Synopsis by Linda Rasmussen
Raymond Chandler's famed detective Philip Marlowe (George Montgomery) is hired by a rich, eccentric widow, Mrs. Murdock (Florence Bates) to find and return a stolen gold coin. Marlowe quickly finds himself involved an a case which includes robbery, blackmail and murder. Just as Marlowe begins to solve the mystery, he is savagely beaten by Vannier (Fritz Kortner). Marlowe finally puts all the pieces of the puzzle together when he discovers a blackmail scheme involving Murdock's mentally-ill secretary, Merle Davis (Nancy Guild) which leads him to suspect his employer. The Brasher Doubloon, adapted from Chandler's novel, The High Window, and beautifully photographed by Lloyd Ahern captures a proper film noir sensibility with its moody, low-key images and dense, dark background shots, while failing to capture the complexity of the novel. Director John Brahm, who also directed the excellent films The Lodger and Hangover Square, is disappointing, failing to create the depth of characterization and plot which he showed in these films. The Brasher Doubloon remains bland, with undistinguished acting by the entire cast. The only exception is Fritz Kortner, a veteran character actor molded in the expressionist cinema of pre-war Berlin, who creates the grotesque character of Vannier, bringing a sense of evil vitality to an otherwise bland production.
danger, agent [representative], billionaire, blackmail, car, chase, detective, double-cross, evil, fear, gold, hitman, homosexual, investigation, karate, opal, private-detective, robbery, scheme, search, secretary, sinister, smuggling, trail [path], widow/widower, world-domination