“How I hate the summer winds. They come in suddenly off the Mojave Desert, and you can taste the sand for days.”
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…more at the TCM Movie Morlocks site