Once again I'm talking about a movie that's not really overlooked or forgotten, but who cares? Not me. It's one I hadn't seen in a good many years, and when it turned up on TCM, I couldn't resist taking another look.
You've probably heard the story about how Dick Powell, song and dance man, changed his career by taking the role of Philip Marlowe in Murder, My Sweet (based on Raymond Chandler's Farewell, My Lovely), and a lot of people think he's the best incarnation of Marlowe on the screen. I like Bogart in The Big Sleep, but even I have to admit that Powell is very good and probably closer to the Marlowe of the novel than Bogart is. I liked Powell even better this time than I did when I first saw the movie. The script handles the novel's first-person narration by having him relate his story to the cops. Works for me.
You know the plot. Moose Malloy (Mike Mazurki) wants Marlowe to find a woman named Velma for him. Meanwhile there's hanky panky with a jade necklace supposedly stolen from a woman named Helen Grayle. There's a ransom to be paid, but that doesn't turn out well at all. And after that the plot gets really complicated. I probably couldn't summarize it even if I tried, so I'm not going to try. Let's just say that it involves a little romance, plenty of blows to the head for Marlowe, deceit, danger, that necklace, and snappy patter. It's all a lot of fun, and Murder, My Sweet is right up there with the best of Chandler on film. The Robert Mitchum remake under Chandler's original title isn't nearly as good, even though Mitchum might have been an even better Marlowe when he was younger.
Murder, My Sweet is a movie you don't want to overlook. Trust me.