Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Dick Powell

Date: 26 Mar 2008

Richard Moore wrote:

"I would want to see verification of the go back to the book and "shoot scenes straight out of it." While it may be true, it is also the sort of thing someone might say to Chandler to compliment him or he might have imagined after seeing the early cut."

David Thomson's BFI book on The Big Sleep is very good about the book and the movie, and how one became the other. Anyway, he mentions that Hawks did extensive rewriting of scenes, but does not mention his going back to the book to do it. Of course, Hawks famously contacted Chandler to clear up who killed the chauffeur. From a Chandler letter to Hamish Hamilton (3/21/49): "I remember several years ago when Howard Hawks was making The Big Sleep, the movie, he and Bogart got into an argument as to whether one of the characters murdered or committed suicide. They sent me a wire asking me, and dammit I didn't know either."


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