Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Bogie

From: Patrick King (
Date: 26 Mar 2008

--- JIM DOHERTY <> wrote:

> If it had been a franchise, Marlowe would have just
> been one more character featured in a series of
> comparatively low-budget "B's," like Charlie Chan,
> Mike Shayne, Torchy Blaine, or Hildegard Withers,
> with
> entries ultimately deteriorating over time as
> Chandler
> material was used up and studio hacks turned out
> origina scripts to order, until finally the series
> hit
> Poverty Row (recall that Chan wound up at Monogram
> and
> Shayne at PRC).
****************************************************** But if the quality of the Hawks film had inspired the franchise we might have had a Marlowe franchise before the James Bond franchise. The Sherlock Holmes franchise was successful despite taking the character out of his own time, due to the interplay between Rathbone & Bruce. Neither was ideal for the characters they portrayed, but they both redefined the characters in their image. I don't think you can say that about any Marlowe except Bogart. The fedora sit askew on everyone else's head. Marlowe, even by Ian Fleming's own statement, was the inspiration for James Bond. His glove compartment arsenal for example, is the beginning of Q Branch. A Marlowe franchise would not have held Bogart for more than a few pictures. His best work was still in the future at that time. But had he done say three of the book and moved on, we might have a much broader base of hardboiled films to compare. We can certainly have a hearty conversation as to who was the best James Bond, can't we? And I don't think the Fleming estate has been injured by one dollar by that franchise today.

Patrick King

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