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Monday, June 26, 2017

Lady in The Lake (1947)

A private detective (Robert Montgomery) is hired by a publishing executive (Audrey Totter) to find the missing wife of her boss (Leon Ames). But this missing person's case soon turns into a bloody trail of deception and multiple murders. Based on the 1944 novel by Raymond Chandler and directed by the film's star, Robert Montgomery. The film is notable for the point of view use of the camera which stands in for Montgomery's Philip Marlowe who we hear but never see except in a mirror (although we do see him at various points in the film as he narrates the story from a desk). The film is also shot in long takes which allows the other actors to shine especially Jayne Meadows in her finest screen moment. The POV use of the camera is still a gimmick however without a payoff. It's novel for about a half hour before becoming tedious. This is a movie I wouldn't mind seeing remade without the POV gimmick. The narrative is intriguing enough to keep us glued until a sappy segment with Montgomery and Totter over Christmas day that stops the movie cold. With Lloyd Nolan, Tom Tully, Richard Simmons, Morris Ankrum and Kathleen Lockhart.

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