RARA-AVIS: Re: Fat Chance

From: Kevin Burton Smith ( kvnsmith@colba.net)
Date: 23 May 2000

Bill Crider wrote:

>I've just been re-reading a book called (in its hardcover edition)
>DEADFALL. It was written by Keith Laumer, and I have the paperback,
>retitled FAT CHANCE, which was also the title of the movie starring Michael
>Caine. The book was written around 1971 (I don't know whether that's
>before or after the death of the hardboiled novel), and it's one of the
>best pastiches of Chandler around. It would stack up very well against
>Howard Browne, I think. And if you don't think Laumer was onto the joke,
>the p.i.'s name is Joe Shaw. I've never seen the movie, though I'd like to.

Well, it's probably interesting enough to watch to compare to the book, but if it's the flick I'm thinking of, you'll probably be disappointed. It's not very hardboiled -- it's more of a half-baked attempt to be a screwball comedy, complete with a "big" shipboard finale played sorta like a ha-ha mixture of THE BIG SLEEP and THE LOVE BOAT.

Of course, maybe I'm confusing it with another film -- it's been so long since I saw it I'm not even sure when it was I saw it. And good luck finding it. Quickly checking a few reference books here, it seems to be even more obscure than SHOOT THE PIANO PLAYER. Though in this case, it might be something we can be thankful for, or at least if it's the film I'm thinking of.

Kevin Burton Smith The Thrilling Detective Web Site http://www.colba.net/~kvnsmith/thrillingdetective/

An A&E Mystery.com Site of the Week, but don't let that discourage you.

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