloy
Miles Mander Mr. Grayle
Douglas Walton Marriott
Donald Douglas Lt. Randall
Ralf Harolde Dr. Sonderborg
Esther Howard Mrs. Florian
Ernie S. Adams Bartender
George Anderson Detective
Stanley Andrews Actor
Jack Carr Short Guy
Ralph Dunn Detective
Sam Finn Headwaiter
Paul Hilton Boy
John Indrisano Chauffeur
Donald Kerr Taxi Driver
Paul Phillips Detective Nulty
Dewey Robinson The Boss
Shimen Ruskin Elevator Operator
Lawrence Wheat Butler

Technical Credits
Edward Dmytryk Director
Constantin Bakaleinikoff Musical Direction/Supervision
Carroll Clark Art Director
Albert S. D'Agostino Art Director
William Dorfman Asst. Director
Joseph Noriega Editor
Michael Orenbach Set Decoration/Design
John Paxton Screenwriter
Sid Rogell Executive Producer
Adrian Scott Producer
Darrell Silvera Set Decoration/Design
Edward Stevenson Costumes/Costume Designer
James G. Stewart Sound/Sound Designer
Vernon Walker Special Effects
Roy Webb Score Composer
Harry J. Wild Cinematographer
Raymond Chandler Source Author

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Murder, My Sweet 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Interesting choice of career change for Dick Powell. After establishing himself as the light hearted lothario of 1930s Busby Berkeley musicals at Warner Brothers, the crooner side stepped his squeaky clean, boy-next-door image entirely with a string of deep and powerful dramatic performances. In ¿Murder My Sweet¿ Powell carries off Raymond Chandler's hard-boiled detective, Philip Marlowe to perfection. Okay, he¿s no Bogart, whom film buffs will recall played Marlowe in ¿The Big Sleep.¿ But Powell¿s performance is a close second, buffeted by his quick thinking, deeply cynical, smart-shooting dialect. In ¿Murder My Sweet¿ Marlowe is hired by an ex-con (Mike Mazurki) to hunt down his old flame. But the plot spins out of control when a murder leads to Marlowe¿s engagement by a manipulative woman (Claire Trevor), to recover her missing jewels. But a drug induced nightmare fraught in symbolism and expressionism turns Marlowe¿s world on end, devouring his soul beneath a seedy underbelly that permeates both high-society and the dangerous post war bars and flophouses of inner city Los Angeles. ¿Murder My Sweet¿ is one of the first great, though often overlooked, film noirs; an absolute must see. Warner¿s transfer on ¿Murder My Sweet¿ is better than average. In fact it¿s remarkably clean. The gray scale is very well balanced with deep solid blacks and whites that are vibrant and sharp. There¿s some film grain but few age related artifacts for a visual presentation that is over all a considerable improvement over previously issued VHS tapes. The audio is mono but nicely balanced. The more intent listener will notice slight pops. Alain Silver delivers a very thorough audio commentary that will most surely enhance your appreciation for this film. A very good disc to add to your library of classic cinema.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This excellent film with Mitchum as Phillip Marlowe is entitled ''Farewell My Lovely,'' not ''Murder My Sweet'' as is mentioned in the above review. It is rumored that Chandler preferred Murder My Sweet for the book, and felt the other title sounded like a Broadway musical; however, in retrospect, the ''Murder'' title seems a bit jejune and cliche, while the ''Farewell' title has a wistful quality not unlike the character of Marlowe himself.