Audiences initially stayed away from this film, thinking that ‘Farewell, My Lovely’ (the film’s original title) was yet another Dick Powell musical. When the studio changed the title to ‘Murder, My Sweet’, box office receipts picked up considerably.
Due to its tight budget, the prop department had to use the cheapest mask that they could find in the costume store - a ‘Star Trek’ William Shatner mask. They later spray-painted the face white, teased out the hair, and reshaped the eye holes. Shatner admitted that for years he had no idea his likeness was being used for this film. It was only during an interview that someone mentioned his mask was being used. He has since stated that he is honored by this gesture.
“A cautious young fellow named Lodge, Had seatbelts installed in his Dodge. When his date was strapped in, He committed a sin, Without even leaving the garage. That’s clever, isn’t it?”—Blood, ‘A Boy and His Dog’, 1975
Some critics objected to the way Alfred Hitchcock chose to end the sequence involving the delivery of the bomb on the bus. Hitchcock, stung by the criticism, is said to have regretted his decision. Nonetheless, the treatment is faithful to Joseph Conrad’s book.
“Almira Gulch, just because you own half the county doesn’t mean that you have the power to run the rest of us. For twenty-three years, I’ve bene dying to tell you what I thought of you! And now … well, being a Christian woman, I can’t say it!”—Auntie Em, ‘The Wizard of Oz’, 1939