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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 28 August 2010
Bought this film a few months ago after seeing it on the telly and wanting to see it again. I have watched it a couple of times since I bought it on DVD and each time I thoroughly enjoy it. I really like the Mitchum remake too, but because this is the original and is really genuine film noir, I prefer this one (just!) Why do I, and I suspect so many others, like this movie so much? I expect there are a number of reasons; the plot is complicated but not so that you can't follow it with a bit of brainwork. The script is laconic and funny, and the atmosphere of West Coast America in the 40's is somehow timeless and magical, even though I wasn't born then and am not an American either!

For some reason, what stays in my mind about the movie, is the house on the coast overlooking the sea, and the magnificent seaview (even though in black & white) that is shown. It to me is somehow supremely atmospheric. But of course the film has much more to offer than just this. The acting from all the players for my money is superb, and the whole film is exciting and interesting and keeps me on tenterhooks from beginning to end. Well that's my opinion anyway! To me, this is Film Noir at it's finest. But don't take my word for it, check it out for yourself.
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on 18 June 2017
One of the most brilliant films of all time and I'm so happy to have purchased the DVD. Until a digital remaster turns up for UK Blu-Ray players I'll settle for this. A classic movie worthy of a maximum review rating. Class.
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on 16 June 2017
received ok - Mother likes it
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on 18 June 2015
love it
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on 6 June 2017
Classic. Best of the three versions.
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VINE VOICEon 17 November 2010
a gem of a noir film featuring my favourite marlowe, dick powell. bogart was brilliant but he was bogart, mitchum just a bit too old and elliott gould pretty awful. Powell captures that worldly-wise but world weary manner perfectly and delivers his lines with a wonderfully warm cynicism. i love the voice over narrative. best of all is his relationship with the superb Moose character. The plot moves along steadily, like most of Chandler's a bit over complicated but resolves itself nicely enough. Great direction, dialogue, period mood, excellent.
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on 19 July 2009
Cracking dialogue, Dick Powell plays a great Marlow. Everyone drinks like hell (or pretends to) and promiscuity is rife. Excellent! The camera work and atmosphere is as good as the very best noirs.

Heartily recommend, but even better if watched with a bottle (or two) of something good.

Ignore the reviewer who said he couldn't follow the script. They make films like 'Die Hard 4.0' for him.
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on 20 April 2012
In my Opinion Murder my Sweet is the Ultimate Film Noir. Based on stories by Raymond Chandler. it has a strong naration by Dick Powell. the performances are stellar especially Claire Trevor, who is a supurb actress, understated yet strong. It is filmed well and like many Raymond Chandler stories, twists and turns and has several complicated plotlines, which rather than detract, gives it a reality, which is often lost in purely linear naratives, which often have little to do with how one experiences life. I can watch this film over and over and have done, and never tire of seeing it.
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MURDER MY SWEET, 1944. This classic black and white film noir, starring Dick Powell and Claire Trevor, and many others, has been acclaimed by critics, and is considered widely influential. The crime drama captures the sharp wit and style of Raymond Chandler's underlying novel FAREWELL MY LOVELY, about his famed gumshoe Philip Marlowe. The private detective is searching for a missing moll, Velma, whom her just-released- from-prison petty crook boyfriend Moose Malloy hasn’t seen in eight years. Upon the classic thriller’s release, it was renamed so American filmgoers wouldn’t confuse it with a Powell musical; he’d spent years making listless musicals before this. But this mystery reinvigorated the actor's career, helping him to shed his choir-boy image. Respected Hollywood director Edward Dmytryk worked from a script by John Paxton.

In this witty and suspenseful Los Angeles-based film, Marlowe is reluctantly hired by Moose (Mike Mazurki, SOME LIKE IT HOT, NIGHTMARE ALLEY) to find Velma Valento, former chanteuse. The private eye also seems immediately to get involved in the case of a femme fatale local woman, Mrs. Helen Grayle, as played by Claire Trevor, (STAGECOACH, KEY LARGO) whose $100,000 jade necklace has been stolen and is up for ransom. Once involved in this apparently second case, he meets Ann Grayle, Helen’s stepdaughter, as played by Anne Shirley, (STELLA DALLAS, ANNE OF GREEN GABLES). And Jules Amthor, an influential local psychiatrist, as played by Otto Kruger, SABOTEUR, HIGH NOON. The cases prove to be just one case, and it is tougher than Marlowe expected. His initially promising enquiries lead to a web of deceit feeding on bribery, perjury, murder and theft. Furthermore, no one's motivation is obvious, least of all Marlowe's.

Direction by Edward Dmytryk and cinematography by Harry Wild are fine, giving the film a tight, economical feel, grooming shadows, yet hinting at the powerful underlying chaos and seediness of Los Angeles. Why so many successful films noir, whether black/ white or color, are set there. The acting is fine, though I did think Shirley a bit too light weight for her role. However, Powell’s is strong: author Chandler approved of his work. Powell is able to give Marlowe a common touch plus a vulnerable cynicism: his background in romantic musicals seemed to give him access to the deep emotional range needed to play the complex and conflicted Marlowe; his cynicism, his humor, his loyalty to his code. And his resonant wit.

Nevertheless, not to take anything away from this picture, upon a re-viewing, I just couldn’t get into it. Perhaps because I have no film expertise: I’m just a person who loves movies. Perhaps because Robert Mitchum is my favorite Marlowe: I think his bruised tender toughness perfect for the role and own his two outings in it: the London-set THE BIG SLEEP, and the LA-set FAREWELL MY LOVELY. But let us give praise where praise is due.
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on 27 August 2012
Private dick Philip Marlowe (Dick Powell) is given the task of finding nightclub singer Velma (Claire Trevor) by the thuggish, unintelligent Moose Malloy (Mike Mazurki). Moose has been in the pen for eight years and he wants Marlowe to track down his one-time lover Velma but things are complicated by the search for a jade necklace. Based on Raymond Chandler's 1940 novel Farewell My Lovely, it was released in the US with the alternate title Murder My Sweet. This was Hollywood's second version of the story after 1942's The Falcon Takes Over, a loose adaption substituting the Philip Marlowe character for that of Gay Lawrence aka The Falcon. Filmed by RKO in 1944, it was produced by Adrian Scott and directed by Edward Dmytryk, two of the Hollywood Ten. Dmytryk's made his best films in the 1940's but his movies became 'increasingly leaden and devoid of inspiration' (Quinlan) during the fifties and sixties despite larger budgets and all-star casts. This is probably Dmytryk's best film and better than Hawks and Bogart's overrated The Big Sleep. Starring Dick Powell, it marked a change of direction for the former song and dance man who took on tougher more hard-boiled roles (see Johnny O Clock, Cornered, Pitfall) until he changed direction again in the 1950's to direct and produce pictures. Typical of film noir, it is told in flashback (see Double Indemnity, DOA) and includes a surreal dream sequence when Marlowe is pumped full of drugs. It's full of fantastic dialogue that now seems like a cliche -'she was a charming middle-aged lady who had a face like a bucket of mud, I gave her a drink, she was a gal who'd take a drink, she had to knock you down to get the bottle'- and after he knocked out for the umpteenth time - ' a black pool opened up at my feet, I dived straight in, it had no bottom.' More faithful to the book that the Mitchum version it succeeds largely because of the great cast - Powell as the best ever Marlowe, Trevor as the sluttish, manipulative femme fatale, Austrian born ex-wrestler Mazurki as the childlike, love-struck Moose, Otto Kruger as the oily psychologist Jules Amthor, English character actor Miles Mander as Mr Grayle and Anne Shirley as his lovely daughter Ann - and Chandler's 24 carat dialogue. There's a TCM colourised version somewhere but watching that would be to miss the point of Film Noir.
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