The Brasher Doubloon

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The Brasher Doubloon
Brasher doubloon578.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by John Brahm
Produced by Robert Bassler
Screenplay by Dorothy Bennett
Leonard Praskins
Based on the novel The High Window 
by Raymond Chandler
Starring George Montgomery
Nancy Guild
Conrad Janis
Music by David Buttolph
Cinematography Lloyd Ahern
Edited by Harry Reynolds
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s)
  • February 6, 1947 (1947-02-06) (United States)
Running time 72 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Brasher Doubloon (known in the UK as The High Window) is a 1947 crime film noir directed by John Brahm and based on the novel The High Window by Raymond Chandler. The film features George Montgomery, Nancy Guild and Conrad Janis.[1]

Fred MacMurray, Victor Mature, and Dana Andrews were all mentioned at different times as having been cast as Philip Marlowe in the film before the studio settled on George Montgomery.[2]

The plot revolves around a man being pushed out of a high window by a woman while the incident was caught on film.

The movie is technically a remake of Time to Kill, a 1942 film which adapted The High Window as a Michael Shayne adventure starring Lloyd Nolan.

Plot[edit]

Private detective Philip Marlowe is hired by a wealthy widow, Elizabeth Murdock, to find a stolen coin called the Brasher Doubloon.

Marlowe ends up in the middle of a much more complicated case, one that involves blackmail and murder, forcing him to deal with a number of strange individuals. That includes Merle Davis, a deranged secretary to Murdock, whose own role in the matter is considerably more sinister than it seems.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

When the film was released, The New York Times film critic panned the film, writing, "... Chandler's popular 'shamus' and, we might add, his efforts to recover the stolen brasher doubloon, a rare coin with a violent history, is the least of his exploits to date. Perhaps this is due equally to a pedestrian adaptation of Mr. Chandler's novel, The High Window, to the plodding and conventional direction accorded the film by John Brahm, and to the lack of conviction in George Montgomery's interpretation of Marlowe."[3]

Film critic Dennis Schwartz, on the other hand, liked the film, and wrote, "A film noir similar in theme and almost as enjoyable as The Big Sleep, as private investigator Philip Marlowe (George Montgomery) leaves his Hollywood office for a case in Pasadena from a rich old widow who lives in a dark old house. It's just smart enough of a film noir to be considered a classic ... This brooding Gothic melodrama is brought to life by John Brahm's expressionistic ambiance ably photographed by cinematographer Lloyd Ahern and by the sharp hard-boiled Raymond Chandler story the film is adapted from, The High Window. The film is not as complex as the novel, but it makes good use of its snappy dialogue and has vividly grotesque characterizations to go along with the dark mood it sets. Fritz Kortner stands out in his villainous role, which he plays like Peter Lorre would; while Florence Bates is charmingly acerbic in her creepy role as a bitter old hag."[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Brasher Doubloon at the TCM Movie Database.
  2. ^ Harnisch, Larry. Los Angeles Times, "Trouble Was His Business -- Raymond Chandler", March 9, 2009. Accessed: July 17, 2013.
  3. ^ The New York Times. Staff, film review, May 22, 1947. Accessed: July 17, 2013.
  4. ^ Schwartz, Dennis. Ozus' World Movie Reviews, film review, January 26, 2002. Accessed: July 17, 2013.

External links[edit]