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Somnolent hero Robert Mitchum steps into Humphrey Bogart's shoes, taking up the role of surly private detective Philip Marlowe. He is, of course, excellent
This 1975 remake of Dmytryk's classic noir is better than you might expect, with Mitchum essaying the role of Philip Marlowe - Dick Powell in the 1944 Farewell My Lovely, but most famously played by Bogart in The Big Sleep.
The plot - which takes Marlowe on the trail of a client's missing girlfriend, and through the sleazy LA underworld - is almost as complicated as it was in the original, but sticks closer to Chandler's gloriously cynical source. This faithfulness to the text also extends to some great acid one-liners: "You've been beaten up, slapped, shot full of hop until you were as crazy as two waltzing mice, now let's see you do something really tough, like getting up". "She's cute, cuter than lace pants."
It looks wonderful with the 1940s settings and costumes beautifully rendered. The real highlight is of course Mitchum, his shabby charisma so great that he gives even Bogart a run for his money in the role.
As movie makeovers go, this is a worthy effort, and thanks to Mitchum's presence, electric entertainment.
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