RARA-AVIS: Bad, Bad Eyes

From: Kevin Burton Smith ( kvnsmith@thrillingdetective.com)
Date: 22 May 2007

On May 21, 2007, at 8:14 PM, DJ-Anonyme@webtv.net wrote:

> The mention of Blood Simple and the sleazy PI played so well by M.
> Emmet
> Walsh reminded me of a question I've been meaning to ask. There are
> plenty of noble PIs throughout hardboiled and noir. What about sleazy
> PIs? I can think of a few, like Estleman's Peeper and a few with
> unreliable narrators (I'm reluctant to name them, as the PIs seem
> to be
> noble at first). Others?

Of course you knew I'd jump at this one. I started a list a while back, but I only have a few on it so far.

Besides Loren Visser in BLOOD SIMPLE, there's Karl Benson (as played by Dan Duryea) in the 1949 flick MANHANDLED.

He's pretty sleazy, as is Joe Gores' heroin-dealing Neal Fargo from INTERFACE. I think Gores tried to redeem the character in a subsequent short story, but I'm not sure if it took.

And I'd get the snot beaten out of me the next time I crossed the border if I didn't mention hustler/P.I. John Swan by our very own Kerry Schooley.

And I see from my notes that I consider Tom Horn one of the first real-life really "bad" eyes.

There are no doubt a ton more, so I'm anxious to hear who you guys come up with.


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