RARA-AVIS: Re: Marlowe

From: Kevin Burton Smith ( kvnsmith@thrillingdetective.com)
Date: 02 Jul 2003

Who's Jim Doherty?

I sorta liked Gould's quirky, zoned out performance as Marlowe in THE LONG GOODBYE, actually. It was at least an honest attempt on Gould and Altman's part to re-think the character in a more contemporary period. How would a Marlowe fare in a world that could only view him as a relic, a throwback to a very different era? It wasn't entirely successful (a lot of people-- including Jim -- hate it) but I think it was at least a noble failure.

1969's MARLOWE, on the other hand, has to be looked upon as a failure, a cowardly and awkward cut-and-paste of, as Chris put it, "a
'40s-ish story in a 1969 setting." There was no attempt to update Marlowe -- they just plunked him into the wrong decade, and ran like hell. It would have been far better off as a period piece, where Garner might have totally rocked the joint. That hound dog look, that deceptively lazy, smart ass attitude, his size and build -- he's the great Marlowe that could have been. I wonder what he would have looked like in a fedora?

Still, Garner got the last laugh. THE ROCKFORD FILES, arguably the best and most influential TV eye ever, came along a few years later.


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