RE: RARA-AVIS: Hardboiled Character Traits

From: Anthony Dauer (
Date: 27 Apr 2002

Eddie Coyle isn't hardboiled though, he's a scumbag ... he got what he deserved. He wasn't a standup guy and for a criminal to be hardboiled he'd have to have the same dogged level of loyalty to his own that the good guy shows by never backing down when it comes to his clients whether alive or dead as the case maybe. Coyle lived in a noir world, but that doesn't make him hardboiled. His lack of self-confidence is just another sign that he wasn't truly hardboiled to begin with. Neither are the others except for Marlowe, they're personally weak, hardboiled characters may be human at times but in the end cut they're not weak. If they regret, it's a regret that they didn't save someone not that they regret that they're scumbags too.

Exley was a pussy in the end. He didn't have the balls to follow through and got on top by default. Dudley, Bud, and Vincennes were all more hardboiled than him ... even if it took Vincennes a while to get there
(can't blame 'im, he was blinded by the bright lights). At best Exley is a character in transition, but I don't have much hope for him actually becoming hardboiled in the end. He's too satisfied taking the handouts given him to satisfy the status quo. A real hardboiled personality would say to hell with the police department and reveal the truth. And it wouldn't be off the record, on the QT, or hush, hush either.

Anthony Dauer
Alexandria, Virginia

2nd Annual Country Noir Issue ...
... submit by 4 May 2002
-----Original Message----- From: Sent: Saturday, April 27, 2002 11:50 AM
Eddie Coyle never accepted the fact that he had betrayed others to save his own skin. Easy never got comfortable with using Mouse to strong-arm and kill other people. Exley never got over his incestuous desires that drove his behavior.

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