RARA-AVIS: Bold Statements Challenged

From: Kevin Burton Smith (kvnsmith@thrillingdetective.com)
Date: 06 Sep 2010

  • Next message: Karin Montin: "Re: RARA-AVIS: Bold Statements Challenged"

    Mario wrote:

    > Since people associate Marlowe with Bogart,

    Do they? I'm not convinced they do. Which "people"?

    Rare-Avains? Or the general public?

    Maybe, thanks to his portrayals in FALCON and SLEEP, the general public associates him with a sort of generic old time movie private eye, but I don't think most people associate him -- assuming they even know who Bogart is -- with Marlowe.

    He may be the best known actor to have tackled the role, but I'm not even convinced he was the best. He nailed Spade, though. I think of Bogart, I think of Spade or Rick from CASABLANCA more.

    Then again, most people don't even know who Philip Marlowe -- or maybe even Sam Spade -- are.

    And at this point in time, I think THE MALTESE FALCON is the better known (and personally, better) film.

    Wanna get really depressed? Fly some of these names by some teenagers. You might as well discuss Eminem's way with a lyric at an old folk's home.


    > a remake is a difficult sell, but it could be done.

    I think it could be easily done (just ask anyone). In the public's consciousness, THE BIG SLEEP's not exactly well known. It's not CASABLANCA or GONE WITH THE WIND or THE WIZARD OF OZ.

    Or even TV's GOLDEN GIRLS.

    Just keep Frank Miller away from it. And anyone who only "knows" Chandler from film or TV adaptations.

    Remember, we Rare Birds are just a blip on the pop culture highway. Most of the world doesn't share our impeccable taste.

    > Some of the subject matter is dated, though. Who would be shocked by some pictures of a naked young woman today? The whole crux of what Marlowe is dealing with has lost force.

    Pornography is the MacGuffin, though. Murder is the real crime. It could still be done.

    And the threat of pornography is -- despite the preponderance of recent celeb-sluts made famous by porn and private sex tapes made public -- not exactly a toothless threat, even today. Most people still wouldn't want their sex lives or youthful indiscretions aired publicly.

    A proud, private man like General Sternwood, even today, would still not want his daughter's tits flashed all over the place.

    > I do wish somebody would adapt Chandler's novella Bay City Blues -- that one has currency, and I don't know if Chandler ever wrote anything better than that.

    Another bold statement. But now I have to go back and read it, to see if it's true. Chandler's so good, whatever I last read by him is his best. Until the next one I read.

    Kevin Burton Smith Editor/Founder The Thrilling Detective Web Site
    "Wasting your time on the web since 1998."

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