Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Released: December 9, 1944
Directed: Edward Dmytryk
Starring: Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, Anne Shirley
Detective Phillip Marlowe (Dick Powell) has been hired by Moose Malloy (Mike Mazurki) to find his former girlfriend, Velma, a pretty, innocent, red head. Complications arise when Marlowe is hired as bodyguard to Lindsay Marriott, a gigolo of sorts. When Marriott is killed over a jade necklace, and Marlowe knocked unconscious, he refuses to let the case go. Each lead brings him closer to the truth, but who's Velma? What does she have to do with the necklace? Who was that girl in the middle of the woods? Is Amthor the connection to Moose, Velma, the necklace, and Marriott's death?
MURDER, MY SWEET is based off of Raymond Chandler's novel, Farewell, My Lovely. This being a film noir, it's hard to describe just exactly what's happening, but this is an incredible movie. Dick Powell, a song and dance man, is cast against type as Phillip Marlowe. And WOW, is he incredible. I think he's the best Phillip Marlowe I've ever seen. The characters are appropriately shady and you're definitely going to suspect everyone. The drug scene is pretty intense and a trip for the ages. A wonderful film. Glad I finally got around to watching it.
It's a long story and not pretty,
Sunday, January 1, 2012
Released: August 4, 1939
Directed: Garson Kanin
Starring: Ginger Rogers, David Niven, Charles Coburn
Polly Parrish (Ginger Rogers) is a salesgirl at John B. Merlin & Son who has just been fired because the holiday rush is over. Upset, Polly goes to several employment agencies, and witnesses a woman placing a baby on the front stoop of an orphanage. Afraid it is going to fall, she graciously picks it up, but is then thought to be the mother by the orphanage workers. Refusing to "acknowledge" the baby as her own, the workers track her down at her job and talk to her boss, David Merlin (David Niven). David, feeling bad for her, gives Polly back her job, a five dollar raise, and a "Christmas gift", which is of course, the baby back. A fella from work takes her to David's house and drops off the baby, who he thinks is the boss's kid. David returns the baby angrily and the two develop an unusual friendship. Polly and David, that is. Things are complicated when David's dad, John B. Merlin (Charles Coburn), thinks the baby is his grandson.
BACHELOR MOTHER is a wonderful film. I first "saw" the film on Lux Radio Theatre, then later I watched the remake: BUNDLE OF JOY. The remake is ok, but BACHELOR MOTHER is delightful. Ginger Rogers is gorgeous and very funny. As is David Niven, surprisingly. He's always so straight laced and it was great to see him be goofy and fun. Plus his impersonation of Roger's dancing is memorable, to say the least.