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

From: Brian Thornton (
Date: 22 Aug 2010

  • Next message: Brian Thornton: "RARA-AVIS: Bye Bye Baby by Al Guthrie"

    Great thread. I recall that Archer gets described as tall and lean several times over the course of the 20-plus years MacDonald wrote about him.

    As for Newman, he was a bit too upbeat (a fine portrayal, nonetheless) to fit perfectly with MacDonald's titular character in "Harper," but boy did he nail the portrayal in "The Drowning Pool." Pitch-perfect for my money.

    And as for authors "getting it wrong" with their own characters, Robert B. Parker always pictured Tom Selleck as Spenser. I also believe that Selleck was Parker's first choice to play Jesse Stone.

    All the Best-


    On Sun, Aug 22, 2010 at 1:31 PM, James Michael Rogers <>wrote:

    > 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.
    > James
    > ----- Original Message -----
    > From: Patrick Kennedy
    > To: <>
    > 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
    > unequalled.
    > 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
    > it?
    > Patrick
    > ________________________________
    > From: Dick Lochte < <>>
    > To: <>
    > 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?
    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


    RARA-AVIS home page: Yahoo! Groups Links

    <*> To visit your group on the web, go to:

    <*> Your email settings:
        Individual Email | Traditional

    <*> To change settings online go to:
        (Yahoo! ID required)

    <*> To change settings via email:

    <*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:

    <*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 22 Aug 2010 EDT