Re: RARA-AVIS: Hardboiled Character Traits

From: Rene Ribic (
Date: 28 Apr 2002

Anthony wrote:

> What moral quality? Loyalty? Robert Mitchum's Coyle fails the
> test then cause he rolls over on the guys he works with. I didn't say
> couldn't be hardboiled cause he's a criminal. He isn't hardboiled
> because he isn't true and loyal to his criminality. Neither is he
> Mel Gibson's Parker is hardboiled. He's tough and demands loyalty from
> his peers. He doesn't go to the cops and rat them out like that
> chicken-shit Coyle. He goes and takes them out one-by-one until he
> what's coming to him and nothing more. There ain't nothing more
> hardboiled than that.

Well, yeah, loyalty I do think of as being a moral quality. I have no desire to defend Coyle as a person (he is, for starters, a fictional character) & even less desire to defend his hardboiled status. I would like to know, however, does your disapproval of Coyle mean that you think he's not worth writing about or reading about either? And does it mean that you disliked the book? (Or the movie?)
 (And purely as a matter of personal opinion, I find it hard to imagine Mel Gibson as hardboiled no matter who he's playing. I don't find him convincingly tough or hardboiled in the way that I do Lee Marvin, for example).


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