Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Disappearance of the private film and the detective film in gene

From: Steve Novak (
Date: 20 Mar 2009

  • Next message: jacquesdebierue: "RARA-AVIS: Re: Disappearance of the Private-eye and detective film"

    Very likely assesment... I know a private investigator in Seattle, and she works mainly on Ścorporate casesą and all the shenanigans that deal with industrial spying and stealing and says that that is the Śhigh endą of the profession nowadays, as opposed to wife/hubby cheating...etc...


    On 3/20/09 6:39 PM, "Mark D. Nevins" <> wrote:

    > One possible hypothesis for said disappearance in popular culture, though I'm
    > offering this idea tentatively, is the current status of the private eye or
    > (non-police) detective in real life.
    > Hammett himself was a Pinkerton, and was writing at a time (as I understand
    > it) when the "private detective" was an important and viable law-enforcing
    > alternative to often corrupt police departments (or, at least, Hammett's
    > readers could remember a time when such was the case).
    > I'm not old enough to know what the status or general impression of the
    > private investigator was in the 1950s-1970s, but it has to be more impressive
    > than what the impression would probably be for the average person of the last
    > 20 or so years: that a P.I. is someone you hire to see if your spouse is
    > cheating on you or to do other not-terribly-heroic-or-interesting things.
    > Hasn't the P.I. by our time become a relic of times gone by, or a cliche, or
    > even a parody? Is it any surprise then that we don't see many "serious" books
    > or films dealing with them? Or that other types or stock characters (the good
    > cop; the bad cop; the rogue agent; the mercenary; the special investigator for
    > the police or the government; the citizen who takes matters into his/her own
    > hands; etc.) who seem more credible or "realistic" to us have taken their
    > place?
    > Mark Nevins

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