Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Chandler's The Lady in the Lake

From: William Ahearn (
Date: 07 Nov 2007

--- JIM DOHERTY <> wrote:

> I am constantly amazed at people who profess to be
> Chandler fans who can, not only stomach this film,
> but
> enjoy it.
Are you amazed that Spillane fans *might* like the film version of "Kiss Me, Deadly" or Philip K Dick fans *might* like "Bladerunner"? My take is this:
"Chinatown" is a great film because it wasn't a derivative costume drama or a faux noir. It ain't neo-noir. It's a period piece that loses all the predictable tropes of hard-boiled and finds its own expression. Altman for once got it right in "The Long Goodbye." His rambling reinvention of the PI (with only the car as an anachronistic hint) replaced what could easily have become parody. And it works for me. I started the film expecting to hate it. Most Altman films don't have much of a shelf life. But "The Long Goodbye" cut itself off from the clutter of the novel and got to the heart. That is a rare adaptation.


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