The Brasher Doubloon (1947)

the brasher doubloon 1947

Weak adaption of Raymond Chandler’s 1943 Philip Marlowe novel “The High Window.” George Montgomery is not a very convincing Marlowe. Of course it’s a tough act to follow when you consider Humphrey Bogart and Dick Powell played the role before.

Philip Marlowe is called out to the estate of the wealthy Elizabeth Murdock. She’s missing a valuable coin known as the brasher doubloon. It’s worth around ten grand. He’s intrigued by secretary Merle Davis (Nancy Guild). He’s not that happy with Elizabeth’s son Leslie (Conrad Janis).

Marlowe tells Merle he’s turning the case down because Elizabeth isn’t totally up front with him. She changes his mind. Back at his office he’s endorsing the check when Eddie Prue comes in. He works for club owner and gambler Vince Blair (Marvin Miller). Prue tries to convince him to drop the case. Marlowe throws him out.

Marlowe visits coin dealer Elisha Morningstar. He says someone tried to sell him the coin but he won’t mention any names. Marlowe stays behind and hears Morningstar call a P.I. named George Anson. Marlowe goes to Anson’s place. He’s not talking. He’s dead. Marlowe finds a small gun next to the body. It’s Merle’s. He goes to see Morningstar. He’s dead too.

He has a talk with Merle and finds out that Mrs.Murdock has found the coin. Leslie borrowed it to pay a gambling debt. She also admits that the late Mr.Murdock used to make moves on her. Merle hasn’t been right since Mr.Murdock went out a window five years ago while they were all watching the Rose Parade. Merle thinks she killed him.

Back at the office a man named Rudolph Vannier is waiting for him. He demands the coin. He learns you shouldn’t pull a gun on Marlowe. Vennier is a free lance news photographer. He shot some film of the Rose Parade five years ago. Marlowe thinks Vannier is in a panic because someone is blackmailing him.

Don’t want to give too much away but thanks to a claim check found  on a body Marlowe finds the coin. Merle, on orders from Mrs.Murdock, tries to seduce Marlowe. The tables turn there. Later Marlowe is mugged outside his place and hustled to Blair’s club.

The movie is just okay but doesn’t come across with the artistry of Chandler’s writing. He didn’t have anything to do with the screenplay and it shows.

Marvin Miller is known to TV fans as the man who handed out the checks on “The Millionaire” (1955-60) and the narrator of “The F.B.I.” (1966-74) and TV’s best but short lived comedy “Police Squad!” (1982).

George Montgomery as Philip Marlowe

George Montgomery as Philip Marlowe

About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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