The film also stars the following: Charlotte Rampling, John Ireland, Jack O'Halloran, Sylvia Miles and Harry Dean Stanton. Incidentally, this was an early movie in the career of a super-star, Sylvester Stallone, who shot into the heights of super-stardom with the release of Rocky the following year. However, Stallone had only a small role in the movie, with the meaty role being portrayed by Robert Mitchum. He plays the role of a detective, well past his prime age, getting more melancholy and at the same time, being mature.
So what's the story about ? Well, the movie is set in Los Angeles of 1941, a time when there was a lot of corruption and when you start to investigate, you can find the whole plot full of betrayal, and more corruption (in the police), along with the usual environment of seedy hotel rooms, gambling nets, and so on. The detective Marlowe has been hired by an ex-convict, called Moose Malloy, who wants Marlowe to find Velma, an old girlfriend, whom he has not met for many years. He is also investigating a different case, the murder of one of his clients named Marriott (coincidentally, Marriott was killed and an unconscious Marlowe woke up next to the body).
And what do these crimes have in common with each other ? There is the puzzling figure of a lady called Mrs. Helen Grayle, and soon Marlowe also finds himself in more trouble, getting beaten up, drugged and held captive in a private hospital; does he manage to get himself out of trouble and find Velma ? This is a wonderful movie, catch it if you have a chance. The movie got one nomination to the Oscars, but no recognition through an actual award.