Murder, My Sweet (1944)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

One-time movie crooner Dick Powell literally turned his career around in the 1944 film noir Murder My Sweet. Powell stars as Phillip Marlowe, the hard-boiled private detective antihero created by novelist Raymond Chandler. Hired by hulking, psychotic Moose Malloy (Mike Mazurki) to locate Moose's old girl friend, Marlowe is pitched headlong into a morass of intrigue and deception. The participants include duplicitous glamour-girl Claire Trevor, sodden slattern Esther Howard, suave blackmailer … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: John Paxton, John Paxton
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 6, 2004
Warner Home Video


as Philip Marlowe

as Ann Grayle

as Mrs. Grayle

as Amthor

as Moose Malloy

as Mr. Grayle

as Marriott

as Lt. Randall

as Lt. Randall

as Dr. Sonderborg

as Mrs. Florian

as Chauffeur

as Short Guy

as Elevator Operator

as Headwaiter

as Taxi Driver

as Det. Nulty

as Detective

as Bartender

as Detective

as Short Guy
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Murder, My Sweet

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (4)

Full Review… | June 24, 2008
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Treats us to some savory snatches of dialogue in the best noir tradition.

Full Review… | October 3, 2015
Creative Loafing

From its strongly accented camera angles and darkness-drenched nighttime action to the hardboiled narration of a cynical Los Angeles gumshoe outfitted in trenchcoat and fedora, Murder, My Sweet is pure Detective Noir 101.

Full Review… | April 6, 2006

Audience Reviews for Murder, My Sweet


Slightly uneven but pretty damn good.

Dick Powell is not quite a revelation but he's certainly no slouch either as Marlowe.

Bob Stinson

Super Reviewer


A private eye is hired by an ex-con to find his old girlfriend but gets sidetracked when a man who hires him as a bodyguard is murdered for a precious jade necklace. Murder My Sweet is one of those Noirs that ticks ALL the boxes. I must admit that I prefer Bogart's more mercenary and intense Marlowe but Dick Powell's more jaunty approach still works, especially when teamed up with Claire Trevor's deliciously amoral femme fatale. The script stays faithful to Chandler's hard boiled dialogue and there are also some really nice directorial touches in the vein of Hitchcock, notably during the scenes when a drug addled Marlowe escapes from the clutches of an insidious doctor and the cinematography pretty much wrote the book for every Noir that followed. It takes a little concentration to keep track of all the balls Marlowe has to keep in the air, but it's a satisfying mystery that oozes classic style. Not in the same league as The Maltese Falcon or The Big Sleep, but one of the standards nevertheless.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer


A hard-nosed private detective named Philip Marlowe (Dick Powell) gets hired for a pair of seemingly disparate simple jobs only to find himself in the middle of murder and intrigue. One case involve finding the missing girlfriend of a big, giant gorilla named Moose (Mike Mazurki), who's been away in the joint only to come back and find her gone without a trace. Marlowe doubts the veracity of this relationship but tracks down the girl's former boss anyway (well, former boss' wife). The second job comes from a guy named Mariott (Douglas Walton) and involves accompanying him to a drop-off location with some money, in order to pick up a jade necklace that had been stolen from Mariott's lady friend. But who stole the necklace? For that matter, who owns it? Marlowe gets it from all sides, including a quack psychiatrist who administers hypodermic needles full of who-knows-what.

Dick Powell may have been a strange choice for Philip Marlowe: most of his films up until that point had been song-and-dance numbers, and he was known more for romantic comedies than tough and grizzled detectives. Perhaps that's why his performance has an air of comedy behind the tough guy persona. Whatever the case, it's the John Paxton script and Edard Dmytryk direction that wring the pulp from the original Raymond Chandler novel. The plot is thick and complex, and I'm not even really sure if all the loose ends get wrapped up in the end, but I don't think that's the point. It's the strange case, the journey, the style that all add up to something dynamic and amazing.

Mr Awesome
Devon Bott

Super Reviewer

Murder, My Sweet Quotes

– Submitted by John T (2 years ago)

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