Bellem [was RARA-AVIS: Re: Bogie]

From: jchocking (
Date: 25 Mar 2008

> I think Dick Powell would have been phenomenal as Dan Turner, the
> great hardboiled PI created by Robert Leslie Bellem. Which of
> novels and stories have been made into films? I can't recall a
single one.
> Best,
> mrt

Although Bellem wrote a lot of television, I think there were only two actual attempts to capture his characters on screen. First was Blackmail, a bland programmer from the late 40's which is a bona fide Dan Turner movie. Alas, it captures none of the loopy energy, linguistic ingenuity, or dumbass libido that distinguish Dan's best stories. It's a pretty forgetable affair, though so short that if you're a fan it's worth sitting through. Second was a Marc (Beastmaster!)Singer flick from 1990. Considering this one was adapted from a Bellem story by John Wooley, who edited more than one collection of Dan Turner tales, it's a disappointment, too. Why these films used so little of Bellem's trademark over-the-top slang is a bigger mystery than any found in either of their plots.


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