Phew, that plot was messy, but really what you're watching is Bogie falling in love with Bacall! And how could he not! Such a beautiful part of film history. Not to mention that sexy bookshop lady. A damn near perfect noir. "You've forgotten one thing--me." "What's wrong with you?" "Nothing you can't fix."
One of the first films exploring the idea of multiple universes. The story takes place in an alternate reality in which broke, fifty-something, puffy-eyed, chain-smoking private detectives are sexually irresistible to beautiful young girls. I liked it. Very ahead of its time.
A worth sequel to 'The Maltese Falcon'. OK, technically it's not, but when you get down to it, Bogart is really still playing Sam Spade more than he is Phillip Marlowe so I'd say it's a TMF sequel that just happens to have the same name and plot of Raymond Chandler novel and where Spade keeps being called Marlowe for some reason.
Don't let anyone tell you this is a film noir: this is a screwball comedy with a body count and a gangster milieu. Why follow the plot when you can just savour every single second that the cast is acting out everyone's hardboiled fantasy, where a quick wit will get you more than a quick draw, and Bogart's effortlessly cool Marlowe rises above the muck we so all want to (vicariously) inhabit. Pure bliss