The Legendary Brasher Doubloon (1947)

The Brasher Doubloon Poster
“How I hate the summer winds. They come in suddenly off the Mojave Desert, and you can taste the sand for days.”

This is the promising voice-over one hears at the beginning of what may be the least known cinematic adaptation of one of Raymond Chandler‘s Philip Marlowe stories.  Made into a Michael Shayne mystery starring Lloyd Nolan in 1942′s Time To Kill, the author, still peeved at his story’s treatment in that decent, if workmanlike version and further miffed that he had no more income from any other movies made by the studio that owned the rights to the story, 20th Century Fox reportedly hoped to cash in on the ‘craze’ for crime stories set in the still exotic environs of a dark tinted Los Angeles following the great popularity of such films as Murder, My Sweet and The Big  Sleep.

George Montgomery, at 30, was one of the youngest actors cast to play the character in the movies, is seen in this opening scene approaching an ominously photographed mansion buffeted by the dry, swirling Santa Ana winds pushing the gnarled trees that surround the house against the walls. As he approaches the door, a sylph-like figure admits him into the house, swallowing him up in the same way that this movie seems to have been subsumed in a cinematic vault.

Never having been issued commercially on dvd and only broadcast rarely to the best of my knowledge, I was eager to see this movie when a friend recently lent it to me. In this case, The High Window, Chandler‘s third novel, published  in 1942, was fashioned by the stylish director John Brahm and his scenarists Dorothy Bennett and Leonard Praskins into a 72 minute dash through various film noir motifs and presented to a waiting public in the form of 20th Century Fox’s The Brasher Doubloon (1947). You have some of the same atmospheric elements of the other popular movies made from Chandler‘s novels in that period. Actually, after watching this movie recently, I started to wonder if the filmmakers at 20th Century Fox got together around this time to put together a film noir kit with ingredients that should have resulted in a memorable classic. Perhaps this hypothetical film noir kit might have been planned out neatly at a few production meetings that might have gone something like this…

The filmmakers knew that the following items were needed:

1.) A Detective to play Philip Marlowe

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In retrospect, I admit that I’ve grown to like the callow George Montgomery‘s breezy style. After growing up seeing this skilled cabinet maker hawk wood polish on the tube, it was news to me that he was also an actor with a once-viable career. George Montgomery in a sober moment of The Brasher Doubloon (1947)Today, as my ongoing cinematic education continues,  I’ve begun to enjoy his appearances. The musical delights and petty conflicts of Orchestra Wives (1942), the wartime romance and campiness of China Girl (1942), and Montgomery‘s ironic and funny turn in Roxie Hart (1942), as well as the many Westerns the Montana native made, have taught me that he was much more than singer Dinah Shore‘s ex-husband. Before being seduced into a Hollywood sojourn, his first career choice had been as an interior designer, an artistic path he later happily returned to with considerable success as he became a well known sculptor as well as craftsman.

Still, he was a strapping 6 feet plus presence and he had a good baritone–which is used particularly well for the voice-overs that are sprinkled throughout the narrative of this movie–but I must confess that I had moments of longing for the gravitas, the curdled romanticism and a certain ragged gallantry that the much older Dick Powell and Humphrey Bogart brought to the part of gumshoe Philip Marlowe so effortlessly. Of course, this may be because they were the first Marlowes I knew.  In Raymond Chandler‘s books, his creation is described as “slightly over six feet tall and weighs about 190 pounds” with an insubordinate air. The writer also mentioned once that “I think [Marlowe] might seduce a duchess, and I am quite sure he would not spoil a virgin.” This iconoclastic knight errant with a personal sense of honor and a fresh mouth does find expression in Montgomery‘s tender efforts at seducing the skittish girl in this story, but he never quite inhabits the role for me.

Montgomery is just too healthy looking to play a man whom the author described as having a “solid old face” that “was lined and grey with fatigue”. He doesn’t look like the kind of man who’s spent his life in smoke-filled saloons, firetrap offices and crummy apartments being repeatedly disillusioned by others. What he lacks in world weariness, he makes up for in his often disbelieving humor, frank appreciation for his co-star’s innate sensuality, and briskly mercenary bent. He maintains a nice balance between the inherent cynicism of his character and his willingness to protect the hapless girl whose plight interests him as much as her looks. I suspect that after Montgomery returned from Army Air Corps service in WWII, the studio chose him for this rather hastily planned movie because Fox hoped that they could hitch the handsome, if slightly talented actor’s star potential to this wave of dark-themed movies. No, Humphrey Bogart, Dick Powell, Robert Mitchum and even Robert Montgomery, Elliot Gould and James Garner can rest on their laurels. George Montgomery may not be making those shades of Marlowe too uneasy.  I just wish that small voice that whispers, “Marlowe should be smarter than this” at key moments in the movie could have been suppressed more readily by me while watching this detective work so gamely on the case.

2.) A Mysterious Young Woman with a Waterfall of Hair and a Big Problem

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College girl Nancy Guild in the 1945 Life magazine photo that won her a movie contract.Nancy Guild, (“rhymes with wild” according to those cleverpublicity boys at Fox), was a 19 year old college student when she signed a contract at the studio, reportedly almost as a lark following a splash she made in a 1945 Life magazine picture layout about campus fashions while a student at the University of Arizona (a photo from that spread can be seen at left). Thinking that perhaps they’d found an answer to Veronica Lake and Lauren Bacall, and sensing a possible star in the mold of the studio’s own somewhat aristocratic Gene Tierney, Miss Guild‘s debut as a worldly if awfully nice nightclub singer in Joseph Mankiewicz‘s first directorial effort, Somewhere in the Night (1946), paired her with John Hodiak and Richard Conte in a movie that toyed with the emerging film noir conventions even as it kidded them gently. While at first glance, she clearly had “the look” of that period: a comely, streamlined face and figure, a low voice, a slightly deadpan manner, and a mysterious air, it might be pretty obvious to most movie-going observers that her inscrutable vibe is really composed of 2/3 fear and 1/3 cluelessness.

Time and some serious acting lessons might have helped, as would a decent apprenticeship in smaller movies and plays out of the glare of the spotlight, but this young lady did bring a quiet appeal to her scant film appearances. If she had emerged a few years earlier, the studio machine might have been geared toward developing her potential, but the brusque postwar period was marked by a singular dearth of longterm nurturing at the increasingly hard-pressed studios. Talented youngsters might still believe a studio contract would lead to a stellar career over time, but that facade was deteriorating. Merle Davis (Nancy Guild) being "treated" for her fear of intimacy by Philip Marlowe (George Montgomery)Later movies for Nancy Guild included Black Magic (1949) opposite Orson Welles before her career slipped into B movie purgatory with appearances in Francis the Talking Mule and Abbott and Costello movies. Eventually wisely leaving full time acting for married life, and free lancing occasional pieces for Architectural Digest, Nancy Guild the actress is barely remembered  today.

Despite her serious lack of experience when making this movie, Guild‘s innate grace, sensuality and breathy vulnerability blend to make a viewer care about this girl’s situation, especially since she is quite literally treated like a slow-witted dog throughout the film by her employers, the wealthy Murdocks, a mother and son duo whose attachment seems a tad unhealthy. Guild‘s Merle Davis character harbors a not very mysterious reluctance to be touched by a man, while lending the story some college boy humor as Marlowe offers to teach her to tolerate it, and perhaps even to like it,  seems more facetious than an indication of her character’s rather seriously neurotic personality order.

3.) A Dubious Client with Buckets of Money

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Florence Bates, the character actress who has a field day in The Brasher DoubloonFlorence Bates, the memorable character actress with a face like a toad and a mind as sharp as a paper cut plays the daunting Mrs. Elizabeth Murdock, who hires Marlowe to find a $10,000 coin, the brasher doubloon of the title, that is missing from her late husband’s collection. Perhaps best remembered for her first credited part on film as the scene-stealing “Mrs. Edythe Van Hopper” in Rebecca (1940), the actress does another remarkable turn as another young woman’s bête noire in The Brasher Doubloon.

Her character, ensconced in a similar gloomy solarium in her dark Pasadena mansion seemed to be a much more threatening gargoyle than the frail General Sternwood did as Marlowe’s ancient client in The Big Sleep (1946), in that earlier, fondly remembered if sometimes incoherent Howard Hawks film. Barking the character’s name of “Merle!” at Nancy Guild‘s character to fetch and carry out her orders as she explains in her cryptic fashion what little she wants Montgomery to know, she creates a indelible image of this woman as a voracious spider, with her secretary and wimpy son (played by a very young Conrad Janis) as flies caught in her web. Bates, like the true jurist she was in real life*, uses her skill as an actress to make the woman’s few touches of humanity, especially when she repeatedly says how much she cares for her son and secretary, (who was also with her husband on the last day of his life), more intriguing, despite the limitations of the script regarding her character. In her final scene, when the Bates character is allowed to “go for baroque” in her eccentric characterization, I wondered if she might have received a nomination as a Best Supporting Actress if this film had been a financial and critical success when released.

4.) A Rogue’s Gallery
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A rogue's gallery watching over a beaten MarloweAmong the actors hired to lend color to this film were several wonderful character men playing plug uglies encountered by Marlowe as he tried to unravel the clues and figure out why several bodies are strewn in his path like dried leaves. Among them were Roy Roberts as an exasperated homicide detective who feels as though he’s directing traffic rather than conducting a murder case.  Marvin Miller (an actor best remembered as ‘Michael Anthony’ on the early tv hit, “The Millionaire”) plays Vince Blair, a man who runs a gambling joint frequented by Conrad Janis‘ sullen-faced young wastrel.
Other actors, such as Alfred Linder (seen in the group above  wearing the straw boater) with a drooping right eye and Germanic hep cat accent pop up to threaten Montgomery in his office at the behest of the somewhat Buddha-like, passive Blair. The jaunty, repellent Linder, (who I would like to know more about), reminds me that Roman Polanski might have had him in mind when he played his much better known “Man with Knife” in the classic Chinatown (1974).

Housely Stevenson as a sinister coin dealerThe elderly Housely Stevenson, (right) familiar to those of us who cherish sinister authority figures, such as the plastic surgeon he played in Dark Passage, shows up as a colorfully seedy coin dealer, extolling “the rich, violent history of the brasher doubloon”, which in typically misogynistic tinged Chandler style, is described as being set into motion by a lethal female.

The best of the bad men present in the cast and scattering cryptic clues in his wake may well be Fritz Kortner. The prominent German actor, who languished in California while the Nazis ravaged his homeland and much of Europe, stepped into cinematic immortality as one of Louise Brooks’ more significant conquests in Pabst’s Pandora’s Box (1929), but in America in the ’40s he was fortunate if he could find small parts  in films such as this one, Mankiewicz’s Somewhere in the Night or Edmund Goulding’s The Razor’s Edge, all at 20th Century Fox.
Fritz KortnerTo each of these slim roles, Kortner (left) brought a psychic weight and a humorously confident presence in the briefest of his appearances, lacing each of them with a worldly understanding of human nature. The actor makes most of the dramatic proceedings around him seem like a simple game of checkers, while he, among the types from Central Casting, appears to be playing a game of world class chess in his head.  In his initial appearance in the story, as a one-time newsreel photographer trying to jimmy the lock on Marlowe’s office door, Kortner reveals his character’s level of anxious rapacity to the detective during their brief encounter.  I kept hoping that Kortner would appear again. Alas, the plot only allows him one more appearance and that, sadly, is without any lines–though his blackmailing of the colorful residents of that Pasadena chateau  does set in motion the climax of the film, which, without revealing any spoilers, echoes our society’s increased awareness of the many ways of seeing and experiencing events through a very dark lens.

5.) A Director With Some Style:

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John BrahmDirector John Brahm, the expressionist trained German filmmaker, a contemporary of other expatriate, expressionist influenced directors  who had worked at Fox in America, Fritz Lang and Otto Preminger, had hit a career high with his “gaslight melodramas” near the end of the war.  Making  The Lodger (1944) and Hangover Square (1945) with the gifted leading heavy Laird Cregar at the studio and the equally stylish psychological examination of Laraine Day‘s character in The Locket (1946) at RKO might have seemed an indication of a major talent, but, in one of those puzzling choices of the studio system at their height, when dealing with a surfeit of talented individuals, Brahm and his producer Robert Bassler were assigned the perhaps too quickly conceived The Brasher Doubloon as a dubious reward for their efforts. Working with cinematographer Lloyd Ahern, (with whom Brahm would also make the luridly entertaining camp classic Hot Rods to Hell in the sixties), the pair created some startling compositions, with the requisite emphasis on extremes of light and dark, (lots of the customary venetian blind shadows too) , along with some unusually extreme close-ups on characters lurching into the edge of a duskily lit frame. Unlike many of Brahm’s earlier, studio bound if creative and imaginative movies, The Brasher Doubloon uses real Los Angeles area settings to establish the ominous moods of various scenes, effectively filming the sequences at the mansion during a wind storm. When Marlowe goes looking for clues in the Bunker Hill area of the city, we catch glimpses of the once posh and then seedy buildings, “which used to be the choice place to live in Los Angeles. Nowadays, people live there because they haven’t got any choice.” The Bunker Hill area of LA used for location shooting in The Brasher Doubloon. I believe that the spired building next to the church was one more stop for Philip Marlowe (George Montgomery) The film shows Montgomery driving up and entering to the three tiered apartment house shown in the middle of the photo at left, where, naturally, he discovers yet another body. Impressed with glimpsing the now vanished setting as much as the plot, I must admit that that I lost track of the body count in this movie at times, even though I love to relish the sight of such lost cityscapes in period films.
With the demise of the studio system, John Brahm went on to an extensive career in television and minor motion pictures. His stylish flourishes found their best latter day expression in some classic episodes of  landmark programs such as The Twilight Zone and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour where his gifts for disturbingly dramatic moments on screen are still appreciated today. Interestingly, his movies at Fox have recently been issued on dvd, with three of his films at the studio issued together on a carefully restored set of  The Lodger, Hangover Square and an amusing, better than average quasi-horror movie, The Undying Monster (1942), set in what is seemingly a favorite dramatic period in his work , the Victorian era. Why not The Brasher Doubloon? Perhaps others know of some rights issues or perhaps it is one of those cases of a studio only having a certain amount of time and resources to choose from when considering transferring selections from their library to dvds. In any case, based on the recording from an AMC broadcast that I recently saw, I’d guess that this film is in real need of restoration.  It’s definitely worth a look, even if it isn’t a perfectly built classic film noir.
*Prior to becoming an actress, Florence Bates was the first woman lawyer in Texas in 1914 at the age of 26.
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UPDATE ! The Film Noir Foundation has recently screened this rare film and had one of the stars, Conrad Janis, sit down for a lively discussion of the film in Feb. 2012 before a live audience. Mr. Janis discusses this movie, his co-workers and his many careers as a musician and an an actor from the studio era until now. If Noir City comes to your town, this is the kind of priceless experience you can expect:
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2n_5uDHC3w&w=560&h=315]
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mb2YfnE5k1Q&w=560&h=315]
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6PyzlAM7fM&w=560&h=315]
32 Responses The Legendary Brasher Doubloon (1947)
Posted By john august smith : February 19, 2009 4:22 pm

I remember it fondly and look forward to seeing it on TCM.

Posted By john august smith : February 19, 2009 4:22 pm

I remember it fondly and look forward to seeing it on TCM.

Posted By Rick : February 19, 2009 9:26 pm

I remember watching it on late night TV in the early 1950′s in Chicago. I also enjoy good mysteries, especialy based on any Raymond Chandler book. I also look forward to seeing it on TCM.

Posted By Rick : February 19, 2009 9:26 pm

I remember watching it on late night TV in the early 1950′s in Chicago. I also enjoy good mysteries, especialy based on any Raymond Chandler book. I also look forward to seeing it on TCM.

Posted By Alan K. Rode : February 19, 2009 10:55 pm

Moira- nice piece as always.

THE BRASHER DOUBLOON was screened at the Silent Movie Theatre last year during a “Philip Marlowe Festival” that I hosted and co-programmed. Beautiful print with brilliant visuals by Brahm and great character turns by Bates, Marvin Miller, Roy Roberts, Stevenson et al. Conrad Janis, who is still with us, also does fine work.

Fox was going to issue THE BRASHER DOUBLOON to DVD several years ago as part of their continuing Film Noir series,. The release of this film (along with an Eddie Muller and Conrad Janis commentary track) has been on hold for reasons unknown.

Posted By Alan K. Rode : February 19, 2009 10:55 pm

Moira- nice piece as always.

THE BRASHER DOUBLOON was screened at the Silent Movie Theatre last year during a “Philip Marlowe Festival” that I hosted and co-programmed. Beautiful print with brilliant visuals by Brahm and great character turns by Bates, Marvin Miller, Roy Roberts, Stevenson et al. Conrad Janis, who is still with us, also does fine work.

Fox was going to issue THE BRASHER DOUBLOON to DVD several years ago as part of their continuing Film Noir series,. The release of this film (along with an Eddie Muller and Conrad Janis commentary track) has been on hold for reasons unknown.

Posted By C. Jerry Kutner : February 20, 2009 1:07 am

Thanks for this discussion of one of Hollywood’s most underrated directors. Another terrific and rarely seen film by Brahm is GUEST IN THE HOUSE, starring Anne Bancroft as a *heroine* even crazier than Laraine Day in THE LOCKET.

I sure wish TCM or Fox or SOMEBODY would make these films generally available.

Posted By C. Jerry Kutner : February 20, 2009 1:07 am

Thanks for this discussion of one of Hollywood’s most underrated directors. Another terrific and rarely seen film by Brahm is GUEST IN THE HOUSE, starring Anne Bancroft as a *heroine* even crazier than Laraine Day in THE LOCKET.

I sure wish TCM or Fox or SOMEBODY would make these films generally available.

Posted By C. Jerry Kutner : February 20, 2009 1:35 am

Whoops – I meant Anne Baxter.

Posted By C. Jerry Kutner : February 20, 2009 1:35 am

Whoops – I meant Anne Baxter.

Posted By Al Lowe : February 20, 2009 10:01 am

I think some respect should be given to Darryl F. Zanuck, who I have come to admire over the years. Some great Noirs were made on his watch and a lot of directors did some of their best work. I love MGM but that studio was about to turn into Dore Schary Hell.

I know that distribution of the great old movies is often held up due to rights issues. But I suspect there’s another problem too.
It reminds me of that current release He’s Just Not That Into You. The people in charge of releasing classic films just aren’t that into old movies.
Noone doubts the devotion of the Morlocks or we who contribute responses to their columns. And, of course, TCM has a lot of people who obviously really care.
But, and I wish I was wrong, I think some people in charge of making release decisions just do not have a clue.

Anyway, good post. I have read all of Chandler and saw (and own) all the other available Marlowe films. I always love when Martha Vickers tells Bogart in the two versions of The Big Sleep that he is not very tall and he responds, “I try to be.”

Posted By Al Lowe : February 20, 2009 10:01 am

I think some respect should be given to Darryl F. Zanuck, who I have come to admire over the years. Some great Noirs were made on his watch and a lot of directors did some of their best work. I love MGM but that studio was about to turn into Dore Schary Hell.

I know that distribution of the great old movies is often held up due to rights issues. But I suspect there’s another problem too.
It reminds me of that current release He’s Just Not That Into You. The people in charge of releasing classic films just aren’t that into old movies.
Noone doubts the devotion of the Morlocks or we who contribute responses to their columns. And, of course, TCM has a lot of people who obviously really care.
But, and I wish I was wrong, I think some people in charge of making release decisions just do not have a clue.

Anyway, good post. I have read all of Chandler and saw (and own) all the other available Marlowe films. I always love when Martha Vickers tells Bogart in the two versions of The Big Sleep that he is not very tall and he responds, “I try to be.”

Posted By Medusa : February 20, 2009 10:32 am

Great post, Moira! I was always fascinated by the title “The Brasher Doubloon” — never really knew what it meant, thanks for the link to the whole story — and for the fascinating news that Florence Bates was a young lady lawyer in Texas! Now *that’s* a Lifetime movie if I ever heard of one…if they did exciting stories with unusual lady characters instead of sappy endangered woman plots.

As always, you’ve made me want to see this movie!

Posted By Medusa : February 20, 2009 10:32 am

Great post, Moira! I was always fascinated by the title “The Brasher Doubloon” — never really knew what it meant, thanks for the link to the whole story — and for the fascinating news that Florence Bates was a young lady lawyer in Texas! Now *that’s* a Lifetime movie if I ever heard of one…if they did exciting stories with unusual lady characters instead of sappy endangered woman plots.

As always, you’ve made me want to see this movie!

Posted By Suzi Doll : February 20, 2009 5:55 pm

I love all things Raymond Chandler/Philip Marlowe and would love a chance to see this film, especially after your thoughtful article. I like when I read something that inspires me to see the film.

Posted By Suzi Doll : February 20, 2009 5:55 pm

I love all things Raymond Chandler/Philip Marlowe and would love a chance to see this film, especially after your thoughtful article. I like when I read something that inspires me to see the film.

Posted By moirafinnie : February 24, 2009 8:09 pm

Well, as much as I’d love to see The Brasher Doubloon as part of a month long celebration of all things Chandler and Hammett on TCM, I’m not sure if that is going to happen too soon, due to some arcane distribution issues of this film.

Thanks to Alan for sharing the news that a good print of this movie does exist and that an already prepared dvd commentary with Messrs. Janis and Muller lies awaiting release. It would have seemed a logical choice for the excellent Fox Noir series of the last few years. I’d also love to see a Region 1 dvd made of the John Brahm directed movie, The Locket from RKO, (there is already a Region 2 one).

Al,
Darryl F. Zanuck made some bold choices for themes and innovative storytelling techniques during his time as a mogul, particularly in the immediate postwar years. As Philip Dunne, Jean Negulesco, Joseph Mankiewicz and Otto Preminger would readily attest, his true gift may not have been as a mogul or as the writer he fancied himself to be, but as an editor, who could cut through the sometimes tangled exposition that writers could get themselves into and show them the best way to tell stories cinematically. Zanuck also was a showman, and not above making a quick buck for his studio by riding a wave in a certain genre that proved popular. As with many moguls, they were faced with a surfeit of talent at the height of the studio system and, as a result, in the case of the talented John Brahm on the payroll, he needed to keep this man busy. Thus, he gave him The Brasher Doubloon script, and, according to the oral history recorded by Brahm at USC in 1973, proceeded to cut the budget and the script, contributing to the director’s increased disaffection for the studio, (which had also deepened after the death of Brahm‘s friend and gifted star in some of his best films at Fox, Laird Cregar).

It is very heartening to see that others are interested in a relatively obscure film, which remains an intriguing example of John Brahm‘s talent.

Posted By moirafinnie : February 24, 2009 8:09 pm

Well, as much as I’d love to see The Brasher Doubloon as part of a month long celebration of all things Chandler and Hammett on TCM, I’m not sure if that is going to happen too soon, due to some arcane distribution issues of this film.

Thanks to Alan for sharing the news that a good print of this movie does exist and that an already prepared dvd commentary with Messrs. Janis and Muller lies awaiting release. It would have seemed a logical choice for the excellent Fox Noir series of the last few years. I’d also love to see a Region 1 dvd made of the John Brahm directed movie, The Locket from RKO, (there is already a Region 2 one).

Al,
Darryl F. Zanuck made some bold choices for themes and innovative storytelling techniques during his time as a mogul, particularly in the immediate postwar years. As Philip Dunne, Jean Negulesco, Joseph Mankiewicz and Otto Preminger would readily attest, his true gift may not have been as a mogul or as the writer he fancied himself to be, but as an editor, who could cut through the sometimes tangled exposition that writers could get themselves into and show them the best way to tell stories cinematically. Zanuck also was a showman, and not above making a quick buck for his studio by riding a wave in a certain genre that proved popular. As with many moguls, they were faced with a surfeit of talent at the height of the studio system and, as a result, in the case of the talented John Brahm on the payroll, he needed to keep this man busy. Thus, he gave him The Brasher Doubloon script, and, according to the oral history recorded by Brahm at USC in 1973, proceeded to cut the budget and the script, contributing to the director’s increased disaffection for the studio, (which had also deepened after the death of Brahm‘s friend and gifted star in some of his best films at Fox, Laird Cregar).

It is very heartening to see that others are interested in a relatively obscure film, which remains an intriguing example of John Brahm‘s talent.

Posted By Bronxgirl : February 25, 2009 2:28 am

mpira, I just adore your BRASHER DOUBLOON post, and ate up every word. I’m still reeling from your description of Florence Bates as having a face like a toad and a mind as sharp as a paper cut. Man, you….are….soooooooooo goooooooooood!!or

I seem to remember this movie played on network stations back in the day, and I must have seen it, only I don’t remember anything about it.

Posted By Bronxgirl : February 25, 2009 2:28 am

mpira, I just adore your BRASHER DOUBLOON post, and ate up every word. I’m still reeling from your description of Florence Bates as having a face like a toad and a mind as sharp as a paper cut. Man, you….are….soooooooooo goooooooooood!!or

I seem to remember this movie played on network stations back in the day, and I must have seen it, only I don’t remember anything about it.

Posted By Bronxgirl : February 25, 2009 2:31 am

moira, forgive my typos on the previous reply — it’s late and I had just discovered your post, which got me all excited!!

Barbara

Posted By Bronxgirl : February 25, 2009 2:31 am

moira, forgive my typos on the previous reply — it’s late and I had just discovered your post, which got me all excited!!

Barbara

Posted By John Whatley : April 4, 2009 4:33 pm

I was present in 1977 when an actual 1787 (LIMA)Brasher Doubloon was accidently discovered in Gloster Mississippi in some loose pea gravel from a local gravel pit. The coin was eventually lost again ( due to a boating accident )in a different river on a fishing trip before it was able to be sold at auction, A similar coin sold in 2005 for $3 million Dollars.

Posted By John Whatley : April 4, 2009 4:33 pm

I was present in 1977 when an actual 1787 (LIMA)Brasher Doubloon was accidently discovered in Gloster Mississippi in some loose pea gravel from a local gravel pit. The coin was eventually lost again ( due to a boating accident )in a different river on a fishing trip before it was able to be sold at auction, A similar coin sold in 2005 for $3 million Dollars.

Posted By MrGranger : September 2, 2009 12:08 pm

As a fan of Chandler, I’d love to see The Brasher Doubloon and Time To Kill released on DVD. I’m surprised that it isn’t considering Chandler’s popularity still. There aren’t that many films based on his novels so I’d love to see another; perfect or not.

Posted By MrGranger : September 2, 2009 12:08 pm

As a fan of Chandler, I’d love to see The Brasher Doubloon and Time To Kill released on DVD. I’m surprised that it isn’t considering Chandler’s popularity still. There aren’t that many films based on his novels so I’d love to see another; perfect or not.

Posted By Riri Hood : May 19, 2012 7:05 pm

I love Raymond Chandler. I recently saw The Brasher Doubloon during a film Noir Festival with Guest star Conrad Janis, which you include above, and he is as cute as he was in the film, only not a criminal. He was great in the film, and wonderful in the Film Noire interview. I want to see more of his current work as this man really is a true Renaissance man like the interviewer said.I want to buy this movie on D.V.D. Where can I get it? I understand that he is also a director himself and his film ‘BAD BLOOD THE HUNGER” is being released this year. Thanks for putting this on.

Posted By Riri Hood : May 19, 2012 7:05 pm

I love Raymond Chandler. I recently saw The Brasher Doubloon during a film Noir Festival with Guest star Conrad Janis, which you include above, and he is as cute as he was in the film, only not a criminal. He was great in the film, and wonderful in the Film Noire interview. I want to see more of his current work as this man really is a true Renaissance man like the interviewer said.I want to buy this movie on D.V.D. Where can I get it? I understand that he is also a director himself and his film ‘BAD BLOOD THE HUNGER” is being released this year. Thanks for putting this on.

Posted By moirafinnie : May 21, 2012 9:54 am

Hi Riri,
I envy you the experience of seeing any part of a Noir City programme as well as Mr. Janis in person. Regarding a DVD of The Brasher Doubloon (1947), a Google search shows that all region DVDs of this movie are available for sale on the internet.

I am reassured to see this featured by the Film Noir Foundation since at the time when I first reviewed this movie it was only available on a fuzzy videotape from a broadcast on AMC in the ’80s. I have been informed that the print shown at Noir City was a beautiful print.

Thanks for taking the time to comment here.

Posted By moirafinnie : May 21, 2012 9:54 am

Hi Riri,
I envy you the experience of seeing any part of a Noir City programme as well as Mr. Janis in person. Regarding a DVD of The Brasher Doubloon (1947), a Google search shows that all region DVDs of this movie are available for sale on the internet.

I am reassured to see this featured by the Film Noir Foundation since at the time when I first reviewed this movie it was only available on a fuzzy videotape from a broadcast on AMC in the ’80s. I have been informed that the print shown at Noir City was a beautiful print.

Thanks for taking the time to comment here.

Posted By Riri Hood : May 21, 2012 7:19 pm

I too am enthralled by good Film Noir features, and while Conrad Janis’ recent film Bad Blood The Hunger is another genre, (which he directs and stars opposite three time Academy Award nominated actress Piper Laurie and a bus load of up and coming Hollywood stars) (I saw at a Festival also) I was thrilled to see the ‘Look’ — a combination of Film Noir but in ‘Color’, mixed with a Technicolor look as well were profoundly influenced by his early days as a teen Star including The Brasher Doubloon. It certainly affected this Genre film which reminds me more of Hitchcock and Agatha Christie than today’s excessive blood and guts. It is a tour de force of hinted malice but resplendent cast and subtle violence that makes you work for it, rather than having it handed to the audience with a plate of spaghetti. It reminds of a combo Pulp Noire and Psycho. Chilling. It’s coming out this year. Hope you see it.

Posted By Riri Hood : May 21, 2012 7:19 pm

I too am enthralled by good Film Noir features, and while Conrad Janis’ recent film Bad Blood The Hunger is another genre, (which he directs and stars opposite three time Academy Award nominated actress Piper Laurie and a bus load of up and coming Hollywood stars) (I saw at a Festival also) I was thrilled to see the ‘Look’ — a combination of Film Noir but in ‘Color’, mixed with a Technicolor look as well were profoundly influenced by his early days as a teen Star including The Brasher Doubloon. It certainly affected this Genre film which reminds me more of Hitchcock and Agatha Christie than today’s excessive blood and guts. It is a tour de force of hinted malice but resplendent cast and subtle violence that makes you work for it, rather than having it handed to the audience with a plate of spaghetti. It reminds of a combo Pulp Noire and Psycho. Chilling. It’s coming out this year. Hope you see it.

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