Lady in the Lake

Synopsis: The camera shows Phillip Marlowe's view from the first-person in this adaptation of Raymond Chandler's book. The detective is hired to find a publisher's wife, who is supposed to have run off to Mexico. But the case soon becomes much more complicated as people are murdered.
Director(s): Robert Montgomery
Production: Warner Home Video
Rotten Tomatoes:
105 min

My name is Marlowe. Phillip Marlowe.

private detective.

Somebody says, "Follow that guy,"|so I follow him.

Somebody says, "Find that female,"|so I find her.

And what do I get out of it?

$10 a day and expenses.

And if you think that buys a lot of|fancy groceries these days, you're crazy.

Right now, you're reading in newspapers|and hearing over your radios...

about a murder.

They call it|"The Case of the Lady in the Lake."

It's a good title. It fits.

What you've read and what you've heard|is one thing.

The real thing is something else.

There's only one guy who knows that.|I know it.

This "Lady in the Lake" business started|just three days before Christmas.

I was tired of being pushed around|for nickels and dimes...

so I decided I'd write about murder.|It's safer.

And besides,|they tell me the profits are good.

So I pounded out a story on that...

and I sent it up to the|Kingsby Publications, Incorporated...

specialists in gore.

You know, they turn out that kind of thing.

I got a letter from them|asking me to see them about it.

The letter was signed "A. Fromsett...

"Room 950, Meadson Building."

Make a note of that.

Some cases of murder start when|that door there behind you opens up...

and a fellow rushes in all covered|with sweat and confusion...

and fills you full of bad dope|about the setup.

But some cases, like this one...

kind of creep up on you|on their hands and knees.

And the first thing you know,|you're in it up to your neck.

You'll see it just as I saw it.

You'll meet the people,|you'll find the clues...

and maybe you'll solve it quick,|and maybe you won't.

You think you will? Okay, you're smart.|But let me give you a tip.

You've got to watch them.

You've got to watch them all the time.

Because things happen|when you least expect them.

"Kingsby Publications, Incorporated.

"Room 950, Meadson Building.

"Signed, A. Fromsett."

Three days before Christmas|and I haven't done a bit of shopping yet.

Well, you'd better hurry up.

- Yes?|- I'm Phillip Marlowe.

I got a letter asking me|to come up here about a story.

A Mr. Marlowe to see you.

You may go in.

No, Dick, it won't do. Not enough gore.|Not nearly enough gore.

Well, that's because|you don't see it in color.

Color or no color,|there's not enough blood.

Take it out and put more blood in.|As soon as you finish, let me see it again.

Mr. Marlowe? Oh, Mr. Marlowe.

You're here about some kind of a story,|aren't you?

Yeah, I got a letter about it|from somebody named A. Fromsett.

I'm A. Fromsett.|Adrienne Fromsett, to be precise.

Won't you sit down?


- Let me see, I had your story...|- You still have it.

It's underneath the magazine there|on the desk.

Thank you.

"If I Should Die Before I Live."|That's a nice title.

"By Phillip Marlowe." Nice name.

Tell me, Mr. Marlowe,|have you done much writing before?

- That much.|- Really?

- You do very well for a beginner.|- Well, it's based on an authentic case.

Is it really?

Of course, we get hundreds of authentic|cases submitted to us every week.

Why don't you print a few?

They aren't all as emotional as yours.

- Cigarette?|- Thanks.


Thank you.

Besides, you see...

people who write|usually don't know the facts...

and people who know the facts|usually can't write.

Authenticity has very little to do with it.

If people who read our magazines|knew the facts of life, Mr. Marlowe...

they wouldn't be reading our magazines.

- Oh, Mr. Marlowe?|- Yeah?

Thank you.

Have you been marooned|on a desert island...

or do you just find it|difficult to concentrate?

- A little of both.|- Really?

In that case, I must be losing my touch.

You see, editorial work is so unglamorous,|sometimes...

You run this business all by yourself?

No, Mr. Derace Kingsby|is president of the company.

I'm his principal assistant.

Tell me, Mr. Marlowe...

are there really detectives|like the one in your story...

who never lie, cheat,|or double-cross a client...

who are loyal, honest,|and never betray a confidence?

Yeah, there are a couple of dopes like that.

Good. Then your story is autobiographical.|You were writing about yourself.

You don't really want to buy my story,|do you, Miss Fromsett?

- I was about to offer you $200 for it.|- Oh, no, you weren't.

Why don't you quit being cute,|Miss Fromsett?

The real reason you had me up here|is because...

you're looking for a smooth operator|who keeps his mouth shut.

And when you read the story,|you said, "Yeah, that's my boy.

"He's dumb, he's brave, and he's cheap."|Am I right?

Well, I was about to offer you|a commission...

on a rather delicate|and confidential matter.

Why didn't you pick up the telephone|and call me...

instead of all this Mickey Mouse|about a story?

What I want you to do is this:

I want you to find Mr. Kingsby's wife...

without his knowing|you're looking for her.

She's run off with another man.

She's a vicious woman.|A liar, a cheat, and a thief.

She may even end up|in the hands of the police.

- He's had 10 years...|- Pardon me if I'm nosey, Miss Fromsett.

What makes this any of your business?

I handle all of Mr. Kingsby's affairs.

He wishes to divorce her.

She must be found|before she can be served with the papers.

Nice job you have here.

You think I'm pretty cold-blooded|about this, don't you?

I'd have used a shorter word.

- I don't like your manner.|- I'm not selling it.

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Steve Fisher

Stephen Louis Fisher (born March 24, 1945) is a retired American basketball coach. Fisher has served as the head coach at the University of Michigan, where he won the national championship in 1989, and was an assistant at Michigan, Western Michigan University, and the Sacramento Kings of the National Basketball Association. From 1999 to 2017, Fisher was head coach at San Diego State. Fisher attended Illinois State University, where he helped lead the Redbirds to the Final Four of the 1967 NCAA College Division Basketball Tournament. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Lady in the Lake" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 29 May 2024. <>.

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