If you like private-eye-speak then you will love Murder, My Sweet. The look and feel is very different than The Big Sleep with the same private-eye, Philip Marlow, but no Humphrey Bogart or Howard Hawks. However, this 1944 film noir is very good. Dick Powell, known for his work in musicals plays a very believable Marlow. Based on the book Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler. However, that title could be confused with a musical, and the studio didn’t want Dick Powell’s fans to get confused. Can you blame them? The fabulous Claire Trevor plays a gold-digger.
The movie opens with a blinded Marlow telling the police his story (he gets man-handled several times), then we drift into flashback which gives ample opportunity for noir-ese slang-filled voice-over. Many people don’t like voice-over, but in Murder, My Sweet it really adds to the film. Marlow is hired by a giant of a man with a small brain called Moose to find a gal he knew 8 years ago. As Marlow is out looking for the girl, he is hired for another case, just for one night, to protect a guy making a payment to get some stolen jewels back for a “lady friend.” That draws him into a murder case where he is a suspect and then he finds Moose working for the probable jewel thief. You knew that both cases would get mixed up didn’t you? So, after a few more deaths Marlow clears himself and tells the police the whole story. Murder, My Sweet is a pretty good mystery that is fairly complex with a number of characters involved.
Highly recommended for film noir fans.
Murder, My Sweet. Directed by Edward Dmytryk, written by John Paxton from the novel by Raymond Chandler, starring Dick Powell and Claire Trevor.