Next Up: The Philip Marlowe Marathon
Over the last few weeks, I’ve taken an in-depth look at “La La Land” and many of its influences. While I admire that movie greatly, it’s time to move on to other topics.
I thought I’d try to stick with a theme for my next set of movies, and I landed on the film world of Philip Marlowe. Marlowe is perhaps the most famous of the hard-boiled private detectives of the film noir’s heyday, but he began as a character on the page, in the crime novels of Raymond Chandler.
No matter what description you read of Marlowe as a character, you’re bound to see some of the following details listed:
- He was born in Santa Rosa, California and works out of a Los Angeles office.
- He worked for the D.A. for a time but was fired.
- He’s a quick-witted smooth talker.
- He is fond of liquor, cigarettes and chess.
- He’s no stranger to the ladies, though he’s smartly wary of them.
- He works alone, and often clashes with the LAPD.
I don’t know about you, but after reading that list, I’m in on Marlowe.
During the marathon, we’ll be taking a look at five movies, and five different actors portraying the private eye. Here are the movies, in the order that I’ll review them, with the actor playing Marlowe listed afterwards:
- “The Big Sleep” (1944), Humphrey Bogart
- “Murder, My Sweet” (1942), Dick Powell
- “Farewell, My Lovely” (1975), Robert Mitchum
- “Marlowe” (1969), James Garner
- “The Long Goodbye” (1973), Elliott Gould
I’m planning to do one joint post for “Murder, My Sweet” and “Farewell, My Lovely,” as the latter was a 1975 remake of the former. Otherwise I’ll dive into each of the movies and performances separately. If you like shadowy scenes, private detectives, shady characters, guns and dames, I hope you’ll follow along.