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Murder, My Sweet

Dick Powell , Claire Trevor , Edward Dmytryk    Unrated   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 33.86
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Product Description

Amazon.ca

Dick Powell will forever be known as a 1930s crooner in archetypal musical comedies, but this career-changing role shows Powell at his best and remains perhaps the most faithful cinematic representation of Raymond Chandler's hard-boiled hero, Philip Marlowe, ever put on screen. In this adaptation of Farewell, My Lovely, Powell's cynical, smart-talking private eye is hired by a dim ex-con (pug-nosed Mike Mazurki) to find his girl Velma, and by the prissy stooge of a blackmail victim to babysit him during a handoff. The meeting ends with the stooge's death, and Marlowe is immediately engaged by the owner of some jewels, the wily Mrs. Grayle (Claire Trevor), to recover them. As Marlowe navigates the dark, dangerous world of wartime L.A., splitting his search between high-society haunts and the cheap, smoky bars and flophouses of the inner city, he turns up one too many stones, winds up on the wrong end of a fist, and wakes up to a drug-induced nightmare that director Edward Dmytryk delivers with a mixture of surreal symbolism and sinister expressionism. Powell delivers screenwriter John Paxton's snappy lines and droll asides with hard-boiled cynicism, like someone not quite as tough as he talks; but it's Powell's innate vulnerability that makes this reluctant saint of the city so compelling. Dmytryk's shadowy style creates a visual equivalent to the web of intrigue Marlowe navigates, an almost perpetual world of night. One of the first great films noir and an often-overlooked detective-movie classic. --Sean Axmaker

Product Description

Considered by many to be the definitive private eye "film noir," this adaptation of Raymond Chandler's "Farewell, My Lovely" stars Dick Powell as gumshoe Philip Marlowe, whose search for a thug's ex-girlfriend leads him into a convoluted plot of blackmail and murder. With Claire Trevor, Otto Kruger, Anne Shirley, Mike Mazurki. 95 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English, Spanish, French; audio commentary; theatrical trailer. NOTE: This Title Is Out Of Print; Limit One Per Customer.


Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HARD BOILED NOIR.... July 8 2004
Format:DVD
One of the better ventures on the darker side of film noir with Raymond Chandler's PI Philip Marlowe (Dick Powell) enmeshed in a complicated search for a jade necklace. He's hired by a thick brute named Moose Malloy (Mike Mazurki) to find former night club singer Velma Valenti. After numerous attempts to throw him off the scent, he tracks her down. She's now Mrs.Grayle (Claire Trevor), married to a much older man with a grown daughter (Anne Shirley) who despises her. The jade necklace comes into play and so does Mrs.Grayle. Marlowe enters a weird plot that eventually finds him drugged and held prisoner before he fights his way back with the help of Shirley. "Murder My Sweet" is good and salty film noir with hard bitten performances, brittle dialogue, thugs, mystery and a sexy femme fatale in Mrs. Grayle. When Marlowe first meets her, she's wearing a revealing white dress that allows her entire leg to be casually exposed when she sits down. Very sexy for the 40's. Excellent b&w photography with almost everything occuring at night drenches the film with heavy noir atmosphere. This is a classic film to be savored and the DVD print is great. A real collectors' treat.
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4.0 out of 5 stars HOW SWEET IT IS ON DVD! July 6 2004
By Nix Pix
Format:DVD
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Film Noir 101 Oct. 31 2003
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 code...it'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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4.0 out of 5 stars Seminal film noir--B&W perfection Sept. 5 2003
Format:VHS Tape
January 1945: Murder, My Sweet is released starring former movie musical crooner Dick Powell as tough detective Philip Marlowe, Claire Trevor as femme fatale Mrs. Grayle (aka Velma Valentino) and Mike Mazurki (in his first major role) as big lug-thug goofball Moose Malloy. Based on Raymond Chandler's Farewell, My Lovely, this baby is the real deal when it comes to film noir. Yeah, there were others before this--The Maltese Falcon and especially, Double Indemnity with a phenomenal performance by Barbara Stanwyck.
But this is the one that put detective-based film noir on the map. The 1975 version (same title as the book) with Robert Mitchum, John Ireland, and some of the other classic film noir stalwarts is, in fact, a pretty good piece of work. But Murder, My Sweet is the ne plus ultra of film noir. The director, Edward Dmytryk, had a limited budget and so confined much of his shooting to low-lit interiors to save money. Not only that--he also has some ultra-cool sequences of poor Marlowe, having been force-fed a syringe or two of dope, hallucinating something awful. This shows the influence of German Expressionism to the max; the contrast of black and white has never been sharper, more vibrant, more startling in an American film. And dig those crazy images--multiple doors to go through trying to avoid a doc who walks through doors; larger than life images of two of the bad guys looming above, peering down at Marlowe with spooked up backlit faces; a giant syringe ready to plunge.
There's the good girl and the bad girl, sure. There's the supposedly innocent older husband of the femme fatale. There's the evil brains of the picture who loves blackmail, brutality, and backbiting.
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Murder my Sweet Will not play in North American DVD player
This movie will not play in a North American DVD player as it is coded for Europe and Central Europe. The movie is great but you are unable to watch it through your DVD player.
Published 2 months ago by Allan Villeford
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine adaption of Raymond Chandler's "Farewell, my Lovely"
"Murder, My Sweet", released in 1944, is a taunt film noir thriller based on Raymond Chandler's novel, "Farewell, My Lovely". Read more
Published on Aug. 10 2002 by Matthew Horner
5.0 out of 5 stars FILM NOIR DOESN'T GET ANY BETTER!
"Film Noir" was actually a term coined by the French two years after this movie was filmed. There were several film noir now classics filmed before Murder, My Sweet: Double... Read more
Published on June 17 2002 by Elaine Campbell
5.0 out of 5 stars A Mastery of Chandler
The only thing that must have disappointed Raymond Chandler, who wrote the masterful detective novel "Farewell, My Lovely," on which "Murder, My Sweet" was... Read more
Published on Dec 27 2001 by William Hare
5.0 out of 5 stars Dick Powell Is Great in this Movie
Dick Powell under Edward Dmytryk's direction makes movie history in this role. Nobody thought he could pull it off but Powell did. Read more
Published on June 7 2001 by hille2000
5.0 out of 5 stars Dick Powell Is Great in this Movie
Dick Powell under Edward Dmytryk's direction makes movie history in this role. Nobody thought he could pull it off but Powell did. Read more
Published on June 7 2001 by hille2000
5.0 out of 5 stars One Of The Best!!!!!
I love this movie! I got it about a year ago and I've about worn out the tape. Claire Trever ranks up there with Barbara Stanwyck in Double Imdemnity and Jane Greer in Out Of The... Read more
Published on March 31 1999
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good film noir from the forties.
This tightly constructed thriller marked a change of direction for crooner Dick Powell and he was surprisingly good as private eye Philip Marlowe. Read more
Published on March 28 1999 by George Fabian
5.0 out of 5 stars The ultimate film noir detective story.
A very smart and entertaining film. Powell is the perfect Marlowe
Published on Jan. 24 1999
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