Dick Powell was known as a song-and-dance man when he was cast as hard-boiled dick Philip Marlowe in this adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s novel Farewell, My Lovely.
He nailed the role by not overplaying it. It didn’t hurt that the script and direction were pretty good, too. Powell in Murder, My Sweet will never give Humphrey Bogart in The Big Sleep much competition, but he does a pretty good job.
This film marked a turning point in Powell’s career, too. At the age of 40, Powell was able to slough off the public’s perception of him and reinvent himself as a noir tough guy.
He would go on to star in film noirs like Cornered (1945), which, like this film, was directed by Edward Dmytryk, Johnny O’Clock (1947), To the Ends of the Earth (1948), and Pitfall (1948), among others, as well as two classic radio detective shows, Rogue’s Gallery, which premiered in 1945, and Richard Diamond, Private Detective, which premiered in 1949.