Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Dick Powell, Susan Hayward X 2, and Jane Greer

Murder, My Sweet

Dick Powell, "Murder, My Sweet," 1944.
This is Powell as Raymond Chandler's Phillip Marlowe in "Murder, My Sweet,"  the great adaptation of "Farewell, My Lovely."  I like Powell as Marlowe, especially in the scenes with the big bruiser Moose Malloy, the guy looking for "his Velma" that sets the story in motion.  Powell is both hard-boiled and sardonic, as only someone who had been through the Hollywood trenches as he had could be.   


They Won't Believe Me

Jane Greer, "They Won't Believe Me," 1947.
"They Won't Believe Me" is a screwy film noir starring Robert Young as a cheating husband.  That's putting it lightly; he cheats on his nagging, but innocent, wife first with nice-girl Jane Greer; then when forced by his wife to take a job out of town, he cheats on his wife with bad girl Susan Hayward.  

Susan Hayward, "They Won't Believe Me," 1947.
The wife kills herself; Susan Hayward dies in a car crash; and Young gets blamed for both deaths.  Greer tricks him into turning himself in.  At his murder trial, she sees he's really innocent, but unable to overcome his guilt (and satisfy the Production Code) he tries to kill himself, but he's shot and killed before he can finish jumping out the window.  The verdict, read post mortem?  Innocent.  Like I said, screwy film. 


Deadline at Dawn 

Susan Hayward, "Deadline at Dawn," 1946.
Talk about screwy, "Deadline at Dawn" needs multiple flow charts and power point slides to explain the plot.  A sailor gets accused of murder and Susan Hayward plays the dance hall girl who, along with a philosophical cabbie, try to figure out if he actually killed her.  Maybe he imagined it?  Or maybe it's the gangster, or the blind piano player, or any one of a dozen other real and false leads.  Susan has lots of crazy lines and Paul Lukas is great as the cabbie. 

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