Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Marlowe

From: M Blumenthal (
Date: 01 Jul 2003

> Here's how it breaks down in the Marlowe performance
> competition.
> GOLD MEDAL: Dick Powell (captured the character as
> written in the novels and stories better than anyone,
> and looked surprisingly good in the part; plus the
> movie was the best adaptation of a Chandler novel.)
> SILVER MEDAL: Humphrey Bogart (he gets it mainly for
> being Bogie; which is essentially how he played
> Marlowe. Rather than play Chandler's character, he
> adapted the character to his already well-established
> screen persona.)
> BRONZE MEDAL: James Garner (great actor and looks the
> part more than just about anyone else who's played it;
> he did appear a bit uncomfortable in the 1960s, but,
> after all, the last Marlowe novel came out only 10
> years prior to the movie. Updating aside, the film
> was actually pretty faithful to the original novel.)
> Robert Mitchum was too old for the part by the time he
> played it, plus he's handicapped by the fact that both
> his appearances were in remakes. Still, one is
> impressed by what an awesome Marlowe he'd've made in
> his prime.
> Robert Montgomery struck me as just mean-spirited
> rather than tough, and the film too damned gimmicky.
> Still, how many actors can claim to've played both
> Phil Marlowe and Lord Peter Wimsey?
> George Montgomery had the opposite problem of Mitchum.
> He was too young, and the mustache didn't make him
> look any older. Based on performances from later in
> his career, however, he'd've probably made a pretty
> acceptable Marlowe had he waited another 10 years.
> Powers Boothe was too mannered, and the TV episodes he
> appeared in seemed to be trying to coast on period
> details, but by and large I liked the show.
> James Caan was acceptable as an aging Marlowe, but he
> WASN'T that old (nor was his inamorata that young) in
> the book.
> Never saw Philip Carey.
Jim, If you want to be completist how about Elliot Gould in Altman's version of The Long Goodbye? . Also George Sanders starred in The Falcon Takes over which was a version of Farewell My Lovely Mark

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