MovieChat Forums > Murder, My Sweet (1944) Discussion > Some funny lines but overrated movie

Some funny lines but overrated movie


Some of the dialogues had me laughing my head off. They were really good. Not sure if they were from the novel or not.

Except for Moose, most of the cast is not very good. I think what bores me the most is the whole storyline with the jade. It's not very interesting. This is definitely not one of the best film noirs.

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I couldn't disagree more! I love this movie and have loved it since I first saw it on TV in the 1970's. It is THE Raymond Chandler movie the way the 1941 "Maltese Falcon" is THE Dashiell Hammett movie: perfectly cast top to bottom -- Dick Powell is Marlowe to the nines, Claire Trevor as the bad girl and Anne Shirley as the good girl are both right for their roles, and Mike Mazurki makes the gunman Moose Malloy a figure of real pathos and not just a menace. (Mazurki gave virtually the same performance the next year in the 1945 "Dick Tracy.") John Paxton's script presents Chandler's wisecracks in the proper sardonic way, and he even improves on Chandler on one plot point: instead of the unrelated Anne Riordan, he makes Anne Shirley's character Anne Grayle, daughter of Lewin Lockridge Grayle (Miles Mander) by a previous marriage -- obviously going for the same stepmother-stepdaughter antagonism as in James M. Cain's "Double Indemnity," scripted by Chandler and Billy Wilder for Wilder's film adaptation in 1943. Film noir doesn't get any better than this!

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I appreciate your enthusiasm for it.
And as I said, there are some great sardonic and clever lines in it and some great moments, but overall I really don't feel it's one of the better film noirs. Part of it is that Dick Powell, while a good actor is not exceptional in this movie. The other thing is that the story is just not that incredibly interesting compared to some other noirs. I really wanted to like it more, but knowing a lot of other amazing film noirs, I could only greet this one with a lukewarm welcome.

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Some go for plot, others go for atmosphere. I'm of the latter persuasion and that's why Murder, My Sweet is my favourite film noir. I think you're right that the whole jade story isn't interesting - it seemed like a weaker version of the statuette of the Maltese Falcon. But that doesn't make me like the film any less because I was to busy enjoying the consistently excellent dialogue, the 'comic book feel' set up by the flash back narration and the getting knocked unconscious sequence: "I caught the blackjack right behind my ear. A black pool opened up at my feet. I dived in. It had no bottom. I felt pretty good - like an amputated leg." In fact digging this quote up right now I was laughing just thinking about it. Most importantly the humour... there are so many funny and absurd characters and plot-threads, some I don't think I fully understand yet I can still enjoy because they all add to the weird and wonderful cocktail that is Murder, my Sweet.

10/10.

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I agree it's overrated. I've always liked this movie a lot but the more i watch it the more i wish Dick Powell wasn't in it. His acting is spotty and he can't pull off a tough guy. Like i just posted on another Murder,My Sweet thread Powell in his undershirt with his rope belt and pants that are strangling him really gave me a chuckle. Claire Trevor saying "say,you have a nice build" is a joke since Powell didn't own a single muscle :P

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Murder, My Sweet is one of the best...and you don't really watch noir for the plot. I believe it was Chandler who was once remarked that pulp novels are novels you could enjoy even if they didn't have an ending. The point being that you read them (or in this case watch the film) for the individual scenes. Convoluted, difficult plots are a trademark of noir, and if the plot is bugging you because of a jade necklace, whether because it's boring or too simple, or too complicated or whatever, is beside the point really. If you like the scenes and the atmosphere - that's about all you should ask for. Watch Casablanca again for a great plot.

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So...what ARE all those other 'much better film noirs'? Casablanca? Kiss Me Deadly? That's all I got. Someone is complaining that it's 'not one of the best' - so what ARE the best?....Folks, this is about all we got, enjoy it or not.

Sincerely,

Big League Blonde

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"So...what ARE all those other 'much better film noirs'? Casablanca? Kiss Me Deadly?"

Casablanca? Casablanca????? That's not a noir.

Well, the best of the best is The Big Sleep. Nothing to touch it. Then there's The Blue Dahlia, of course, The Maltese Falcon, Build My Gallows High ...

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This is the best Marlowe film of all time. Even Bogart's portrayal can't touch this. It's obvious to anyone who watches the films back to back, and it's about unanimous to fans of the series. No question.

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Don't bother posting unless you have a clue what you're talking about. You obviously don't know anything about film noir.

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"Except for Moose, most of the cast is not very good."

Oh, dear. Powell is brilliant, Trevor is superb (and stunning), Shirley is excellent (and beautiful).

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The dialogue is a cracker and so is the film.

It's that man again!!

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I can see both sides of this debate.

Powell was certainly a solid Marlowe, although I thought he came across as too polished. Trevor and Shirley did well in their parts--although the Velma role ends up being pretty one-dimensional, both in this version and the 1975 version.

The filming is often wonderful, such as in the dream sequence.

But it also had that polished studio-era look. Even Mrs. Florian's house looks decent on the inside. The sets in 1975 really have a slum underbelly feel. And the underling bad guys in 1975 were street types, while in 1944 they seem to have been elegant gay fellows who were into blackmailing the wives of wealthy men.

My major criticisms would be of the plotting. Nothing is really a surprise. I knew from the intro to Claire Trevor that she was Velma. And I agree that the jade subplot was uninteresting.

Worse, though, was the climax--

1--Moose and Velma never meet, and the ironic end of their "love" is dropped.

2--the old man's motivation seemed all the over the place to me. He is really into Velma one moment, and then out of nowhere . . .

3--the happy ending coda is terrible. The flirtatious banter with the smiling young woman makes no sense given what had just happened. I think she would have been in emotional shock for several days at least.

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I like Murder My Sweet, but I don't find it one of the best noirs. Just a good, solid, and creatively filmed detective story with a so-so plot.

Better noirs?

Double Indemnity, Laura, The Maltese Falcon, The Killers, The Postman Always Rings Twice, Lady from Shanghai, The Asphalt Jungle, Out of the Past, The Big Sleep, They Drive by Night, etc.

Murder My Sweet wouldn't make my top ten noirs.

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