Murder, My Sweet (1944)

Rating: ***
Review Date: 10/4/01
Director: Edward Dmytryk
Cast: Dick Powell, Anne Shirley

Hard-boiled private detective Philip Marlowe (Dick Powell) takes on a missing persons case for a big, dumb guy named Moose. He finally runs out of leads and takes another case playing bodyguard for a ransom courier. Unfortunately, his client ends up dead and Marlowe is the prime suspect. After taking a good amount of abuse, he finally solves the murder and clears his name with the help of beautiful Anne Shirley.

This is the first film I've seen featuring Raymond Chandler's classic character, so I can't compare Dick Powell's performance with anyone else. I found him enjoyable and charming, and he worked well with the cute and quirky dialog. The other characters are a bit quirky as well, but not very deep or engaging. And Anne Shirley is a babe. Being from the classic noir period, the cinematography is very nice and the lighting and shadows are appropriately dramatic. A fun, lighthearted detective film.