The perfect introduction to the Film Noir genre. For most people my age, the entire genre is a mystery in itself – we never had films like these. When the Max Payne games made their original debut in the 2001, it was our first “Noir” experience. The stoic narration, the flashbacks, the constant “blacking out” and starting over – none of it made much sense, it was just a fun journey to play through. Then I saw Murder, My Sweet.
The movie introduces you to an array of characters, including Moose, who you immediately develop a soft spot for. But as the movie carries on, the plot starts out as a simple bit of detective work and becomes gradually more nefarious. The movie is a spin on The Maltese Falcon, which if my movie history memory serves me correctly, had been made in to about 4 different movies in the span of just one decade… but this one really nails it for me. Everything from lights and camera work, to how shadows cascade across a room – every detail was well thought out in Murder, My Sweet. There is even a scene where our protagonist, Detective Marlowe, gets drugged, and has a fever dream, filled with paranoid dellusions – much as one might remember from the Max Payne games (now re-released on mobile devices!).
Yes, it’s a 1944 black and white detective film. But I go back to this classic over and over, and enjoy the thrill ride every time.