A TV/Cinema Question from Lazy Georgenby:

   You all know how Dick Powell –- as Phil Marlowe –- is lounging in his office one night, sipping scotch, gazing out his window at the lights of Los Angeles. He’s got no active cases. No dough coming in.

   It’s all part of the opening sequence in Murder My Sweet. Suddenly –behind him –the ghastly face of Moose Malone (Mike Mazurki) looms over him in the darkness, reflected by the neons winking on his windowpane. Powell sits up and turns around.

   So far so good? Okay so, I’m talking to someone lately who wants to know whether there is any crime, mystery, noir, hard-boiled detective movie-or-TV-series which incarnates the archetype above: keeping everything exactly the same as the above, except that ‘the detective turns around’ because of a knock at his door. He bids the visitor to enter and the newcomer is a beautiful femme fatale in need of his help. Via voice-over, his mental patter is the usual, “…she looked like trouble right from the start…” or words to this effect.

   He swears this is the opening scene in a classic crime flick. I’ve racked my brains trying to pin this down. A lot of candidates were easily eliminated; I’m fairly sure that it’s not the opening scene in any of the really famous P.I. movies.

   Currently, I’m hunting through old episodes of Mike Hammer on TV (Darren McGavin’s run), Lloyd Nolan’s Mike Shayne movies, the early Spillane movies like Girl Hunters, and even the Bob Hope parody movies like My Favorite Brunette.

   The maddening aspect of it all, is that this ‘trope’ could literally be from anywhere: TV commercials, graphic novels, SNL skits, cartoons. It might not have ever been filmed at all. Could be found only in homages or pastiches. Might not even be from the majors era, could be something from the ’70s.

   So as a last resort, I am throwing myself on the mercy of this court. What say ye? Thx thx thx!