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

From: Terrill Lankford (
Date: 08 Nov 2007

-----Original Message-----
>From: jimdohertyjr <>
>Sent: Nov 7, 2007 8:38 PM
>Subject: RARA-AVIS: Re: Chandler's The Lady in the Lake
>Re your comments below:
>> Are you amazed that Spillane fans *might* like the
>> film version of "Kiss Me, Deadly" or Philip K Dick
>> fans *might* like "Bladerunner"?
>Despite Robert Aldrich's assertion that he intended KISS ME DEADLY to
>be an "anti-Spillane" film, it was faithul to Spillane's vision in
>more respects than it was unfaithful. Meeker's version of Hammer,
>though something of a brute rather than a driven avenger,
>nevertheless brought out Hammer's determination, his skill at combat,
>his loyalty to friends, and his affection for Velda. Hammer may have
>been depicted in less flattering terms than Spillane intended, but he
>wasn't ransformed into an inconsequential nebbish like Gould's
>Marlowe was. Ultimately, according to those who knew Spillane well,
>even Spillane eventually admitted that Meeker's was the best
>depiction of his character.
>So, no, it doesn't amaze me that Spillane fans might like Aldrich's
>version of KISS ME DEADLY, but I don't think the two cases are

Jim, who are these nameless people who supposedly knew Spillane so well that you can speak for him through their words? Not long before Mickey died he was interviewed for a documentary on A. I. Bezzerides who wrote the screenplay for Kiss Me Deadly and he stated that he STILL hated the film and thought it had little or nothing to do with his book.

(And for the record, it appears that it was Bezzerides who initially really hated the source material and wanted to do an "anti-Spillane" adaptation of the book - this comes from Bezzerides himself, not just people "who knew him well.")

Now maybe Mickey somehow enjoyed Meeker's performance in spite of hating the film, but it would be nice if you provided some sort of real documentation to back up your statement. Like some direct quotes from Mickey himself. Nevertheless, if the question is did he like the movie and did he think it represented his book, the answer to that would be the same as it always was for Spillane: "No."

But you are right about one thing: These two cases are not comparable. In the case of KISS ME DEADLY we have all the parties on record as to their opinions of the various versions of work we are discussing.

In the case of THE LONG GOODBYE, we have only your opinion of the film to go on since Chandler was long dead before it was made and you've decided to speak for him (repeatedly). Plus your repeated misquotings of what Altman himself said about his intentions when approaching the material. And now you are also repeating your old material about Altman's parents' sex life. Not sure why you're obsessed with that, but...

"It's okay by me."


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