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Moose Malloy has just gotten out of jail, and hires detective Philip Marlowe to track the Love Interest he lost touch with while serving time. He is also hired by a beautiful woman named Clare Trevor to find a stolen jade necklace. It becomes more obvious that their stories are connected as the film continues.
Tropes used by the film:
- Deadpan Snarker: Powell does a great job (arguably even better than Bogart) in capturing how snarky Marlowe is.
- Doesn't Like Guns: "That's just part of my clothes. I hardly ever shoot anybody with it."
- Does Not Like Men: Anne.
"Sometimes I hate men. ALL men. Old men, young men... beautiful young men who use rosewater and... almost heels who are private detectives."
- Femme Fatale: Helen Grayle/Velma Valento
- Fiery Redhead: Helen Grayle/Velma Valento
- Film Noir
- Going by the Matchbook
- Hardboiled Detective: one of the classic examples.
- Nothing Personal: "It ain't personal if we don't like you, we've got a personal routine to follow after a killing."
- Only in It For the Money: Philip only does his job for the money.
Philip: Only reason I took the job was because my bank account was trying to crawl under a duck.
Lieutenant Randall: You're not a detective, you're a slot machine. You'd slit your own throat for 6 bits plus tax!
- Pretty in Mink: Ann wears a mink coat at the end.
- Private Eye Monologue
- Smoking Is Cool
- Tom Hanks Syndrome: Prior to this movie, Dick Powell had only been in lighthearted musicals.
- Viewers are Morons: The reason for the title change was on account of a belief that audiences would assume a film called Farewell My Lovely with Dick Powell was a musical. Including the word murder in the title was to clue audiences in that it was a mystery.
- Weapon for Intimidation: Philip Marlowe carries a revolver but states that he rarely needs it.
"That's just part of my clothes. I hardly ever shoot anybody with it."