MURDER, MY SWEET: hardboiled detective as piñata

Dick Powell (left) and Mike Mazurki (right) in MURDER, MY SWEET

Dick Powell (left) and Mike Mazurki (right) in MURDER, MY SWEET

Murder, My Sweet is the 1944 film in which Dick Powell was able to escape his typecasting as a boyish crooner in big musicals and immerse his career in grimy film noir.  Powell proved himself right with the studio bosses, and Murder, My Sweet was just his first success in film noir.  Powell, an actor from Hollywood’s Golden Age who would translate very well in today’s cinema, is very watchable as Raymond Chandler’s LA private dick Philip Marlowe.

Dick Powell in MURDER, MY SWEET

Dick Powell in MURDER, MY SWEET

In Murder, My Sweet, Marlowe is hired by three clients, each seemingly more dangerous than the last. At least Marlowe can tell from the start that he needs to watch out for that the hulking, addled and volatile Moose Malloy (Mike Mazurki). As Marlowe follows the mystery, he is knocked out multiple times, taken hostage, drugged and temporarily blinded. Oh, and Claire Trevor tries to seduce him. Pretty good stuff.

Delectable Anne Shirley and menacing Otto Kruger complete the excellent cast.

Murder, My Sweet plays fairly often on Turner Classic Movies, and available streaming on Amazon Instant Video, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube and Google Play.

Dick Powell in MURDER, MY SWEET

Dick Powell and Anne Shirley in MURDER, MY SWEET

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