Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Harper about to come on - TCM

From: James Michael Rogers (
Date: 22 Aug 2010

  • Next message: Brian Thornton: "Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Harper about to come on - TCM"

    Although Cary Grant did play a very credible, complicated and bitter tough guy in Hitchcock's Notorious. Very different from the usual debonair figure we associate with him.

    I was just reading an article by someone who described the act of reading as esentially a passive experience. I think that is exactly wrong. I would guess that we all have "our" version of Marlowe and Archer in our heads. The fact that they are not described very clearly allows us to fill in the details as it pleases us. A good book invites us in and allows us to, in effect, be the cinematographer and casting director of the fictive experiences unfolding in our minds. It obviously invoves some really peersonal choices which is probably while we all feel so indignant when we find that Hollywood has blown it's casting of a much loved character.


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Patrick Kennedy
      Sent: Sunday, August 22, 2010 15:04
      Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Harper about to come on - TCM

      Regarding the character Newman plays in 'The Moving Target', I meant that he was
      very unlike the rather bland Archer of the novels in character, a bit too smart
      alecky and humorous. You're right, though, in noting that Bogart, from the bits
      and pieces of description peppering Chandlers books in the mouths of others and
      self-deprecatingly in his own, was far too small in stature to be a perfect
      physical Marlowe. His delivery of the Chandler dialogue, though, remains
      Chandler himself, perhaps only half-jokingly, wrote that if you were to remark
      that Marlowe was as handsome as Cary Grant, Marlowe might not feel flattered.
      All I can say to that is, thank God the studios never got the idea of Cary Grant
      playing Marlowe into their heads -- almost, but not quite, as bad a notion as
      Dick Powell, or Robert Montgomery, for that matter, as Marlowe.
      By coincidence, Ian Fleming also regarded Cary Grant as his ideal actor to play
      Bond. Makes you kinda wonder whether authors know anything after all, doesn't


      From: Dick Lochte <>
      Sent: Sun, 22 August, 2010 19:24:00
      Subject: RARA-AVIS: Re: Harper about to come on - TCM

      Patrick mentioned that Paul Newman did not resemble the Lew Archer of the
      novels. But does Macdonald ever tell us what Archer looked like? Does
      Chandler gives us much of a description of Marlowe, except for his height
      (which is where Bogart falls short -- sorry)? Describing the physical
      aspects of your hero isn't easy to do when you're writing first-person
      narration. Though Hammett managed to put the image of the Op in our minds.
      And MacDonald gave us a complete picture of Travis McGee, using McGee's
      often annoying self-referencing. I'm wondering if it might not be better to
      let the reader fill in the blanks. Any opinions?

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