Murder, My Sweet, a taut thriller about a private detective enmeshed with a gang of blackmailers, is as smart as it is gripping.
Plot ramifications may not stand up under clinical study, but suspense is built up sharply and quickly. In fact, the film gets off to so jet-pulsed a start that it necessarily hits a couple of slow stretches midway as it settles into uniform groove. But interest never flags, and the mystery is never really cleared up until the punchy closing.
Director Edward Dmytryk has made few concessions to the social amenities and has kept his yarn stark and unyielding. Story [from the novel Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler] begins with a private dick hired by an ex-convict to find his one-time girlfriend.
Performances are on a par with the production. Dick Powell is a surprise as the hard-boiled copper. The portrayal is potent and convincing. Claire Trevor is as dramatic as the predatory femme, with Anne Shirley in sharp contrast as the soft kid caught in the crossfire.