RARA-AVIS: Thoughts and Shots

Kevin Burton Smith (kvnsmith@colba.net)
Mon, 27 Dec 1999 12:09:29 -0400

>I recieved an on-topic gift, coincidentally enough. It's a little art book
>by Peggy Thompson and Saeko Usukawa entitled HARD-BOILED, Great Lines from
>Classic Noir Films. While some of the titles they choose to quote from are
>just a little difficult to justify as being noirs... (BODY AND SOUL? TO HAVE

Well, it says "HARD-BOILED," not "NOIR."

I think this is the third time Thompson and Usukawa (Sounds like a great name for a literary critic, huh?) have done this.

And Mark wrote:

>Although I am certainly addicted to the fast-paced movies that would
>fall in your category of Fast Food For TV Addicts (Wild Things, Face-Off
>and Hong Kong movies in general, etc.), I agree with you that films with
>slow builds have been left by the wayside and are alien to most
>contemporary viewers.

Check out THE INSIDER. No car chases, no rock soundtrack, no sex, no explosions and not even any nipple shots. Slow to build, three hours long and as unrelenting as death. Not exactly hard-boiled, though questions of toughness, courage, honour and integrity, and the corruption of everything we know could have been lifted right out of a Chandler novel. Part of the nastiness, indeed.

And in another post, Mark wrote:
>Add another fan. Some may think it sacrilege, but I like Harry O even
>more than Rockford Files. I am such a sucker for weary PIs and few come
>wearier than Harry. I'd also like to know if they are in rerun. This
>time I would be sure to tape them all.

It's not sacrilege, it's a fact, though Rockford was so close behind sometimes, it's barely worth deciding. Week by week, it would change, I'm sure. 1974 was one helluva year for P.I. shows. Of course, Rockford is re-run often, and tapes of shows are widely available. Harry-O has disappeared, as far as I know, a loser to the end. Shit, it was even cancelled despite very good ratings, because the new network head (Fred Silverman, was it?) didn't like David Janssen personally. Which may be a first. A television network decision that was stupid on both artistic and commercial grounds!

And Eddie wrote
>There's been some neat stuff on UK TV recently ... in a series called
>'Fallen Angels' on BBC2 there were a couple of shorts, back-to-back:
>first was a Spillane story called 'Tomorrow we die', which was much
>better than I expected given the Spillanne tag. Second was a Goodis
>story, the title of which I forget, but which had a interesting

I wonder if this is a re-broadcast of the original American Showtime series from the early nineties, or new episodes (I thought there were only six). Or just a show with the same title. Is it a British production? The premise certainly sounds similar. Half hour adaptations of old hardboiled crime short stories?

Oh, and the votes are trickling in for the Thrillies on my site. There's some pretty interesting stuff going on. If you haven't already, do so now!

Kevin Burton Smith The Thrilling Detective Web Site http://www.colba.net/~kvnsmith/thrillingdetective/ It's Time for the 1999 Cheap Thrills P.I. Poll! Vote now! Vote often!

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