RARA-AVIS: Still on muscles and Dick Powell

From: Juri Nummelin ( juri.nummelin@pp.inet.fi)
Date: 27 Mar 2008

John Lau:

"guys, especially actors look different now than they did back then."

Yes, sure, but still I insist that Powell isn't convincing in that scene. Okay, he is (since he is convincing as Marlowe in the whole), but why the hell did they make the dame come to him and say he's really good-looking when he really isn't? All that I really ask is that the dame says something else. (And you don't have to tell me that men back then didn't look like Stallone - there must be some golden middle or whatever. If it were Bogart in that scene (thanks for the photo!), I wouldn't be complaining.)

But as much as I like the film (as a Chandler film, it really is better than THE BIG SLEEP), I've never understood Dick Powell. He has a weak chin and his eyes are not very attractive. I see him always as Marlowe, a bit shoddy, his chin unshaven, temporarily blind, and certainly not as a cheerful guy who makes ladies swoon in high society films.


PS. As for realism in hardboiled, just see SIN CITY. The Hammer myth is still very much alive. Sadly, some seem to equate hardboiled (and pulp) with SIN CITY and think they can approach with a campy smile (or smirk) on their face. And aren't Dan Simmons's novels (HARD AS NAILS etc.) also near Spillane? Based on the cover, David Schow's coming Hard Case novel moves along in similar veins.

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