RARA-AVIS: Re: Iterations and reiterations of Chandler's Marlowe

From: Rick Helms (writerrickhelms@aol.com)
Date: 02 Sep 2010

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    Patrick Kennedy wrote:

    "Fans of Altman should have no gripes with his adaptation of 'The Long Goodbye', but Chandler fans who may have been eagerly awaiting a movie version of his most satisfying book definitely have several reasons to be less than cheerful about it. Altman being Altman predictably sets out to undermine Chandler's main theme in the book, whereas, despite Howard Hawk's comically racy liberties and the standard tacked on happy Hollywood ending, his 'The Big Sleep' is still essentially recognizable as Chandler's story in atmosphere, dialogue and character."

    I'm re-reading 'The Long Goodbye' now, and am finding it every bit as engrossing as I did thirty years ago--perhaps even a bit more now that I have a few years and books on me and can relate a bit to Roger Wade's difficulties (but not his ultimate solution!). It's been over a quarter century since I've seen the Altman film, so I ordered it from Amazon on DVD, and I look forward to watching it as soon as I finish the book so that I can compare and contrast each of them critically. My recollection through the haze of time's veil is that I found the film version irreverent, off-kilter, and slightly sacriligious (if you see Chandler as a gospel writer), but very, very enjoyable. I'm curious to find out how I'll respond to it now.

    By the way, I'd just like to mention that I have a Pat Gallegher short story in the November ish of EQMM (page 93), entitled "The Gods For Vengeance Cry". Subscribers should have it already. It should hit the newsstands shortly. R

    Richard Helms SIX MILE CREEK,a Judd Wheeler novel, from Five Star Mysteries

    THUNDER MOON, coming in June 2011! www.richardhelms.net

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