Oozing class from start to finish, Howard Hawks’ 1946 noir isn’t just a Hollywood classic.
It’s also the best screen outing for Raymond Chandler’s sleuth Philip Marlowe, flawlessly brought to life by Humphrey Bogart in this labyrinthine tangle of blackmail, murder and (comically coy) porn.
Lauren Bacall was such a sensual stand-out that an earlier version – shown to US soldiers overseas – was reshot to give her saucier new scenes, while the dialogue fizzes with smarts and innuendo – a tribute to the scripting triumvirate of Jules Furthman, Leigh Brackett and one William Faulkner.
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