RARA-AVIS: Re: Marlowe movies as Bracketted -- *And* Mercer'd *And* Furthmanned

From: Chris Schneider ( chrisaschneider@earthlink.net)
Date: 03 Jul 2003

> on 7/2/03 3:39 PM, Mario Taboada at matrxtech@yahoo.com wrote:
> To follow up on Chris's post, in a text you can use
> Hemingway's "iceberg principle" (hide 7/8 of the stuff,
> since the reader will provide it himself, or imagine it).
> Hemingway also points out that the author *must know* the
> remaining 7/8...

       I'm not sure, when you say "Chris's post," whether you're referring
     to me or to Chris Martin.
       I'll use that confusion, in any case, as an excuse to remark on how
     one of the themes of the 1973 "Long Goodbye" is the distance between
     what's traditionally thought of as Philip Marlowe's era and 1973, a
     distance which is illustrated by the use of both a 1938 Johnny Mercer
     song ("Hooray for Hollywood," written with Richard Whiting) and a 1973
     one (the gorgeous title tune, written with John Williams).
       On the off-chance that the name "Johnny Mercer" is unfamiliar to you,
     I'll say that he and composer Whiting are the same team who wrote the
     song "Too Marvellous For Words" which is given conspicuous use in the
     "Dark Passage" movie. There were several Mercer songs in the "Midnight
     In The Garden of Good And Evil," and the "L.A. Confidential" movie
     featured his "Ac-Cen-Tchu-Ate The Positive" and "Hit The Road To
     Dreamland" (both co-written with composer Harold Arlen).
       "Chandler did some screenwriting too, I know" writes Michael Robison.
     Well, um, yes. He cowrote the screenplay for "Double Indemnity" --
     which the guard in "Long Goodbye" quotes when he does his Barbara
     Stanwyck impersonation -- and for "Strangers on a Train." Although
     it's been asserted, as far as the latter picture is concerned, that the
     greater part was actually written by Ben Hecht associate Czenzi
       And, as long as people are making reference to the first "Big Sleep"
     movie, let's not overlook writer Jules Furthman. He was the guy, after
     all, who wrote the screenplay for "Nightmare Alley" ...


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