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Murder, My Sweet

4.5 out of 5 stars 80 customer reviews

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(Jul 06, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

A collection of classic film noir.
Genre: Suspense
Rating: NR
Release Date: 6-JUL-2004
Media Type: DVD

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, Anne Shirley, Otto Kruger, Mike Mazurki
  • Directors: Edward Dmytryk
  • Writers: John Paxton, Raymond Chandler
  • Producers: Adrian Scott, Sid Rogell
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: RKO Radio Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: July 6, 2004
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000244EX8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,193 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Murder, My Sweet" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By C. O. DeRiemer TOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 22, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This one of my favorite movies. Years ago I rented a VHS of it and made a dupe at home. The quality was lousy but I liked it and played it often, but I learned my lession about making unauthorized copies. My daughter's puppy urinated all over the tape. This movie is so good it even survived that.

This is classic noir, with Phillip Marlowe. The plot is about stolen jade, hidden identities, blackmail, love, treachery and murder. The story is complicated, the casting is great, the photography and voice-over narration carry things along. It has style. The ending is satisfying. And the dialogue is some of the best ever written.

Powell broke through into serious roles with this film. Even in all the singing roles he had up to this movie he exuded cocky confidence, and that aspect of his personality is perfect here. As an aside, if you enjoy his singing movies, and I do, watch how he can smile naturally while singing; that's hard.

Claire Trevor, it seems to me, almost always played bruised roses (Stagecoach, Key Largo) or rotting orchids. You cared about her because she was one of life's losers, or you wanted to go to bed with her even knowing you might not wake up in the morning. The scene when we (and Marlowe) first meet her is just as good as the scene when MacMurray first meets Stanwyck in Double Indemnity.

Mike Mazurki as Moose Malloy is great, probably the best role he ever had. He was no actor, but he is effective and sympathetic as a slight pyscho who genuinely is in love; he's starring in his own version of Romeo and Velma.

One of the key ingredients in making this movie work is the dialogue. Quantities of it must have been lifted verbatim from Farewell, My Lovely.
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Format: DVD
Dick Powell makes a fine Philip Marlowe in this splendid film noir. The film is based on Raymond Chandler's "Farewell, My Lovely," which marks the second appearance of Marlowe in print. The book was actually adapted once before for an entry in the Falcon series ("The Falcon Takes Over"), which featured George Sanders. That film, however, simply adapted the plot of "Farewell, My Lovely" for the Falcon series; hence, the character is named Gay Lawrence, not Philip Marlowe. So in effect, "Murder, My Sweet" is the first screen appearance of Philip Marlowe. In addition, "The Falcon Takes Over" is a decent but lightweight thriller - not the noir classic of "Murder, My Sweet."

The plot is typically convoluted for a film noir written by Chandler. Marlowe, a somewhat down-on-his-luck private detective, is approached by Moose Malloy, a giant of a man who has just been released from the pokey and is searching for his ex-girlfriend. He reluctantly accepts the case. However, before he can make headway, Marlowe gets a second client, the effete Lindsay Marriott who wants Marlowe to accompany him on a late night pay-off. These two cases quickly become enmeshed and lead to numerous complications and murders.

"Murder, My Sweet" is first-rate film noir in every way. Director Edward Dmytryk (The Caine Mutiny, Crossfire) was one of the best noir film makers of all time, and he uses the conventions of the genre (shadows and unusual lighting, hard-boiled dialogue) with fine subtlety. The cast is also extraordinary - lead by Powell as Marlowe. Arguably, Humphrey Bogart was a more forceful Marlowe two years later in "The Big Sleep." However, Powell is convincing as the straight-shooting but somewhat desperate detective.
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Format: VHS Tape
This is the movie that hooked me on "Film Noir." I first saw this on the late show while suffereing a killer flu. Even through local TV editing and enough medicine to tranquilize a circus tent, it had me sitting at attention from start to finish. It wasn't until several years later that I got to see it uncut on cable that I got the full effect. Having grown up with Bogart's hard-boiled private eye archetype, Dick Powell was a complete revelation to me. If you double-bill this with Bogart's "Big Sleep," you see at once that Powell truly IS Phillip Marlowe (even Raymond Chandler thought so), and Bogart is much better suited to portray Hammet's colder, meaner Sam Spade. Powell gives Marlowe a vulnerable cynicism as well as a touch of the "everyman," that Bogart wouldn't be able to pull off until later in his career. Powell's background in romantic musicals gives him access to a far deeper emotional range, needed to play the complex and conflicted Marlowe; his cynicism, his humour, his loyalty to his's all there. Powell manages to give extra resonance to some of Chandler's throw-away similes! No wonder he claimed this as his favorite role!
The direction by Edward Dmytryk and cinematography by Harry Wild are perfect, giving the film a tight, economical yet alluring vintage "feel". Working on a tight budget, they manage to infuse it with all the seedy, chaotic topography that would serve as the touchtones for every film of this type from "Night of the Hunter" to "Blade Runner." While this isn't the first Noir film, it may well be the best.
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