If you like private-eye-speak then you will love Murder, My Sweet. The look and feel is very different than The Big Sleep with the same private-eye, Philip Marlow, but no Humphrey Bogart or Howard Hawks. However, this 1944 film noir is very good. Dick Powell, known for his work in musicals plays a very believable Marlow. Based on the book Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler. However, that title could be confused with a musical, and the studio didn’t want Dick Powell’s fans to get confused. Can you blame them? The fabulous Claire Trevor plays a gold-digger.
The movie opens with a blinded Marlow telling the police his story (he gets man-handled several times), then we drift into flashback which gives ample opportunity for noir-ese slang-filled voice-over. Many people don’t like voice-over, but in Murder, My Sweet it really adds to the film. Marlow is hired by a giant of a man with a small brain called Moose to find a gal he knew 8 years ago. As Marlow is out looking for the girl, he is hired for another case, just for one night, to protect a guy making a payment to get some stolen jewels back for a “lady friend.” That draws him into a murder case where he is a suspect and then he finds Moose working for the probable jewel thief. You knew that both cases would get mixed up didn’t you? So, after a few more deaths Marlow clears himself and tells the police the whole story. Murder, My Sweet is a pretty good mystery that is fairly complex with a number of characters involved.
Highly recommended for film noir