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.