The Effectiveness of Effects – Murder, My Sweet

            After seeing the film Murder, My Sweet in class one of the moments that really stood out to me was when Philip Marlowe gets drugged and knocked out.  This is a similar occurrence to Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon getting drugged and knocked out.  While both films have the characters getting drugged and knocked out, the experiences couldn’t be more different from one another.  In The Maltese Falcon it’s almost as if Sam Spade isn’t affected by it that much and just wakes up a little while later.  In Murder, My Sweet you get a full on experience of Philip Marlowe’s drugging presented in a “Twilight Zone-ish” way, which is very effective.  With this type of approach, an audience can fully gauge what Marlowe is going through.  When Philip Marlowe finally wakes up you can almost feel and sense how groggy he is.  By incorporating the effects properly and using the story at hand, it makes for a great example of how certain effects can really help aid a story.

1 thought on “The Effectiveness of Effects – Murder, My Sweet

  1. Prof. Gold

    Great observation — and I’d love for you to think about this more deeply, as it’s a great example of a place where some close reading could be effective. Why do you think that these incidents were handled in different ways? What does it say about the characters or about the films? Are there perhaps social/political/historical contexts that could help explain these differences? You might consider doing some research on this and making it the subject of your first paper.


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