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Murder, My Sweet

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Overview

A missing gangster's girl drives this mystery featuring Dick Powell in the role of legendary sleuth Phillip Marlowe, arriving on DVD from Warner Brothers Home Video. Presented in 1.33:1 full-frame and offering audio rendered in closed-captioned English Dolby Digital Mono, this disc also offers optional English, Spanish, and French subtitles. Extra features include commentary by author/film noir specialist Alain Silver and a theatrical trailer.
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Overview

A missing gangster's girl drives this mystery featuring Dick Powell in the role of legendary sleuth Phillip Marlowe, arriving on DVD from Warner Brothers Home Video. Presented in 1.33:1 full-frame and offering audio rendered in closed-captioned English Dolby Digital Mono, this disc also offers optional English, Spanish, and French subtitles. Extra features include commentary by author/film noir specialist Alain Silver and a theatrical trailer.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Commentary by author/film noir specialist Alain Silver; Theatrical trailer; Subtitles: English, Français, & Español
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Raymond Chandler didn't invent hard-boiled detective fiction, but his gritty tales featuring private eye Philip Marlowe represent the genre's apotheosis, and Murder, My Sweet is arguably the best screen adaptation of a Marlowe adventure, rivaled only by The Big Sleep. Based on a 1940 Chandler novel Farewell, My Lovely, Murder opens with the cynical, world-weary Marlowe former crooner Dick Powell in his career-changing role reluctantly accepting a commission from hulking gangster Moose Malloy Mike Mazurki, who's looking for his missing girlfriend. This job brings the smooth-talking shamus into contact with murderers and blackmailers, gets him strung out on drugs, and very nearly costs him his life. Powell, perhaps best known for his warbling in such memorable Busby Berkeley musicals as 42nd Street, is surprisingly effective as Marlowe; the same can be said of leading lady Claire Trevor, here attempting the first in a long string of femme fatale roles. John Paxton's screenplay stays relatively faithful to the novel and preserves quite a bit of Chandler's terse dialogue. To a great extent the direction of Edward Dmytryk relies on the narrative and cinematographic techniques that would become trademarks of the then emerging film noir style. Innumerable private-eye films that come later owe a great deal of their form and substance to Murder, My Sweet. Chandler himself thought this film the best cinematic adaptation of one of his stories, and 60 years later it still ranks among the very best murder mysteries Hollywood has created.
All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
Edward Dmytryk's sharp, skillfully made noir arguably captures the wit and verbal fluency of Raymond Chandler's style more faithfully than any of the other films made from his books. One of the key early noirs, it revived the career of Powell, who was by then eager to escape his choir-boy image. Through the use of voice-over narration, the film is able to retain the writer's vision of rot beneath the cheery surfaces of the City of Angels, as the sardonic detective keeps up a running commentary on the far from angelic gallery of characters. While his disdain is evenly spread, he reserves his greatest contempt for Otto Kruger's quack "psychic advisor," a precursor to New Age con artists of more modern vintage. Hired by a Frankenstein-like ex-con to find his old girl friend, Powell's Marlowe seems to either get cold-cocked or drugged in every other scene, a state of affairs he comes to regard with bemused detachment. A sequence in which Marlowe has been fed some malign psychoactive substance now seems especially funny due to the now less-than-frightening special effects. Unlike most noirs, in which the protagonist is overwhelmed by a nightmarish sense of disorientation, Chandler's detective has the wit of the only sane man in a world gone mad. Powell is perfect as the snarky, semi-tough hero, and Claire Trevor makes a slyly elusive femme fatale.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/6/2004
  • UPC: 053939675429
  • Original Release: 1944
  • Rating:

  • Source: Turner Home Ent
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 1:35:00
  • Format: DVD

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
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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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Third-Degree Credits [2:32]
2. Hired by Moose [3:03]
3. Flap at Florian's [3:01]
4. Jessie's Place [4:30]
5. Marriot's Rendezvous [4:01]
6. Phantoms in the Dark [3:21]
7. Watch Your Step [2:09]
8. Lady With an Interest [3:09]
9. Mrs. Grayle's Trust [7:08]
10. Competing Offers [4:01]
11. Old Psycological Tricks [4:30]
12. Stranglehold [3:47]
13. Crazy Coked-up Dream [4:44]
14. Against Doctor's Orders [5:13]
15. Take my Friend [2:19]
16. Protective Daughter [3:32]
17. Which Side Anybody's On [3:28]
18. His Desirable Wife [4:41]
19. Pretty Good Guesser [2:57]
20. Helen's Request [6:21]
21. Visited by Moose [3:40]
22. Femme Fatale [4:08]
23. Couple of Mugs [3:33]
24. Couldn't Let Her Go [1:46]
25. Her Kind of Face [3:35]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Scene Selections
   Special Features
      Commentary by Alain Silver
      Theatrical Trailer
   Languages
      Spoken Languages: English
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: Français
      Subtitles: Español
      Subtitles: Off
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Sweet Smell of Death in this Darkly Thrilling Film Noir!

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2003

    1975 re-make

    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.

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