Re: RARA-AVIS: Sleuth Poll/"America's"

From: mmiano3 (
Date: 22 Jul 2006

John, Bill, thanks for the comments.

> Even given that it's a TV/movie list, how the *heck* did Philip
> Marlowe not make the list?
> -- John Woolley

It's a good question, how Marlowe didn't make the list. I agree with the points made by both of you. Let me try to explain some of the reasoning that went into the decision (and, it was a difficult one).

Instead of picking sleuths who were part of many movies or tv shows, we decided to pick the iconic appearance of a sleuth in a film or tv series.

So, for example, we chose Basil Rathbone as our "Sherlock Holmes," even though many actors have depicted him over the years. My good friend, Jack LesCamela, a member on this list, was very bothered that we didn't choose Jeremy Brett's Holmes since he feels that's the greatest depiction of the legendary detective. I think we got that one right.

For Marlowe, we felt that the iconic version of him was Bogart's depiction in Howard Hawks's "The Big Sleep." However we felt that since there was already a Bogart entry, we shouldn't include him twice.

I don't offer this as a rebuttal or excuse - just to explain the reasoning behind the decision. I voted to include Bogart twice, but was outnumbered. I think we got that wrong, but this is my job and sometimes I'm forced to live with decisions I don't necessarily agree with.

There's a few other sleuths who didn't make the list that I'm surprised no one has mentioned yet. For me, the most painful ommission is Jake Gittes from "Chinatown." Unfortunately, we could not get clip consent from Jack Nicholson - and rather than try to depict that sleuth with still photos, we opted to drop him. Another unfortunate omission, in my opinion, is Popeye Doyle from "The French Connection." Again, no clip consent from the actor makes it very difficult to demonstrate why that sleuth is so worthy of inclusion.

Obviously, this is not a perfect list. While we will strive to do our best, I can guarantee it won't be a perfect show. Few are. But we'll do the best we can and I'm hopeful we'll come out with a show that's interesting, informative, and entertaining.

I do appreciate you guys taking a moment to look at the list, perhaps vote for your favorites there, and raise discussion about it.


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