RARA-AVIS: Re: Jack Palance, RIP

From: JIM DOHERTY ( jimdohertyjr@yahoo.com)
Date: 15 Nov 2006


I've never actually seen I DIED A THOUSAND TIMES. I only brought it up to illustrate that there was a precedent for Palance portraying a character that had previously been played by Bogart.

Your point about Mitchum's version of THE BIG SLEEP is well-taken. However, I would argue that this was due less to Mitchum's casting as Marlowe than to a generally lacklustre production and the inexplicable change of setting from Los Angeles to London.

After all, Mitchum's version of FAREWELL, MY LOVELY made just a couple of years earlier, is one of the most satisfying Chandler film adaptations ever, and, if Mitchum should ideally have played the part ten or fifteen years older, the script turns his age from a liability to an asset by having him muse about how he's "getting old in the job."

My favorite Marlowe is still Dick Powell, in the original FML film adaptation MURDER, MY SWEET (which, BTW, is being run this weekend on TCM's "Essentials" series). But Mitchum's versions is one of the few times I've ever seen a remake of a film I loved that I liked almost as much as the original.


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