Murder My Sweet
is a lovely film, and I especially suggest watching it around the same time you first see Gold Diggers of 1933. The reason being that Dick Powell managed to pull off a total revamping of his star persona for this film which was both impressive for him, and daring from the director of the film Edward Dmytryk. In Gold Diggers he is a chipmunk cheeked musician, who can sing, who can dance, and who is filthy rich. In Murder My Sweet he is a calloused detective, both charming and cruel. Despite the fact that he was singing and dancing most of his career, I must say that the detective is the better role for him.

Most reviews seem to disagree with me, largely because Powell isn't "Bogarty" enough. I would note though, that noir heroes were largely cast against their star persona. Especially in Hitchcock's movies, which really took off in the noir era, Cary Grant and and Jimmy Stuart always happen to have a bit more of a nasty streak then they would usually have. While Film noir stars were also cast for a lonesome look in their eye, but Humphrey Bogart and Robert Mitchum can only be in so many films.

I would be actually willing to say that Powell's performance in this film is one of the film's main appeals. The film's plot is convoluted, as most Chandler novels are, and honestly I cannot remember it at this point despite the fact it essentially made sense (I can barely remember the plot of the Big Sleep - another film off a Chandler novel - despite the fact I've seen the movie near 10 times). What I do remember very distinctly is the femme fatale looking at Marlowe (Powell) with a sultry look and saying "I really... like men," and Marlowe smiling and responding "I'm sure they feel the same."

That's good stuff.

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