Re: RARA-AVIS: A Whiff of Sulphur -- Eureka!

From: Mark R. Harris (
Date: 06 Dec 2007

I find myself making common cause with Mr. Ahearn here, despite our disagreements on other matters and in other forums. I will say, though, that I like Murder My Sweet a good deal.

Best, Mark

On 12/6/07, William Ahearn <> wrote:
> --- Jack Bludis < <>> wrote:
> > Yep, it was pretty bad.
> >
> Well, that's what makes horse racing. Whether or not
> you're a purist who can't see an idol in a different
> way or not, the fact remains that The Long Goodbye is
> good cinema. And Altman is not one of my favorite
> directors. How well it did at the box office is a
> bogus argument about value as numerous classics have
> bombed when they were released. As someone who tends
> to be irritated by filmmakers who gut novels
> (Hitchcock being a major offender), I didn't expect to
> like The Long Goodbye. As far as I'm concerned,
> Murder, My Sweet is closer to a parody of Chandler
> than The Long Goodbye and The Lady In The Lake is one
> long bad joke wrapped up in a truly bad film.
> What I'm finding in this conversation (and very little
> of this is directed to Jack whose post I'm responding
> to) is a hint of reactionary fervor in defense of a
> genre. To Altman's (and Polanski's) credit, they
> didn't set out to capture elements of a long-gone
> sensibility in The Long Goodbye and Chinatown. They
> took stories and told them in a style that broke with
> the fashion of fedora and guns and hard-boiled
> detectives. As films, they have legitimate lives of
> their own. The same is true of Kiss Me, Deadly where
> Spillane's central premise was scrapped and the story
> retold as a nihilistic detective story. That's what
> film should do and it's rare when it happens.
> The Long Goodbye may not be a great film but it's in
> my top five PI films. Quibble with this, quibble with
> that yet it remains a fine piece of cinema.
> William
> Essays and Ramblings
> <>
> __________________________________________________________
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Mark R. Harris
2122 W. Russet Court #8
Appleton WI 54914
(920) 470-9855

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