Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Overlooked Films: THE LADY IN THE LAKE (1947)


Story by Raymond Chandler. Screenplay by Steve Fisher. Deadly dame by Audrey Totter. Together, they make my all-time favorite mystery film. What's Robert Mitchum doing in the YouTube shot below? Beats me. He wouldn't play Marlowe for another 28 years. But never fear, the film is the real thing, and Robert Montgomery makes a better Marlowe, even though we only see him when he looks in the mirror.

Because this movie has a lot of Christmasy stuff, I was tempted to wait until December to post it. But because many films get yanked from YouTube without warning, I didn't want to take the chance. So Merry Christmas to you, four months early.






Your weekly Overlooked HQ is Sweet Freedom.

7 comments:

Walker Martin said...

I like this movie a lot also. The beginning is interesting for pulp magazine collectors. Marlowe visits a pulp publisher and the office has pulp cover paintings hanging on the walls.

Cap'n Bob said...

If the objective camera gimmick doesn't bother you, it's an enjoyable movie.

pattinase (abbott) said...

One of the great ones!

Harper said...

The novel is my favorite by Chandler, and you've baited the hook so well that I must now view the film version. However, I do not recall ever being pleased with film versions of my favorite novels. Perhaps this will be the exception.

oscar case said...

I'll have to watch to see if Lloyd Nolan is the good guy or the bad guy.

Angela M. Sanders said...

Hey, since when did the Chipmunks dub Lady in the Lake? I'm enduring an awful layover (17 hours of travel and counting) and sat down to watch the version you so thoughtfully supplied. They talk at 78 rpm! Still, it's a fabulous movie, and thanks for linking to it.

Matthew Clark said...

Actually the dangerous woman in Lady in the Lake is Jayne Meadows. Yes, Mrs Steve Allen steals the movie, and is a totally badass, stone cold killer.
I've liked most of lady in the Lake, but the point of view stuff just gets distracting, or down right silly. Check out the scene after the car wreck, and as Marlowe crawls to safety, we see his hands grasping the ground. Just think of all the effort they went through to maintain this effect which in the end defuses the drama by distracting the viewer by drawing attention to how it's shot: oh, we see him now that he's looking into a mirror. Wish they had just shot it straight. Montgomery's follow up film, Ride the Pink Horse, only uses the objective view sparingly, and adds to the impact of the story.
And some of the changes to the plot, I feel, also weaken the story. In the book Marlow is called in by the owner of a perfume manufacturer to find his missing wife. And we have that great scene on the lake finding the body. The movie is just too cute in how Marlowe is brought into the case, and the title character is handled off screen. Once again, see "Ride the Pink Horse".