RARA-AVIS: Thornton Wilder on Chandler

From: William Denton ( buff@pobox.com)
Date: 22 Nov 2004

>From a PARIS REVIEW interview with Thornton Wilder (#15, Winter 1956):


I understand your collaboration with Raymond Chandler was . . . difficult?


Yes. Chandler had never been inside a studio [when we began working on Double Indemnity] . . . We always met at nine o'clock, and would quit at about four-thirty. I had to explain a lot to him as we went along, but he was very helpful to me. What we were doing together had real electricity. He was a very, very good writer--but not of scripts.

One morning, I'm sitting there in the office, ten o'clock and no Chandler. Eleven o'clock. At eleventhirty, I called Joe Sistrom, the producer of Double Indemnity, and asked, "What happened to Chandler?"

"I was going to call you. I just got a letter from him in which he resigns."

Apparently he had resigned because, while we were sitting in the office with the sun shining through, I had asked him to close the curtains and I had not said "please." He accused me of having as many as three martinis at lunch. Furthermore, he wrote that he found it "very disconcerting that Mr. Wilder gets two, three, sometimes even four calls from obviously young girls."

(Quoted on http://www.theparisreview.org/viewinterview.php/prmMID/4887

It says this comes from the interview, and there's a PDF of the entire interview, but I didn't see this section in it.)


William Denton : Toronto, Canada : http://www.miskatonic.org/ : Caveat lector.

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 22 Nov 2004 EST