RARA-AVIS: casting Marlowe

From: Carrie Pruett ( pruettc@hotmail.com)
Date: 14 Aug 2001

I have to admit, I've only seen Marlowe on screen in the Hawks/Bogart film. Bogey's awfully good, but I read the book before I saw the film, and I was also picturing more of a Cary Grant type. I think Grant was more versatile than he gets credit for. I'm no expert on old Hollywood, but I imagine that a lot of the "typecasting" in the older movies had to do with actors being under contract to a certain studio, and a certain studio being associated with a certain type of movie. Warner made Gangster pictures, MGM made musicals etc. An actor didn't necessarily have the opportunity to stretch they might look for today. I could be totally wrong about this, it's just an idea.

I would like Bogey's Marlowe more if I hadn't read the book; as I see it, there's not a big difference between Bogart's portrayal of Spade and his portrayal of Marlowe, and they're much different characters on the page.

Of course, I'm also annoyed by the love story aspect of the Hawks "Big Sleep," though it works well enough on film. I'm much fonder of the
(Huston) film of "Falcon," though I like TBS the book better than TMF - if that makes any sense. But, hell, I like them both. "Falcon" has the better story in either incarnation.

to everybody, thanks for all the tips on Block, Westlake, Leonard, etc.

"Is that what you do for a living?" she asked. "Find folks?"
"Sometimes," I said. "Other times I just look."
-James Crumley, "The Last Good Kiss"

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