For the record, here's the physical description of Marlowe that Chandler
provides in a letter of 1951 (oddly enough, written to someone I used to
"He is slightly over six feet tall and weighs about thirteen stone eight
[190lbs]. He has dark brown hair, brown eyes, and the expression "passably good looking" would not satisfy him in the least. I don't think he looks tough. He can be tough. If ever I had the opportunity of selecting the movie actor who could best represent him to my mind, I think it would have been Cary Grant. I think he dresses as well as can be expected."
The full text, detailing Marlowe's smoking and drinking habits and his
weaponry of choice, can be found in Selected Letters of Raymond Chandler
(1981). A signficant observation later in the same letter:
"The private detective of fiction is a fantastic creation who acts and
speaks like a real man."
So, Cary Grant as both Bond and Marlowe??
On 23/08/2010 05:19, "jacquesdebierue" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> --- In email@example.com, "Dick Lochte" <dlochte@...> wrote:
>> 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?
> I agree, it's better to let the reader imagine what the character looks like.
> One PI who did describe himself in detail was Shell Scott. I don't recall
> Chandler physically describing Marlowe in any detail. As you say, Hammett does
> say something about the Op. suggesting he's out of shape and certainly not a
> Grecian beauty, but I don't have a clear image of him. In fact, I feel no need
> to visualize the Op. His voice is sufficient.
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