RARA-AVIS: Movie Spade and Marlowe

From: Jack Bludis ( buildsnburns@yahoo.com)
Date: 25 Mar 2008

Here he goes again:

When I first saw the movies, I had hardly read anything except what we would now call YA movies. I was also a person who didn't, and sometimes to this day still don't, remember names.

For me, I may have remembered Sam Spade or Bogart, but I didn't know Dick Powell from Adam Clayton Powell ... well, maybe. For me Powell's Marlowe was "the main detective." As I got to know names better the characters in movies became, "The Bogart Character," the "Paul Newman Character," etc.

When I started to read "big people" stuff (Starting with THE CARPETBAGGERS) It was a while before I read THE MALTESE FALCON, FAREWELL MY LOVELY, and THE BIG SLEEP.

I was shocked at the "blond Satan" description of Spade, even more surprised when after maybe 25 years I saw MURDER, MY SWEET, and seeing from the titles that it was the movie version of FAREWELL, MY LOVELY, I was again shocked to realized that Dick Powell was playing Marlowe. But that was OK. I thought both Bogart and Powell did excellent Marlowes.

Each brought something different to the role. Each was good, and I couldn't imagine either playing in the others version.

So who was better? It's a tie for me.

Besides, I'm the guy who was so unsophisticated, that he thought Bogart defined the private eye no matter what his name happened to be. But I was a latecomer to private eye fiction.

Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Meanwhile, back to Michael Connelly.

Jack Bludis

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