Tuesday, April 9, 2013
The Venue 1550 at the Daystar Center
1550 S. State Street
Murder, My Sweet, based on the novel by Raymond Chandler, was released in 1944, a few months after another noir classic, Double Indemnity. It was popular with audiences and critics alike. It also transformed Dick Powell from a pretty-boy singer into a film noir icon. It also provided a great femme fatale role for Claire Trevor, one of Hollywood’s most versatile and talented actresses. For Anne Shirley, who was acting in the movies since she was four years old, her portrayal of Ann Grayle would mark her last film role.
Powell was probably the only actor in Hollywood who actively campaigned to play Walter Neff in Double Indemnity. Most of his contemporaries were afraid to play a murderer, but Powell was desperate to reinvent himself.
As a contract player at Warner Brothers, Powell was cast in musicals often costarring tap dancer Ruby Keeler and his first wife Joan Blondell. With his pretty-boy looks and tenor voice, Powell was a matinee idol during the early to mid-1930s. As the 1940s began, Powell thought he was too old to continue playing young romantic leads.
|Powell starred in movie musicals|
during the 1930s.
Murder, My Sweet made Powell a bankable star once again. It also gave Trevor one of the best roles in her long movie career. For director, Edward Dmytryk, it raised his profile at RKO. He was given more A-movies to direct, including the Academy Award nominated Crossfire (1947). Dmytryk would go on to direct the epic Raintree County (1957), The Young Lions (1958), and the all-star The Carpetbaggers (1964), which was the highest grossing film that year.
To purchase tickets for the March 12 screening, click here. Tickets are $5 per person general admission and Chicago Film Club. To download a flyer to post in your building or office, click here.
|Anne Shirley (center) in Anne of Green Gables|
Backstory: Anne Shirley began acting in silent movies when she was only four years old. She started out as Dawn O’Day, but when she portrayed Lucy Maud Montgomery’s heroine Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables, she took that name for her own. Shirley progressed from child star to adult roles; she was one of many actresses who tested for the role of Melanie Hamilton in Gone With The Wind, eventually losing out to Olivia de Havilland.
She met and married her second husband, Adrian Scott, who produced Murder, My Sweet.